This is a district at the northern (downstream) end of Liège. I rode through on my bicycle one evening, following the bike route signs which led through reasonably quiet streets, and had the impression that Saint-Léonard was rather drab and not very prosperous.
Later I found out that Saint-Léonard is one of seven urban neighborhoods in the border regions of three countries, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, that have been chosen for development under the European Union’s Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods (SUN) project. According to the SUN website:
“The common denominator amongst urban neighbourhoods participating to the SUN project is that they were impacted by the rapid growth and then by the decline of industries. Today, despites public supporting policies, they still suffer from a comparative lack of environmental quality, they remain perceived, often wrongly, as insecure neighbourhoods, and finally they concentrate poorest populations. Yet they possess unsuspected assets, that the SUN project wants bringing to light: their multi-culturality, a very dynamic associative network, or still talents recognized well beyond the limits of their neighbourhood.”
SUN says that the district of Saint-Léonard “rapidly developed during the 19th century, with the industrial boom, but then felt the full force of industrial decline, reason for which it has been the subject of special attention from the regional and local authorities since the end of the nineties. The district, which has more than 12,000 residents, is still however experiencing regeneration difficulties, as well as socio-economic ones. Nevertheless, it has many assets and local resources, which could be better mobilised within a sustainable development dynamics.“
GPS 50°39'0.83" North; 5°35'45.49" East
When I first saw the signs pointing to Angleur I though it had something to do with fishing, but that’s probably just a silly anglophone mistake. I suppose there might be some fish in the canal or in the Ourthe River, but I didn’t see anybody trying to catch them.
Angleur is a district of Liège at the southern end of the city. I went there looking for a railroad museum, which turned out not to be open. Angleur used to have a big repair shops for the trains and locomotives, at least some of which still seem to be in operation.
There is also a big shopping center called Belle-Île, which as the name implies is on a beautiful island (at least it used to be beautiful before the shopping center was built) between the Ourthe River and the Canal of the Ourthe.
This shopping center was closed on the Sunday when I was there (not that I would have gone in even if it had been open) but I did find it useful because a brief but violent thunderstorm came up and I was able to take refuge with my bicycle in the parking deck which was on the ground level and open on all sides. There were also some kids skateboarding and roller skating in the empty parking deck, so it served a good purpose at least on Sundays.
GPS 50°36'58.07" North; 5°35'16.66" East (first photo)
Second photo: A new red pedestrian bridge over the Canal of the Ourthe in Angleur.
Third photo: Sacre Coeur and the Inter-Allied Monument as seen from Angleur.
Fourth photo: Typical brick houses in Angleur.
Fifth photo: The Youth House in the adjoining district of Kinkempois.
This little castle is now the town hall of Angleur. It is the only town hall I know of that has a moat around it. This is where people who live in this district of Liège can go to get identity cards, marriage certificates, passports, etc. (Residents can also apply for a special card which gives them permission to drive a motor vehicle into the cemetery.)
The castle dates from the fourteenth century and was originally known as the Château de Kinkempois. It got the name Château de Péralta in the year 1884 when the owner, an aristocratic lady called Désirée Ferdinande Joséphine Desoer, Vicomtesse de Clérambault (I hope I’ve got all that right) married a diplomat called the Marquis Manuel Maria de Péralta. A year later the castle burned to the ground, but was rebuilt in 1887.
It was destroyed again twice during the Second World War, first by a fire in 1940 and then by bombings (by both sides) in 1944.
The latest rebuilding was in 1951, by an architect whose instructions were to restore the original outward appearance of the building, using as much of the original structure as possible, while modernizing parts of the interior.
Second photo: Side view of the Château de Péralta.
Château de Péralta,
Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, 6
GPS 50°36'43.89" North; 5°35'7.82" East
Enjoy the scenery; take the train from Liege to Verviers. In 20 minutes you travel through more than a dozen Tunnels with beautiful Valleys, wonderful views of small villages, mountain streams and at least one castle. You can stop in the very pleasant town of Verviers or go on to Eupen. Eupen is located in the German speaking area of Belgium and once was part of Germany. Well worth the trip or an overnight stay in Verviers.
A few steps from the main stage, another church caught our attention.
The church is at No. 9, place St-Pholien. It was built in 1917, according to the plans of Edmond Jamar. Pierre Brouwers decorated the interior.
While we were exploring the streets of Outremeuse on this big party day (14 August), we saw a group of people singing and dancing in front of this church. And, what's more, there was a band playing on the roof of the house across the street!
It turned out that every year, on this and the following day, there's a festival here. So, we were just on the right place and at the right time.
The building (9, rue Fosse-aux-Raines) used to be a monastery church of the Recollect Friars, built at the beginning of the 18th century, whereas the spire was added in 1843.
Mon-Sat 9.30-12 and 18-19
This is the folkloral heart of the city. It's famous for the big celebrations of the 15th of August which are organized here.
It's also the motherland of Tchantches, the most legendary puppet with the spirit of a rioter.
The writer Georges Simenon also left numerous traces here.
And if the weather is too bad to go outside, well then you can pay a visit to Chocolatier Jacques in Eupen.
There you can visit the Chocolat Museum, as well as the factory (the factory only during the week).
And there is a shop where you can buy all these delicious chocolats !
This was really a 'sweet' off the beaten path visit.
To the east, near the city of Liege, Tongeren has the honour (along with Tournai) of being Belgium's oldest town. Settled in 15 BC as a base for Roman troops, the town has an important collection of Gallo-Roman remains, and is surrounded by Roman and medieval walls.
Sart Tilman, it's an area outside of town, like 20 minutes bus drive -you can take bus number 48- theres an modern art museum 'En plein air' and it's really nice to walk around the forest and hills!
We started in Saint-Nicolas.
Walking to La Citadelle and farther to the rivers Meuse, Ourthe and Vesdre.
We arrived so in Chévremont.
Walking in the Hoge Venen can be considered as 'Off the Beaten Path'
I gues you can consider the Oostkantons as an Off the beaten path destination.