Malmedy Tourist Attractions
The little town of Malmédy (Latin "malmundarium" = cleansed from evil ones) is in the province of Liège at the confluence of the Warche and Warchenne on the southern slope of the thickly wooded and scenically very charming Hohe Venn.
About 90 per cent of the inhabitants are Walloons who speak French or the local Walloon dialect; about 10 per cent are German speakers. The varied history of Malmédy, which is due in no small measure to its situation in the frontier region of Belgium, has for a long time led to economic disadvantage of the area. This could only be improved after the Second World War. Several new industries arose so that today canneries, a paper factory, and a dairy are the most important industrial concerns of Malmédy. In addition the town developed into an important educational center. The well-tended town and the wooded surroundings have also contributed to the prosperity of the place and tourism is now an important economic factor.For a long time Malmédy was a source of dispute between France, the Netherlands and the German kingdom, and has changed its national allegiance several times in the last 200 years.The town developed from an abbey founded in 648 by St Remaclus, the Bishop of Maastricht, and from the ecclesiastical town of Malmédy-Stavelot. Malmédy lived in constant rivalry with neighboring Stavelot for pre-eminence in this independent and self-governing principality. In 1690 French troops almost completely destroyed the town and in 1795 it was incorporated into France. After the defeat of Napoleon I it was annexd in 1815 to Prussia and not until 1925 did it become Belgian. In 1940 the town was occupied by German troops and in 1944 was attacked in error by U.S. bombers when parts were destroyed, although it had by then been occupied by American forces.
"Cwarmê" (carnival) is renowned. For four riotous days known as "Grandes Haguètes" there are large processions and traditional figures such as the "Haguètes" and the "Sotê" appear.
Houses with Slate Facing
The townscape of Malmédy is characterized by houses with slates decorating their fronts. The slates are so arranged that on close inspection patterns and even inscriptions can be discerned.There are good examples in the street called Rue devant les Religieuses, in the Rue de la Tannerie and in the Place de la Fraternité.
Maisons de Cavens
The center of Malmédy is the Place de Rome. The most important building in the square is the Maisons de Cavens erected in 1830 as an orphanage. Today it houses the tourist office, the national paper museum (Musée National du Papier) and the carnival museum (Musée du Cwarmê).
Cathédrale Saints-Pierre, Paul et Quirin
In the Place du Châtelet, not far east from the Place de Rome, rise the plain towers of the Cathedral of Saints-Pierre, Paul et Quirin. It was built between 1775 and 1784 as an abbey church and in 1921, when Malmédy became a bishopric (until 1925), it was raised to the status of a cathedral. The quite simple interior, designed by the architect Galhausen, has 18th C. choir stalls, a "Virgin with Child" ascribed to Delcour, and the reliquary of St Quirinus as well as a silver reliquary bust of St Gereon and his companion (18th C.).
Cathédrale Saints-Pierre, Paul et Quirin Abbey
The abbey gardens and the abbey buildings (now a grammar school and law courts) adjoin the cathedral.
Eglise des Capucins
To the south of the cathedral in the Ruelle des Capucins can be found the Capuchin church dedicated in 1631; the interior mostly dates from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Pouhon des Iles
The Pouhon des Iles in the northwest on the far side of the Warche is a mineral spring rich in iron. On the bridge over the Warche which leads to the spring stands the oldest chapel in Malmédy, dedicated in 1544.