daughter of the Meuse river. Liège is called 'La cité ardente' (the fiery city).
A city at the crossroads of Northern and Southern European culture. Liège is
an old industrial center which faces the challenge of adapting to the 21st century.
Nowadays Liége is a rapidly changing city where old meets new. Take a walk through
the old city center and discover the typical traffic-free alleys and shopping
streets where terraces abound. Visit the central St. Lambert square where a
new modern Liège is growing. Take a walk alongside the banks of the majestically
flowing Meuse river and see Liège from a distance.
(View of the Passerelle bridge over the Meuse River.)
The symbol of the city of Liège is the 'Perron' at the 'Place du Marché'. The monument represents the Province of Liège and the city freedoms. The original Perron had been demolished by Charles the Bold of Burgundy. Mary of Burgundy, however, had it reconstructed. The present Perron, designed in 1697 by Jean Delcour, consists of a octagonal fountain with arcades in which a column, carried by four lions, supports the Three Graces who carry a pine cone. Close to the Perron is the town hall of Liège, known as 'La Violette'.
Close to the Perron is the Place St. Lambert (Saint Lambert's square) with the most awesome building of the city : the former palace of the Prince-Bishops of Liège. It now functions as the Palace of Justice. The construction of the present palace was ordered by Prince-Bishop Everard van der Marck in 1526. The palace shows a remarkable mixture of styles. The outside was constructed in Italian Renaissance style, whereas for the interior the Gothic style was used. Especially in the inner square one can see the transition from late-gothic style to early Renaissance by looking at the large, hefty, chandelier-like columns of the side-corridors. After a visit to Liège, the French writer Victor Hugo wrote about the inner court of the palace : 'Nowhere have I seen a construction so remarkable, serious and grandiose at the same time'.The main façade which serves as entrance to the palace from St. Lambert's square was built in 1737 and shows the quintessence of the French architectural style of the 18th century. The interior decoration is still the original one and gives an overview of the decorative arts in Liège from the second half of the 16th century until the era of Louis XVI.: chimneys, Brussels wall tapestries, painted wall-paper, etc.
The entire old city center of Liège is one great collection of beautiful old private houses, most of which are built in the typical Mosan style. Especially in the old streets 'Hors Chateau' and 'Feronstré' the visitor needs eyes on his back to admire this wonderful old charm. Also in both streets one is easily drawn away from the main road by the numerous picturesque little alleys and dead end streets ('Les Impasses) where one quickly forgets that Liège is a large modern city (400000+ inhabitants).
We would like to mention one especially attractive house : the 'Musée Curtius' (the Curtius Museum).This patrician's house was build between 1600 and 1610 by the wealthy Jean de Corte, more famous under his Latin name 'Curtius'. This building is a true gem of the Mosan Renaissance style.