Cozy and clean Belgium, one of the three Benelux countries, is known to many as a producer of unsurpassed chocolate and good beer. However, the inquisitive tourists are attracted to the country in another way. They dream of seeing ancient cities, such as Liege, whose sights cannot be visited in a week.
Top 15 attractions in Liège
But if you don’t have much time, visit the historic center. Its stone-paved streets retain the spirit of antiquity. We will tell you about the most interesting tourist sites in the city.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Saint-Paul is the seat of the Bishop of Liège. The cathedral, whose construction lasted from the 10th to the 15th century, is interesting because of its whimsical combination of Baroque, Gothic and Classicism. It is crowned by a spire made on the orders of Napoleon. Connoisseurs of sculpture will admire the Delcourt marble statue of Christ. The treasury of the main sanctuary of the bishopric is full of ancient relics.
Church of St. Bartholomew
St. Barthélemy is famous for one of the main attractions of the country – the baptismal font of the 12th century. A fine example of Liège artistic casting decorated with relief scenes of the rite of baptism. He rests on bulls, symbolizing the apostles. The sandstone temple with two ornate towers has beautifully preserved ancient sculptures and paintings of religious themes.
St. James Church
Connoisseurs consider Saint-Jacques one of the most beautiful churches of Liège. The Benedictine monastery was founded in the 11th century by Bishop Balderick II. The Gothic building, staring upward, is decorated with exquisite stonework, 16th-century stained-glass windows, and paintings of the interior vaults.
The sculptures of Our Lady and the sleeping Jacob are strikingly expressive.
St. Lambert Square
The main square of Liège is the heart of the city, where its history began. Bishop Lambert, canonized by the Catholic Church, was martyred here. A temple was erected in his honor; today it is commemorated by special columns. There are a lot of interesting sights around, you can see them in one day.
Palace of Bishop Princes
The former residence of the heads of the clergy deserves attention. The palace is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is now the Palace of Justice. The building, built in the 10th century for Bishop Notger, has suffered many fires and destruction. Its appearance is notable for the galleries of 60 columns with sumptuous capitals and the Gothicism of the central facade. The interior is decorated in the spirit of the Renaissance.
The Mount de Buren staircase
Montagne-du-Buren is named after a brave nobleman who rebelled against the takeover of Liège by the Burgundians. It leads to the hill where the Citadel Park is located. It has 374 steps, so there are benches for tourists to rest. From the top platform as in the palm of your hand you can see the city and its surroundings.
In summer the stairs are decorated with compositions of flowers, in October there is a holiday “Night Hills”.
Do you want to look into the future? Visit a unique structure with a soaring dome. Unusual architecture is characteristic of all the creations of Santiago Calatrava. With its futuristic design and impeccable functionality, the station is a striking landmark in Belgium. The project took seven years to materialize.
Museum of Walloon Art
The museum, briefly called the BAL, is not even 50 years old, but it has a rich collection of paintings and sculptures by prominent Walloon masters. The Belgian Renaissance era is represented by the works of Lambert of Lombardy, the sculpture of the 16th and 17th centuries by the works of Varennes and Delcourt. Fans of surrealism and abstractionism will be interested in the work of René Magritte.
The Perron, originally a symbol of the power of the bishops, has become a symbol of the independence of Liège. It is shaped like a pole, on top of which is a pine cone with a cross. Since the 14th century it has been an inseparable element of the city’s coat of arms. It is now crowned by an octagonal fountain built by Jean Delcourt in the 17th century. The column is supported by lions, and the cone by three graces.
Dina Diferme’s Garden
In Liège, there are landmarks at every turn. Take a break from their diversity with the romantic garden of Dina Dyferme, a popular landscape designer. It is divided into “rooms”, each of which has its own purpose, idea, and color. Visitors strolling along winding paths see secluded gazebos and water bodies. Amazing plants, original color compositions make a unique impression.
Museum of Archaeology and Art
The striking appearance of the Corzius House, which houses the Maasland Museum, is invariably admired. The 17th-century Maas Renaissance building is reminiscent of a fairy-tale palace. Equally unusual are its exhibits, especially the Gospel of the glorious Bishop Notger, to whom Liège owes the best architectural monuments. The ivory-colored relic is adorned with genuine gemstones.
The beautiful building serves as an example of French classicism. The pediment is decorated with the city’s coat of arms and a plaque dedicated to the famous literary character Megre. The author of novels about the great detective Georges Simenon was a native of Liege, which the townspeople are very proud of.
Museum of Walloon Life
It is housed in a former monastery. The exhibition tells about the daily life and religious customs of the inhabitants of the city. Traditional crafts are clearly shown, typical workshops with tools and equipment are presented. Here you can learn about the history of the region and local festivals.
Museum of public transport
The popular retro museum is located in a former streetcar depot building. There are samples of authentic streetcars, trolleybuses, buses and even horse-drawn carriages on display. They can be inspected, climbed inside, touched with hands. New exhibits come from other cities in Belgium.
Royal Opera of Wallonia
The country’s largest opera house, founded in 1818, has become a Mecca for lovers of the classics. Under the monument to composer André Gretry erected in front of the main entrance rests the heart of a patriotic musician. After the restoration, completed in 2012, the theater has become one of the main attractions of Liège. It seats more than 1,000 spectators.