Palais des Princes-Evêques and Surroundings, Liège
The central area of the city is formed by Place Saint-Lambert and the adjoining squares Place du Marché (Market Place) in the northeast and the Place de la République Française in the southwest. The Place du Maréchal de Foch joins the Boulevard de la Sauvenière. As all four squares are choked by traffic a new road system is being introduced. The district east of the Place Saint-Lambert is the oldest part of the city.
Until 1796 the Cathédrale Saint-Lambert, the largest cathedral in the Netherlands at that time, stood in the Place Saint-Lambert. It was destroyed by the French revolutionaries and their supporters in Liège and the ruins moved in 1808. The excavations of the church foundations and the hypocaust of a Roman villa below the square are accessible by a staircase. Georges Simenon was born at No. 24 Rue Léopold which leads from the square to the Meuse.
Palais des Princes-Evêques
On the north side of the Place Saint-Lambert stands the Palais des Princes-Evêques, the former palace of the prince-bishops. Notker had the first modest bishop's seat built here, which - after being extended - was destroyed at the end of the 15th C. Erard de la Marck was responsible for the rebuilding, which was completed 1526-1540 according to plans by Arnold van Mulckens in the transition style between Gothic and Renaissance. In 1734-1740 the new (south) main facade was added. Today the building houses the Law Courts and is the seat of the Walloon government.There are two picturesque courtyards with arcaded walkways and columns. The artists who carved the columns with fools' masks and grotesque faces were inspired by Sebastian Brants and Erasmus and news from the New World. The second courtyard is more peaceful with a fountain. The palace interior is not open to visitors.
Place du Marché
Southeast of the palace of the prince-bishops stretches the tree-lined Place du Marché, the market square surrounded by Baroque houses. From here the narrow street En Neuvice, once the street of goldsmiths and today a pedestrian zone, leads down to the Meuse.
Place du Marché Perron
In the middle of the market square stands the Perron, which to the communities of the former prince-bishopric symbolized their much-fought for and documented liberty. The Perron, erected in 1697 on the site of a much older predecessor, stands in the center of the fountain created by Jean Delcour and is crowned by the Three Graces.
The Baroque Hôtel de Ville (town hall), built 1714-1718, stands on the south side of the market square, still referred to as "La Violette" after the first meeting hall of the town council. It was destroyed in 1468 by Charles the Bold, again in 1691 by the French. In the interior there is an interesting foyer.
The onion-shaped cupola of the former church of Saint-André (1772), now a concert hall, dominates the market square.
Showcasing the life and culture of the Walloon area in Belgium is the Museum of Walloon Life. The Museum is amongst the best in the country, equipped with modern technology and featuring several exhibitions of interest.
Museum of Religious Art
Adjoining the Musée de la Vie Wallonne in the Rue Mère-Dieu is the Musée d'Art Religieux (Museum of Religious and Mosan Art). It was the former Diocesan museum and exhibits in nine rooms religious works from the churches of Liège and the Meuse region.
Address: Rue Mere-Dieu, B-4000 Liège, Belgium
Opening hours: 11am-6pm; Sun: 11am-4pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Remembrance Day / 1918 Armistice Day (Nov 11), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €2.50, Concession or reduced rate €1.25
Museum of Architecture
From En Hors Château, which runs south of the museum complex, a short way on the left the Montagne de Bueren steps climb up to the Citadel. At the beginning of the steps the narrow alley Impasse des Ursulines leads into the quiet former monastery of the Holy Spirit and the adjacent postal station which now accommodate the Museum of Architecture.There are examples of Liège architecture but it is primarily a document center for the history of building in the town. In the postal station the study of the Liège violinist Eugène Isaye (1859- 1931) can be seen.
Steps of the Montagne du Bueren
The climb up the 374 steps of the Montagne du Bueren to the Parc de la Citadelle (158m/518ft) is rewarded with a fine view of the city. The park incorporates the grounds and bastions of the 18th C. citadel (now a barracks). Either return the same way or continue along the path already started, which finally leads back down to the church of Saint-Barthélemy.
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