The Belgian city of Liege has superb monuments and a rich history. Liege’s nickname is ‘La Cité Ardente’ (the Passionate City). It has many museums and churches, as well as a laid-back but vibrant nightlife.
Brussels International Airport is the closest airport, offering regular flights from cities around the world. By car from Brussels, take the E40 east. Alternatively, from Namur, take either the E42 or the more scenic riverside N90.There’s regular train service here from Brussels, Antwerp, Maastricht, Cologne and Luxembourg. The Thalys high-speed train also serves the area and arrives via Brussels from Paris, Amsterdam,and Cologne.
The Church of St Bartholomew is a twin-towered Romanesque church that dates from 1108. The church’s Baptismal Font is the highlight; this enormous copper and brass font was cast in the 1100s by Master Renier de Huy. The Aquarium and Zoological Museum brings together some 2,500 examples of 250 marine species. The main feature is the 4,420-gallon shark tank.
This city is full of fantastic museums. Musée d’Armes contains a view of the city’s extensive history of small arms manufacturer that continues to this day; it houses over 4,000 pieces from the Stone Age to the present. Alternatively, Musée Curtius displays archaeological treasures and craft collections from the Gallo-Roman period to the 18th century; while the Museum of Walloon Life has a variety of exhibits of the lives of 19th century Walloons and their rich contemporary traditions and customs.
Liege is an ideal base from which to discover the whole of the Meuse Valley. The steep-sided valley of the Meuse River has long been an important tourist area. From Liege, you can drive upstream along the river to Namur, Huy, and Dinant. Liège and Namur are both gateways to the Ardennes as well.
Thirty-four km southwest of Liege is Huy, which has a long tradition of local metalwork. A native here, Renier de Huy was the 12th-century goldsmith who designed the baptismal font in Liege’s Church of St Bartholomew. Namur is 50 km from Liege.