Discover the city of Liège and its rich architectural heritage
For centuries, Liège has been known as the 'Athens of the north' and the 'Ardent City'.
It owes this first sobriquet to its rich cultural and architectural heritage, with no less than 391 listed buildings. The second refers to the substantial amount of looting, fires and rebuildings that have occurred over the centuries.
In recent years, Liège, the birth place of Belgian crime writer Georges Simenon, creator of Maigret, has undergone great changes. It was first of all endowed with the new Liège-Guillemins Train Station, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
As for the Grand Curtius Museum, it brings together the collections and treasures of four museums at the heart of a large complex.
And finally, Médiacité, a futuristic structure housing a shopping centre and offices, has only recently been built and is the perfect place to enjoy a shopping spree at the heart of Liège.
The historic centre of Liège: archaeology and religious treasures
The most impressive cathedral in the north of Europe could once be found in the Place Saint-Lambert, but was destroyed in 1793.
The Archéoforum, the largest archaeological site in Europe, is definitely worth a visit. Underneath the Place Saint-Lambert, you can discover remains of the cathedral unearthed during the excavations which began in 1907. The fascinating underground gallery is one-of-a-kind. During the visit, you will enter an equally spectacular multimedia space.
Dominating the Place Saint-Lambert is the Palace of the Prince Bishops, which was rebuilt in 1536 after having been pillaged several times. Today it is home to the law courts.
A city filled with masterpieces
The Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew (and its baptismal font) is the oldest religious building in Liège. It was consecrated in 1015 and is one of the most illustrious examples of the Romanesque style.
Inside is Belgium's most famous baptismal font, a remarkable masterpiece of goldsmithing created by Renier de Huy in the 13th century. It was sculpted entirely from brass and decorated with scenes of baptism, including that of Jesus.
The Church of Saint-Jacques is also worth a visit. This former Benedictine abbey was founded in 1015. In the Saint-Rémy chapel, you can see a magnificent 1523 statue of Mary and Jesus.
The Cathedral of St. Paul was built in the 10th century, rebuilt in the 13th century in the Gothic style and restored in the 19th century. Inside, you can still admire the original Gothic architecture, as well as a superb recumbent statue of Christ in white marble created by Jean Del Cour in 1696.
The Cathedral Treasure includes many masterpieces in different rooms, including the famous reliquary bust of Saint Lambert.