Wander through the streets at the heart of the oldest quarters of the city illuminated with over 22,000 candles. The fluttering lights covering every corner of the old city create a special atmosphere ideal for a couple looking for the perfect weekend.
The majestic Citadel of Liège has guarded over the city since the 13th century, sitting 100 metres high above the meandering Meuse river. But every year, on the first Saturday of October, as the sun slowly sets, the waves of ‘coteaux’ hillsides descending down from the Citadel to Liège’s historic centre, refuse to fall into darkness.
Instead a magical, fairytale illumination of some 22,000 candles and flaming torches light up the never-ending Montagne de Bueren staircase of 374 steep steps that plunge down from the Citadel, as well as a labyrinth of courtyards and alleyways, historic monuments, and ancient convents and cloisters, medieval terraces, hanging gardens and orchards, with narrow paths weaving through fields and meadows.
This is La Nocturne des Coteaux, a unique event inaugurated twenty four years ago that for a single night turns Liège into a romantic City of Light. What began as a tranquil festival essentially for the local Liègeois now attracts some 50,000 visitors, with English, Italian, German and Spanish mixing in with the gentle Walloon dialect. The illuminations are still burning brightly after midnight, with spectators entranced by musicians, street theatre, art displays that are performed right up to the St Leonard quay of the Meuse, with a dazzling firework display lighting up the sky at 10.30pm. For one enchanting evening Liège reveals itself as you have never seen it before.
The liveliest district in Liège is ‘Outre-Meuse’, a favourite haunt of the great 20th century author Georges Simenon, who created Inspector Maigret. (Famous Belgian )
On Sunday mornings, the extraordinary La Batte street market stretches for over a mile, and it’s impossible to walk that mile without finding something you’ve always wanted. The cafes and bistros are full of life and noise until late in the evening.
Liège has the largest pedestrian shopping zone in Europe. The exclusive square Le Carré is the place to go for luxury brands and fine foods, but venture a short distance from the main drag and you’ll find unique and/or bizarre boutiques where Belgium’s young creatives show off their wares.
Liège is also the perfect place to enjoy opera and classical music. The ‘Théâtre Royal’ was built in 1820 by architect A. Duckers. This splendid building was listed as cultural heritage in 1999 and can sit a thousand guests. Fully renovated in 2012, this beautiful concert hall with its Italian architecture shines again in all its glory. The work done allows the event space to be more polyvalent and host more modern productions.
The Pentahotel Liège is a trendy, lifestyle-orientated 4-star hotel with 105 spacious and super-equipped rooms located in the city centre of the city. It offers an innovative lifestyle hotel concept, ideally located in the historical district of Liège, a stone's throw from the shopping centre of Place Saint-Lambert, the Opera and the famous ‘Carré’ (pedestrian area with shops, bars, restaurants) . A cool harmony between design and warmth, the Penta lounge is the centre feature of this cool establishment. A cosy space with billiards, library, video games, Chesterfield sofa spaces and fireplaces where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast. The restaurant is renowned for its beef and its famous "Pentaburger" The rooms are contemporary, spacious and comfortable: extra-king size beds measuring 2.20m wide, Italian shower rooms and ‘Anatomical’ bath products, all designated by Matteo Thun. Hotel has also a fitness room.
Belgium’s latest fine arts museum is now open in Liège, in partnership with the Louvre in Paris. Overlooking the River Meuse, and located in a delightful park the Boverie has been entirely redesigned and now features an innovative glass extension by Rudy Ricciotti, the architect behind the European and Mediterranean Civilisations Museum in Marseilles. While one level of the museum contains the city’s impressive collection of Fine Arts, another is devoted to temporary exhibitions.
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