Place:Liège, Liège, Liège, Belgium

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NameLiège
Alt namesLeodiumsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VII, 344
Liegisource: Cassell's Italian Dictionary (1983) p 293
Liejasource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-97
Liègesource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Liégesource: Wikipedia
Liíegesource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 520
Luiksource: Wikipedia
Lüttichsource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-102
Lüttichsource: Wikipedia
TypeCity
Coordinates50.633°N 5.583°E
Located inLiège, Liège, Belgium
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Liège is a major Walloon city and municipality and the capital of the Belgian province of Liège.

The city is situated in the valley of the Meuse, in the east of Belgium, not far from borders with the Netherlands (Maastricht is about to the north) and with Germany (Aachen is about north-east). At Liège, the Meuse meets the River Ourthe. The city is part of the sillon industriel, the former industrial backbone of Wallonia. It still is the principal economic and cultural centre of the region.

The Liège municipality (i.e. the city proper) includes the former communes of Angleur, Bressoux, Chênée, Glain, Grivegnée, Jupille-sur-Meuse, Rocourt, and Wandre. In November 2012, Liège had 198,280 inhabitants. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,879 km2 (725 sq mi) and had a total population of 749,110 on 1 January 2008. This includes a total of 52 municipalities, among others, Herstal and Seraing. Liège ranks as the third most populous urban area in Belgium, after Brussels and Antwerp, and the fourth municipality after Antwerp, Ghent and Charleroi.[1]

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early Middle Ages

Although settlements already existed in Roman times, the first references to Liège are from 558, when it was known as Vicus Leudicus. Around 705, Saint Lambert of Maastricht is credited with completing the Christianization of the region, indicating that up to the early 8th century the religious practices of antiquity had survived in some form. Christian conversion may still not have been quite universal, since Lambert was murdered in Liège and thereafter regarded as a martyr for his faith. To enshrine St. Lambert's relics, his successor, Hubertus (later to become St. Hubert), built a basilica near the bishop's residence which became the true nucleus of the city. A few centuries later, the city became the capital of a prince-bishopric, which lasted from 985 till 1794. The first prince-bishop, Notger, transformed the city into a major intellectual and ecclesiastical centre, which maintained its cultural importance during the Middle Ages. Pope Clement VI recruited several musicians from Liège to perform in the Papal court at Avignon, thereby sanctioning the practice of polyphony in the religious realm. The city was renowned for its many churches, the oldest of which, St Martin's, dates from 682. Although nominally part of the Holy Roman Empire, in practice it possessed a large degree of independence.

Late Medieval and Early Modern Period

The strategic position of Liège has made it a frequent target of armies and insurgencies over the centuries. It was fortified early on with a castle on the steep hill that overlooks the city's western side. During this medieval period, three women from the Liège region made significant contributions to Christian spirituality: Elizabeth Spaakbeek, Christina the Astonishing, and Marie of Oignies.

In 1345, the citizens of Liège rebelled against Prince-Bishop Engelbert III de la Marck, their ruler at the time, and defeated him in battle near the city. Shortly after, a unique political system formed in Liège, whereby the city's 32 guilds shared sole political control of the municipal government. Each person on the register of each guild was eligible to participate, and each guild's voice was equal, making it the most democratic system that the Low Countries had ever known. The system spread to Utrecht, and left a democratic spirit in Liège that survived the Middle Ages.

At the end of the Liège Wars, a rebellion against rule from Burgundy that figured prominently in the plot of Sir Walter Scott's 1823 novel Quentin Durward, Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy, witnessed by King Louis XI of France, captured and largely destroyed the city in 1468, after a bitter siege which was ended with a successful surprise attack.

The Prince-Bishopric of Liège was technically part of the Holy Roman Empire which, after 1477, came under the rule of the Habsburgs. The reign of prince-bishop Erard de la Marck (1506–1538) coincides with the dawn of the Renaissance.

During the Counter-Reformation, the diocese of Liège was split and progressively lost its role as a regional power. In the 17th century, many prince-bishops came from the royal house of Wittelsbach. They ruled over Cologne and other bishoprics in the northwest of the Holy Roman Empire as well.

In 1636, during the Thirty Years' War, the city was besieged by Imperial forces under Johann von Werth from April to July. The army, mainly consisting of mercenaries, extensively and viciously plundered the surrounding bishopric during the siege.

18th century to World War I

The Duke of Marlborough captured the city from the Bavarian prince-bishop and his French allies in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession.

In the middle of the eighteenth century the ideas of the French Encyclopédistes began to gain popularity in the region. Bishop de Velbruck (1772–84), encouraged their propagation, thus prepared the way for the Liège Revolution which started in the episcopal city on 18 August 1789 and led to the creation of the Republic of Liège before it was invaded by counter-revolutionary forces of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1791.

In the course of the , the French army took the city and imposed strongly anticlerical regime, destroying St. Lambert's Cathedral. The overthrow of the prince-bishopric was confirmed in 1801 by the Concordat co-signed by Napoléon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII. France lost the city in 1815 when the Congress of Vienna awarded it to the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Dutch rule lasted only until 1830, when the Belgian Revolution led to the establishment of an independent, Catholic and neutral Belgium which incorporated Liège. After this, Liège developed rapidly into a major industrial city which became one of continental Europe's first large-scale steel making centres. The Walloon Jacquerie of 1886 saw a large-scale working class revolt. No less than 6,000 regular troops were called into the city to quell the unrest, while strike spread through the whole sillon industriel.


Liège's fortifications were redesigned by Henri Alexis Brialmont in the 1880s and a chain of twelve forts was constructed around the city to provide defence in depth. This presented a major obstacle to Germany's army in 1914, whose Schlieffen Plan relied on being able to quickly pass through the Meuse valley and the Ardennes en route to France. The German invasion on 5 August 1914 soon reached Liège, which was defended by 30,000 troops under General Gérard Leman (see Battle of Liège). The forts initially held off an attacking force of about 100,000 men but were pulverised into submission by a five-day bombardment by heavy artillery, including thirty-two 21 cm mortars and two German 42 cm Big Bertha howitzers. Due to faulty planning of the protection of the underground defense tunnels beneath the main citadel, one direct artillery hit caused a huge explosion, which eventually led to the surrender of the Belgian forces. The Belgian resistance was shorter than had been intended, but the twelve days of delay caused by the siege nonetheless contributed to the eventual failure of the German invasion of France. The city was subsequently occupied by the Germans until the end of the war. Liège received the Légion d'Honneur for its resistance in 1914.

As part of the Septemberprogramm, Berlin planned to annexe Liege under the name Lüttich to the German Empire in any post-war peace agreement.

World War II to the present

The Germans returned in 1940, this time taking the forts in only three days. Most Jews were saved, with the help of the sympathetic population, as many Jewish children and refugees were hidden in the numerous monasteries. Liege was liberated by the British military in September of 1944.

After the war ended, the Royal Question came to the fore, since many saw King Leopold III as collaborating with the Germans during the war. In July 1950, André Renard, leader of the Liégeois FGTB launched the General strike against Leopold III of Belgium and "seized control over the city of Liège". The strike ultimately led to Leopold's abdication.

Liège began to suffer from a relative decline of its industry, particularly the coal industry, and later the steel industry, producing high levels of unemployment and stoking social tension. During the 1960-1961 Winter General Strike, disgruntled workers went on a rampage and severely damaged the central railway station Guillemins. The unrest was so intense that "army troops had to wade through caltrops, trees, concrete blocks, car and crane wrecks to advance. Streets were dug up. Liège saw the worst fighting on 6 January 1961. In all, 75 people were injured during seven hours of street battles."

On 6 December 1985, the city's courthouse was heavily damaged and one person was killed in a bomb attack by a lawyer.

Liège is also known as a traditionally socialist city. In 1991, powerful Socialist André Cools, a former Deputy Prime Minister, was gunned down in front of his girlfriend's apartment. Many suspected that the assassination was related to a corruption scandal which swept the Socialist Party, and the national government in general, after Cools' death. Two men were sentenced to twenty years in jail in 2004, for involvement in Cools' murder.

Liège has shown some signs of economic recovery in recent years with the opening up of borders within the European Union, surging steel prices, and improved administration. Several new shopping centres have been built, and numerous repairs carried out.

On 13 December 2011, there was a grenade and gun attack at Place Saint-Lambert. An attacker, later identified as Nordine Amrani, aged 33, armed with grenades and an assault rifle, attacked people waiting at a bus stop. There were six fatalities, including the attacker (who shot himself), and 123 people were injured.

On 29 May 2018, two female police officers and one civilian—a 22-year-old man—were shot dead by a gunman near a café on Boulevard d'Avroy in central Liège. The attacker then began firing at the officers in an attempt to escape, injuring a number of them "around their legs", before he was shot dead. Belgian broadcaster RTBF said the gunman was temporarily released from prison on 28 May where he had been serving time on drug offences. The incident is currently being treated as terrorism.

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