Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Does whatever a spider can

A first for Liège City Daily Photo: A real, authentic, bona fide Liège spider!


Here you can see it floating just above the Cathedral spire.


Jaipur Maharaja brass band

On Saturday we saw a performance from the Jaipur Maharaja brass band. They played at the Free Trade festival in front of the Provincial Library. The festival itself was a faux hippy, feel-good, guilt-decreasing type of event, sponsored by 257.5 governmental and non-governmental bodies. But the music acts were fun. The Jaipur Maharaja brass band even featured a fire eater,


a dancer


and, finally, two dancers.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

5 kilos, 3 euros

A view of one of the fruit stalls of the Batte Sunday market. Later on in the day, some of the stalls start selling 5 kilos of anything for 3 euros.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

90th Armistice anniversary

It's not been quite 90 years since the Armistice yet. However, that small detail could not stop the Liegeois from celebrating the 90th Armistice anniversary last Sunday. It was a similar set-up to the Notger celebrations, a parade, this time commemorating all the allies of Belgium in the first World War.

There was the French (relaxing while waiting at a traffic jam)


the Americans (doing a quirky little dance)


and even the Scots. With six bagpipes, they were the loudest of them all...


Monday, September 22, 2008

Le millénaire de la mort de Notger


On Saturday we celebrated 1000 years from the death of Notger, the first Bishop-Prince of Liège. The celebration included a parade depicting 1000 years of Liege history, from Notger himself (he was a tall lad, wasn't he?)


to the future of the city (which includes extraterrestrials, apparently).


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Le Village des Confreries

The Village des Confreries was installed yesterday in the Place Saint Lambert. Literally it means the Village of the Brotherhoods but it means something like Exhibition of Local Associations Mostly Producing Beer, Wine and Spirits as Well as Some Cheese and Sausages.


The names of the brotherhoods went completely over my head...


This one, literally, means Brotherhood of the Gay Meatball.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fêtes de Wallonie

The Festival of Wallonia is taking place this weekend in all Walloon cities. Over the next few days I will be posting pictures from the Liège festivities. For the time being, here's the banner...


Friday, September 19, 2008

Balcony decoration

Art Deco sculptures on a balcony on the Rue de la Cité...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saint Denis

Last church in this series (was that a sigh of relief?). This is Saint Denis, with its very unchurchy tower.


This church also features superb stained glass


a magnificent triptych by Jean Delcour


and an amazing sculpture of the most satanic looking priest I've ever seen. Keep your children away from Saint Curé d'Ars.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eglise Saint Jean

The church of Saint Jean has featured in this blog before, or at least one of its crosses has. Here it is seen from the top of Saint Martin's church.


The interior of the church is very baroque


but the roof needs some work.


As part of Heritage Days we were allowed to go up the stairs to the organ and see it up close. Not the biggest church organ but quite photogenic nonetheless.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Eglise de la Sainte Croix


The Church of the Holy Cross is one of the best kept secrets of the city because it is still being restored and, from the outside, it looks like that:


But the restored stained glass looks fantastic


as do the restored statues (despite the cobwebs).


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Eglise Saint Martin

As part of the heritage days, most public buildings were open to the public this weekend. We chose to go to several churches, not because they are not normally open, but because over the heritage weekend they allow people to visit sections that are normally closed. We saw towers, cellars, cloisters, crypts etc etc.

Here are some pictures from our visit to Saint Martin's church. It has featured on this blog before but not like this. Here are three restored stained glass windows:


A general view of the interior:


The bells inside the bell tower:


The view from the top of the bell tower:


And, finally, an external view from the rear, as we were going back down the hill:


Over the next few days I will be posting pictures from other churches and sites we visited during the heritage days.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

La cathédrale Saint Lambert

Talking of heritage, this would have been the most important heritage site of Liège, if it was still standing:


St Lambert's cathedral was one of the biggest cathedrals in Europe and helped elevate Liège to the status of the 'Athens of the North', an important theological and philosophical centre (Edinburgh is also called the Athens of the North due to its many Greek neo-classical style 18th century buildings). The city became a hive of collegiate churches, ruled by bishop princes. After the French revolution and the nearly simultaneous Révolution Liégeoise, the cathedral became the symbol of the tyranny of the old order. In 1794, it was decided to demolish this symbol and to use the resulting rubble to divert the river and to improve the city. Here is the cathedral during the demolition process:


Finally, here is a model of the cathedral:


All the photos in this post were taken at an exhibition called Liège au temps des collégiales (Liège in the time of the collegiate churches) at the ancienne église Saint-André.

Friday, September 12, 2008

La Reine Astrid et le Prince de Liège

Tonight, in celebration of the 20 years of the Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days), a nuit blanche (white night) was organized in Liège. Museums and public buildings are open until 11pm and numerous concerts and performances are organized throughout the city. It was a good opportunity for us to see the interior of the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall). In fact, we only were allowed in the main hall. It is quite an impressive building but the most unexpected thing we saw was this:


These are the clothes worn by Queen Astrid and her son, the Prince of Liège, when they visited the Hôtel de Ville in 1935. You can get an idea of what they must have looked like if you picture their clothes on their statues...


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Christo has not come to the city

Facelifting for old high rise buildings has become quite fashionable of late. Here is a current work in progress by the riverside.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The plunger

Sorry about the anglo-french wordplay in the title, I couldn't resist it. This is the final photo in the current series of lackluster statues. It is called the diver, for obvious reasons.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More sculpture shock

Today's pointless statue has a non-identical twin. I posted a photo of it back in June (click here).


Monday, September 8, 2008

Sculpture shock

There are some really horrible statues decorating the riverside. Here's one of them depicting two young girls leapfrogging each other. In other parts of the world it would have been demolished and its creator would have been placed on the sex offenders' register.


Come back tomorrow for a photo of another sculpture of debatable quality.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Les retrouvailles

This weekend Liege was awash with activities and events. One of them was 'Les retrouvailles', a kind of freshers' fair for the entire city. Most non-profit associations, societies, charities, NGOs etc of the city had stalls and presented their activities. The epicentre of the fair was the Museum of Modern Art.


The rest of the stalls were spread out in the Boverie park.



There were at least two stages for performances, demonstrations and mini-concerts, including the worst ever rendition of 'Je ne regrette rien'.


As this was an authentic Liege event, food and drink were plentiful. We tried the mushroom on toast, which was excellent. In fact, it was more like toast buried under a mountain of mushrooms.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Le méga-procès Habran

Large concentration of police vehicles and personnel outside the Palais des Princes Eveques, which also houses the High Court of Liège. The trial of Marcel Habran and his presumed accomplices is taking place here at the moment, hence the security measures. Altogether 10 individuals are accused of eight murders and series of robberies. The trial is expected to last four months.


Thursday, September 4, 2008


Demolition works near the Guillemins train station to make way for the complete regeneration of the Guillemins area featuring a ... well, nobody knows what. Some speak of a glorious concourse leading all the way to the river, with orchards and fountains and triumphal arches. Others are more pragmatic.


Zoom on the wall-less toilet detail: