LIÈGE CULTURE

"The interaction with a work of art is always an experience."

In the hustle and bustle of the city, there are places where it is good to recharge your batteries. My little remedies against noise are cultural encounters. Walking through the door of a museum or art gallery calms me down. These are places of such serenity that we can only feel good. Time seems to have stopped there. A few whispers disturb the silence but quickly the hushed atmosphere invades you and you enter the mysterious cave of colours and shapes. You are filled with strange emotions that question you. You are trying to experience the confrontation with a work that has seduced you. And soon your mind will be free and all your senses will be awakened. The encounter with a work of art is always an experience. 

 

Our beautiful city of Liege offers us the opportunity to live this experience through many quality cultural places. Our museums are full of magnificent pieces that speak of our culture and know-how. Art galleries offer a more intimate approach to art by fostering a permanent dialogue between artists and their audiences. Many alternative cultural structures organise events that promote the artistic plurality of Liège, where musicians, designers, visual artists, graffiti artists, dancers,... gather in a spirit of sharing. 

 

And these are the values of our Liège culture: meeting and sharing. I have gathered on this page some places that I thought reflected this philosophy. This page will be built over time and through my encounters with passionate artists and exciting spaces. My goal is to make them known to visitors to our city in order to transmit the richness and dynamism of Liège's cultural creativity.  Enjoy your visit.



MUSEUMS

LA BOVERIE: Museum of Modern Art

 

Just a stone's throw from home, La Boverie is located in the pretty park of the same name. This museum of modern art has been restored by the architect Rudy Ricciotti with respect for the existing building but with a very contemporary architectural renewal. 

 

The museum houses the Fine Arts collections but also a space for temporary exhibitions in collaboration with Le Louvre. 



MUSEUM GRAND CURTIUS: 7000 years of art and history

 

A symbol of the Mosan Renaissance, this architectural jewel is an exceptional museum complex whose collections trace Liège's historical past. The "Religious and Mosan Art" department houses particularly beautiful pieces. The virgin with the child, known as Ponthoz, is of all beauty and infinite delicacy, it is one of my favourites.


LA CITE MIROIR: a place to remember 

 

An exceptional cultural site located in the former baths and thermal baths of La Sauvenière where humanity and memory are honoured. Conferences, exhibitions and debates are organised there. The permanent exhibition "Never Again" retraces the journey of the deportees to the Nazi camps. A strong and moving experience that does not leave you indifferent.


Architecture: The liner-style building, built in the 1940s, is worth a visit on its own.  The pool room is remarkable. Several metres high, it is illuminated by a large glass roof and a translucent concrete vault that dominates the façade. It remained abandoned for many years, but was finally saved thanks to an impressive renovation from 2009 to 2014 and classified as a cultural heritage site in Wallonia.


WALLOON LIFE MUSEUM: in the heart of Liège traditions

 

A museum to discover a region from the 19th century to the present day. It deals with history and the economy but also with the culture and traditions that have enriched and contributed to the evolution of the Walloon people over the years.



THE MUSEUM OF ANSEMBOURG, an 18th century mansion house

 

Located in a private mansion once owned by a wealthy banker, this museum is a fine example of 18th century bourgeois architecture. The furniture, decoration and architecture bear witness to the know-how of the Liège craftsmen of the time. The sculpted panelling, tapestries, as well as pieces of silversmith's work, watchmaking and glassware, reflect a refined art of living and the richness of the decorative arts in Liege at that time. A stroll through this beautiful architectural complex will immerse you in an elegant French-style atmosphere.



OTHER MUSEUMS TO DISCOVER

 

The archeoforum: Underground remains 

The Mulum: The magic of light

The Grétry Museum: Back to the origins of the master of comic opera

The aquarium: The enchantment of the aquatic world

The Sart-Tilman Open Air Museum: An artistic walk in the green

The Design Centre: A showcase for designers

 

The Madmusée: A place of extraordinary creativity


THE CHURCH CIRCUIT

"How about we restore religious art to the taste of your walks?"

Today's culture is shaped by yesterday's. Liege is a city that has based its cultural reputation on its religious heritage since the year 1000, notably through its many churches, seven of which have been named after collegiate churches in accordance with their size and power. This heritage remains an important element in the development of today's cultural and tourist life. Each place reflects part of our history and bears witness to a rich past that has enabled the city to build itself culturally. We cannot forget them and we must continue to beautify them. 

 

We recommend a visit to Saint Paul's Cathedral for its Gothic style, stained glass windows, cloister and treasure, Saint James' Church for its flamboyant Gothic style and Italian Renaissance portal, Saint Martin's Basilica for its tower from which you can admire a magnificent view of the city and Saint Bartholomew's Church for its twin Rhineland style towers and famous baptismal font.

 

Also to be seen: The Church of Saint Denis - Sainte Croix - Saint Jean The evangelist - The Treasure of the Cathedral






SAINT BARTHELEMY AND THE BAPTISMAL FONT:

a major work of art

 

 

Considered as a true masterpiece of 12th century Mosan art, a technical and aesthetic feat worthy of the "7 seven wonders of Belgium", the baptismal font is part of the cultural heritage of Liège that must be seen.



THE CATHEDRAL TREASURY: a hidden treasure

 

At the back of the cathedral you cannot imagine that such a treasure is hidden. The place is well named. There are magnificent pieces from the old Saint Lambert Cathedral. Other pieces come from the religious heritage decorating Liège churches since the Middle Ages, such as Byzantine and Mosan ivories, reliquaries, silverware, but also 2 major pieces, namely the reliquary bust of Saint Lambert and the reliquary of Charles le Téméraire, prestigious witnesses of the late Gothic period. 



ART GALLERIES

"Every artist has a story to tell and a universe to share."

A place of meeting and reflection, the art gallery offers a space for permanent dialogue between the public and artists, whether they are from Liège or abroad. Each artist has a story to tell and a universe to share that arouses an emotion in us. Feel free to open the door to art galleries. It is also an opportunity to discover less well-known and more exclusive places. Art is increasingly exhibited in unusual or historic places, such as an elegant 19th century mansion or a converted industrial building.

THE BREAKERS

 

Both an experimental venue and an art gallery, Les Brasseurs offers a reflection on contemporary art by offering cycles of individual or collective exhibitions.

 



NADJA VILENNE GALLERY

 

Located in a former industrial building (a bicycle factory), this gallery is one of the most important places of contemporary art in Liege. The owner of the premises exhibits internationally renowned artists, often Belgian, sometimes foreigners.

 



OTHER PLACES TO DISCOVER 

 

Yoko Uhoda Gallery: Exhibitions of Liège and international emerging artists. Collaboration with the Gagosian Gallery

Galerie Flux: Facing an architectural UFO that is the station, a beautiful gallery that challenges without taboos

Quai 4 Gallery: In a beautiful mansion facing the Meuse

Galerie Saint Remy: At the bend of an alleyway in the shade of the cathedral

Les Drapiers: In the heart of history at the foot of the Bueren mountain

Liehrmann Gallery: An eclectic choice in front of the philharmonic orchestra

Monos Galerie: A minimalist place where each work evolves in its own space

Gallery C d l t - Galerie Satellite - Galerie Francis Noël - La Société libre d'Emulation - Galerie Central - La Chataigneraie (CWAC)


ALTERNATIVE CULTURAL SITES

"Artistic meeting in the OFF districts"

Apart from traditional cultural institutions, there are "OFF" places, places open to all forms of creativity and to any artistic actor who wishes to integrate an interdisciplinary structure. These places are a tremendous source of creative urban development that deserves to be supported in their projects. There are exhibition halls, concerts, workshops, workshops, conferences-debates, artistic meetings, dance and theatre shows,... We encourage you to visit them because they are true ambassadors of Liège creativity.

Saint Leonard Alternative Zone

ESPACE 251 NORD: A place of contemporary art showcasing the Francophone scene

 

RAVI WORKSHOP: Artists' Residence

 

COMPTOIR DES RESSOURCES CREATIVES: An association "for creators, by creators"

 

SPACE 7 : Space for the promotion of local artists and environmentally friendly local products with a bio-canteen 

 

LE HANGAR: A place for concerts and exhibitions



Zone alternative En Roture

"En Roture" is a picturesque district whose pedestrian streets are lined with houses typical of the 17th century Mosan Renaissance, often becoming small restaurants or artists' studios. The "August 15th celebrations", which have always been an important event in the life of the people of Liège and which are in full swing for almost a week, are organised there, highlighting popular traditions.  

 

It is therefore no coincidence that the district is home to cultural sites such as KulturA, which brings together more than 30 associations to offer an eclectic programme. If music is given more prominence with 2 concert halls, there is also an art gallery and creative spaces. Many concerts are organized in psychedelic atmospheres..... and others. 

 

A stone's throw away, the Aquilone association is developing a participatory citizen approach. Giving a voice and opening up space to everyone, defending cultural diversity, promoting social cohesion through freedom of expression and creativity, these are some of the many objectives that the association has set itself since its creation in 1985. Theatre or painting workshops, concerts, conferences, exhibitions, all themes are covered as long as we talk about sharing and cultural encounters. A whole world of creative energy is therefore being developed in a district that is already heavily invested in respect for Liège culture.

 

 

AQUILONE, many cultural activities

 

KULTURA, music and creation

 

 



Alternative Zone Pierreuse

Pierreuse is a district of Liège that is part of the historical heritage built on the slopes of the citadel on the edge of the Bueren mountain. Its cobbled streets lined with old houses are full of secret corners that, in summer, reveal their charm. As you stroll along, you will come across a small 16th century chapel and its convent, remains of the old ramparts or hidden small courtyards. There is even a "secret" entrance to the path of the terraced gardens. Inhabited by notables in the 18th century as evidenced by the Fond Saint Servais, it became a popular district in the 19th century where taverns were well frequented. In the 20th century, immigrant populations took over the area and turned it into a lively multicultural district, creating various associations for social and economic integration over the years. 

BARRICADE in Stony

 

It is in this context that the Barricade association was created as a place for living, meeting and cultural emancipation. Its bookstore café "Entre-temps" welcomes you every afternoon to introduce you to their philosophy where human beings and social reflection are at the heart of the debates. A door to push without restraint on rue Pierreuse at N°15.



PLACES OF MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT

L'OPERA DE WALLONIE

 

The reputation of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie is well established. Its high quality programming attracts a discerning audience from Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The ORW also includes conferences and "Lyrical Apéros" with a theme around the show. And finally, the ORW has no shortage of imagination to raise children's awareness of opera. He organizes "L'opéra en pyjama" to experience a magical evening but also a "gourmet and musical brunch" for a fun introduction to opera. What a great idea! 

 


Architecture: The building, built in a neoclassical style in 1820, underwent an extraordinary renovation in 2009, both inside and out, offering acoustic technology that will make it one of the most modern operas in the world.


THE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA 

 

Since its foundation in 1960, the OPRL has become a true cultural institution. From Mozart to contemporary music, its directors have constantly sought to broaden the musical offer and multiply different forms of awareness of classical music. New concert formulas allow a wider audience to appreciate a demanding art through shorter concerts adapted to families, thematic festivals or educational initiations open to schools. This democratization makes the OPRL a cultural place that evolves with its time and audience. 

 

The OPRL website provides a wealth of very interesting information about its history, philosophy, programming, musicians, and many others. 


Architecture: the building was built at the end of the 19th century in an eclectic style combining different styles as was often the case at that time. In particular, there are architectural elements borrowed from the Renaissance.


THE REFLEKTOR

 

A stone's throw from the "Carré", the Reflektor is a concert hall located in the former "Bains de la Sauvenière" building, which also includes the Cité Miroir, which has become an essential cultural centre.

 

Reflektor offers an eclectic program ranging from rock to pop, house, metal and many other styles of music. Now a reference in the field, it hosts internationally renowned artists.



THE LIEGE JAZZ FESTIVAL

 

When we talk about music in Liege, we also talk about jazz and its famous festival. Since its creation in 1991 by Jean-Marie Peterkenne (thanks to him!) in the rooms of the Palais des Congrès, it has never stopped evolving to become an event present throughout the city. For 4 days in May, the pretty squares come alive to the rhythm of the saxophonists and the concert halls are filled with jazzy sounds. It is an event that we look forward to because it makes the city beautiful and joyful.



THE FESTIVAL OF THE ARDENTES

 

Thanks to its increasingly demanding programme, this festival has become the must-attend event of the summer for rock and pop lovers during 5 days in early July. Currently located on the banks of the Meuse at the northern entrance to the city, it is looking for a new space better adapted to an ever-growing and eclectic public in search of new musical and artistic experiences.


LE SUPERVUE FESTIVAL

 

A crush on this alternative micro-festival, which brings together in a very relaxed atmosphere a variety of artistic expressions combining music, dance and the visual arts. Installed on an old slag heap on the heights of the city, the place is also explosive!



OTHER PLACES TO DISCOVER

 

Jacques Pelzer jazz club: In the house where the famous saxophonist from Liège lived and composed his most beautiful repertoires, partly shared with his friend Chet Baker  

 

L'An vert: Art and essay workshop in the typical Outremeuse district

 

Le blues sphere: Blues concerts and African music with a "Blues School" every Wednesday and "Jams-sessions" where everyone can perform under the sign of improvisation.

 

The Microfestival: In Espace 251 Nord under the guise of a Liège-style celebration and against a backdrop of an eco-responsible philosophy. What a great initiative!


THEATRE

LIEGE THEATRE

 

In addition to a high-quality programme that makes it the "Première scène de Wallonie", the Théâtre de Liège also offers the "Festival Emulation" and the Biennale "Pays de danses", two major events of international renown. Serge Rangoni, its director since 2004, has given the institution a reputation that extends beyond our borders and from which Belgian artists benefit. In addition, the stage of the Liège theatre attracts the most talented actors from all over the world. Its collaboration with foreign cultural institutions such as the Avignon Festival allows synergies and a dynamic in constant evolution.


The architecture of the building: The original building hosted since the 18th century the Société Libre d'Emulation promoting the Arts and Letters. Completely destroyed during the war in 1914, it was rebuilt in 1939 in a neoclassical style and then completely restored in the 2000s. It is in 2013 that the Liège theatre definitively settles in, benefiting from a brand new and modern installation. On site you will find a bookshop specialising in the literary and artistic movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Café des Arts also welcomes you in a contemporary spirit with Jean Prouvé furniture. 

THE FORUM

 

An essential place on the Liège art scene, the Forum has been taking on Parisian tunes to host music-hall shows and operettas since 1922. The Forum will then welcome the greatest names in French song, from Jacques Brel to Charles Aznavour, Edith Piaf or Barbara, creating a magical atmosphere in a magical setting. On the stage stage we will see Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pierre Arditi, Jean Piat and Robert Hossein performing. Today, whether it is theatre, music or variety, the show is permanent. The Forum will continue to attract the world's greatest artists and thrill a loyal and demanding audience.


The architecture of the building: The Forum's beautifully renovated 1920s Art Deco building is the starting point for its wonderful adventure. The red carpets, the sparkling lights, the golden mouldings, the exuberant floral and geometric motifs, make it an extraordinary and warm place to enjoy the magic of the show.  


LE FESTIVAL DE LIEGE

 

"A festival questions the present". This perfectly summarises the philosophy of this committed festival: understanding the world, questioning, opening up to other cultures, fighting for the best... Faced with the human madness that is going on in our time, the Festival de Liège takes an inquisitive look at the values of our society. The planning is strong, perhaps sometimes disturbing, and pushes us to reflect on the real basis of our actions. Isn't that one of the essential vocations of art? The Festival de Liège is also "Factory", a festival within the festival to discover emerging companies. The troops come from all over the world and develop stimulating cultural synergies. The Festival de Liège is a unique cultural and intellectual event that generates a personal experience from which one cannot escape unscathed.


The architecture of the building: A place that questions the past, could we think of this huge room ? Each place has its own history, whether it is from yesterday or today.  The Festival takes place at the "Manège", former stables dating from 1837 adjoining the Fonck barracks, which has now become an art school and university of architecture. Impressive in its height and wooden structure, the hall has undergone a major renovation and in 2009 it was converted into a modern performance venue with high-performance scenographic equipment. Many cultural events are now taking place in the area, such as "Les Hivernales de la danse".


OTHER PLACES TO DISCOVER

 

Small neighbourhood theatres: Théâtre du Trocadéro - Théâtre Arlequin - Théâtre de l'Aléna - Théâtre de l'Etuve - Théâtre le Moderne - Théâtre Proscenium - Théâtre universitaire royal de Liège - la Courte échelle - Comédie Centrale


CULTURAL TOURS

The city of Liège organises quality guided tours on a wide range of themes: college tours, visits to the historic centre, the hillsides of the citadel, and even a Street art tour that is developing more and more.

 

Also Gastronomy, music (chimes and organs) and literature (Simenon in Outremeuse), gardens, local history, foklore and traditions are discussed.

 

Discover the complete schedule of guided tours of Liège

 

We pinned the following visits in 2019:

 

The church of Saint Jacques from top to bottom on 25/04

Discovering sgraffiti on 06/07

The church of Saint Jacques, a jewel of flamboyant Gothic style on 28/11

Street Art in Liege on 09/02 and 12/10

Saint Barthélemy collegiate church on 24/02 and 09/11

The underside of the cybernetic tower and the wall of lights of the Palais des congrès on 06/04, 01/06 and 21/09

The underside of Saint Paul's Cathedral on 30/03, 22/06 and 26/10

Meeting the delicacies of Liege on 27/04 and 26/10

Discover the city through its taverns and bistros on 31/03, 09/06 and 27/10

Unusual corners of the city on 03/03, 15/06, 21/09, 13/10

Burning Liege, naughty visit in anecdotes (discovery of the sulphurous past of the burning city) on 02/02, 09/02, 16/02 and 10/08

Behind the scenes at Bank Delen on 15/02

The patrician residences on 10/03

The Simenon Liege on 17/03 and 16/11

Liege running on 22/12


PLATFORMS AND INITIATIVES TO DISCOVER THE CITY

FOUR THOUSAND

 

We love this interactive and innovative cultural media dedicated to culture and entertainment. The agenda is very complete, the team is dynamic, the articles are dense and well written, the photos are superb. Feel free to visit this site which is a real gold mine of information.


For more information on the activities and cultural agenda in Liège, consult the following websites: 

 

Visit Liège: a very complete platform of everything that happens, is done, is discovered, at the cultural and tourist level 

Liège Tourism: the official website of the tourist office of the Province of Liège

The Museums of Liege: A repertoire of the museums of Liege and its activities such as workshops, concerts, conferences,...

Todayinliege: daily news

Culture Liège: Another beautiful cultural showcase

Creative Liège: Forum on creativity linked to Liège entrepreneurship

Visit with a greeter: Visit Liège with a local

The good plans of the people of Liège: The site of the brave people of Liège, proud to be a part of it and a bon vivant