Liege

Overview

Introduction

Set in the eastern section of Wallonia, Liege (61 mi/98 km east of Brussels) is a grimy industrial town. That said, the city still has enough of interest to merit a two-night visit. Among its attractions are the market square (with its 17th-century Perron Fountain), the Palace of the Prince-Bishops (beautiful courtyards and columns), Curtius Museum (exhibits from the Gallo-Roman, Renaissance, baroque and Frankish periods, including a display of glassware, masterpieces of Mosan art and lovely Merovingian jewelry) and the Museum of Walloon Life (arts and crafts tell the history of the city from the 16th to the 20th century).

Liege is known for its gunsmiths and crystal, as well as for being the birthplace of Georges Simenon (creator of the Inspector Maigret novels). If you climb up the 373 steps to the citadel on Bueren Hill, you'll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city. Try to plan your visit so it includes a Sunday, when there's a market on the left bank of the Meuse River.

Other excursions can be made to Huy, which has pewter factories and shops filled with their products, the 15th-century Li Bassinia fountain and the ruins of the Abbey of Neufmoustier; Spa, which is famous (not surprisingly) for its spas—it was the birthplace of the modern spa; and Tongeren, Belgium's oldest town and site of the country's largest antiques market.

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