The Meuse River
Favorite thing: The Meuse is one of those confusing rivers, like the Rhine or the Elbe, that flow more or less from south to north, so that upstream is at the bottom end of the map and downstream is at the top.
This confusion of course has more to do with our map-making conventions than with the river, since the river was here before we were.
The Meuse has its source at a place called Pouilly-en-Bassigny in France. It flows for 950 kilometers (or 237 lieues, as Victor Hugo would have said) through three countries, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, before disgorging into the North Sea.
On his journey by stagecoach in 1840, Victor Hugo followed the Meuse downstream for several days, with stops in the French towns of Sedan and Givet and the Belgian towns of Dinant, Namur and Huy before he finally arrived in Liège at the beginning of August.
Second photo: Evening on the Meuse River in Liège.
Third photo: Dark clouds over the Meuse.
Fourth photo: The Meuse from the bridge called Pont des Arches.
>>Next: The Ourthe River joins the Meuse
Internet, telephone, and office services
Favorite thing: Near Place Saint Lambert, I came across a place called Telecoms City that advertises internet, telephone, fax, photocopies, and more. Therefore, if you need any telecommunications or internet access while in Liège, Telecoms City is in a very central location.
The Ourthe River joins the Meuse
Favorite thing: The Ourthe is a shorter and smaller river that joins the Meuse at the south end of Liège, though actually most of the water from the Ourthe flows not directly into the Meuse but into a canal called the Dérivation de la Meuse, which was built in the nineteenth century to replace various arms of the Meuse which had existed up to that time.
Second photos: In this photo, which I took looking north from Fragnée Bridge, the Ourthe comes in from the right and the Meuse goes off to the left. The breakwater, with a fountain of water at the end, directs the water from the Ourthe into the Dérivation, which is why some people (especially people who write pedantic comments in internet forums) insist it should be called the Dérivation de l’Ourthe –- a losing battle, but some people never give up.
Third photo: This is the same scene from the other side, looking south. I took this photo from a bridge over the Dérivation called Pont Hennebique. Here the Ourthe comes in from the far left, the Meuse is on the right and the breakwater and fountain are in the middle.
Fourth photo: The Dérivation, looking north from Hennebique Bridge.
GPS 50°37'18.45" North; 5°34'45.60" East
>>Next: Typical brick houses
Those who are not afraid of...
Favorite thing: Those who are not afraid of some physical effort can take a walk up the 406 steps of the MONTAGNE DE BUEREN: the reward will be a fantastic panoramic view over the city of Liège.
According to legend, the 600 Franchimontese soldiers climbed up the hill in 1468 to take the camp of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. They were lead by the Liège patriot Bueren, who wanted to encourage his fellow citizens to take up arms against Charles the Bold who had taken the city. The whole plan failed , the 600 Franchimontese were killed and the city was plundered for 7 weeks. As a matter of fact, the adventure took place on another hill of the city. The montagne de Bueren staircase was actually only built in 1880 to allow the soldiers of the garrison on top of the hill to go down to the center without having to pass through the dangerous little alleys.
If you're still fit enough after having reached the top of the staircase, you can go a little bit higher to the terraced park from where the best panoramic photographs of Liège can be taken.
Liége en nuit
Favorite thing: I visited Liege several times and I can assure that Liege is beautiful at night - even when it rains al lot! I can really recommend to make a stroll around the Old Town in the evening or at night. The squares, pubs and historic buildings are beautifully illuminated.
Main city in Wallonia
Favorite thing: Liege is Wallonia's largest city and its cultural centre. But in fact, Liège has also a strong personality by itself, as a result of the many centuries of rule under the Princes-Bishops as a virtually independent state.
Liege is also the hometown of some of the most famous Belgian writers in French, among them Georges Simenon.
A stroll through the city
Favorite thing: After lunch Isa, Mariel and I had a wander through the streets to the west of the Place St Lambert. Our main aim, in which we failed, was to find a chocolate shop open on a Sunday. However we did find some interesting spots for photography in the mix of modern and historic buildings in this part of town. The modern is mainly provided by a glass-clad shopping centre, Les Galeries Saint-Lambert, almost deserted on this Sunday afternoon (Sunday opening of shops has clearly not yet reached Belgium) and a modern extension to the 16th century Hôtel Desoër de Solières. This extension provides a staircase for the Espace Wallonie-Liège which when we were there was staging an exhibition about space exploration – hence the colourful additions to the windows. The historic includes that 16th century mansion and others from the same era, and several churches (photo three shows Saint Martin and photo four the now-deconsecrated Saint André). Everywhere was almost deserted, except when we came across another lively square with bars and cafés, the Place Saint-Etienne. Clearly the locals of Liège come out for only one thing on a Sunday – to socialise over a meal and a few drinks.
We did in the end find chocolate, but only in a small convenience store, not the specialist emporium we had anticipated. Still, it gave us a reason to wander along some different streets, and also perhaps a reason to return to Liège one day.
For now though this is my final tip, but please consider returning to my intro page and leaving me a comment – thanks!
Favorite thing: Liege is in a river valley with the western bank considerably higher than river valley. Very pretty, but to transit from the heights to the river you have the stairs. This set had over four hundred steps. Of course I had to go up the stairs to see if there was a good vantage for pictures. About three quarters of the way up, I realized that this was really quite high and with no hand rails, if I slipped, there was nothing to slow me down until I reached the bottom. I kept going to the top and then turned and retraced my steps much more cautiously. I wasn’t alone on the stairs; people live here with the doors to their houses leading directly off the steps. Nice view but quite the walk everyday.
- Hiking and Walking
Favorite thing: Given Liege's history as a "Prince-Bishopric" this modern sculpture, Les Principautaires, by the local artist Mady Andrien, installed in 1992, is a very apt social comment. It depicts a group of 11 ecclesiastical figures subjugating the common people (and a dog) and was commissioned to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the arrival in Liege of the famous industrialist John Cockerill.
Cockerill is credited with being the father of Belgian industry, having established mines, steelworks, fabric factories and machine engineering plants at the time of Belgian independence. He was also one of the co-founders, along with Charles de Brouckère, of the Banque de Belgique in 1835.
The sculpture is located on the Place Saint-Barthélemy, across from the colourful Collegiate church of the same name.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
The burning city
Favorite thing: Liège was the capital of an important industrial and mining area. The main activities used to be coal mining and iron industry. This economic activities entered a periode of severe crisis a few decades ago and the city and the surrounding region are facing the challenge of recovering their prosperity.
go to 'le carre'' street on...
Favorite thing: go to 'le carre'' street on friday night, you will find all students drinking more and more, dancing in that street and doing any sort of thing on that street.
Fondest memory: A huge party without any arguing or violence.
- Beer Tasting
GAUFRES DE LIEGE.If you like...
Favorite thing: GAUFRES DE LIEGE.
If you like local specialties you cannot leave the city without having tasted a sweet 'Gaufre de Liège' (Waffle of Liège). You will find this delicacy at every bakery and even at stands in the street.
funkymama's General Tip
Fondest memory: 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 (400.000 inhabitants).
B_Caro's General Tip
Walking in the Hoge Venen / Les Hautes Fagnes
On the photo : the Brackven, halfway on the road between Eupen and Monschau (Germany), close to 'Haus Ternell'.
B_Caro's General Tip
Fondest memory: As it is a nature reserve you can't go in the moor and just walk.
You have to follow these narrow, wooden paths. That way you can walk for hours in the moor. But remember, you are not allowed to leave them. You are still walking in a nature reserve.
And besides of that, it can be really swampy.