|Province of Belgium|
The Coo Waterfalls (municipality of Stavelot)
|• Governor||Michel Foret|
|• Total||3,844 km2 (1,484 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2012)|
|• Density||280/km2 (730/sq mi)|
It borders (clockwise from the north) Limburg in the Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, Diekirch in Luxembourg, and in Belgium the provinces of Luxembourg, Namur, Walloon Brabant (Wallonia), as well as those of Flemish Brabant and Limburg (Flanders).
It is an area of French and German ethnicity.
The province has an area of 3,844 km², which is divided into four administrative districts (arrondissements in French) containing 84 municipalities.
Its capital is its name giving city of Liège.
Municipalities that have city status have a (city) behind their name.
List of Governors
The modern borders of the province of Liège originated in 1795 in the unification of the Principality or Prince-Bishopric of Liège with the revolutionary France Department of the Ourthe (sometimes spelled Ourte). Most of the province traces its history to the Prince-Bishopric of Liège though. Prince-Bishopric of Liège was dissolved in 1795, when it was annexed by France. Its territory was divided over the départements Meuse-Inférieure, Ourthe, and Sambre-et-Meuse. Creating the modern boundaries of the Liege Province.
Liege was French under Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte who visited the city during one of his campaigns. He and his troops were welcomed with royal feasts. The Next morning, Napoleon having enjoyed the quality of Liege’s wines, ordered his troops to burn all the vineyards around Liege, in order to prevent the Liege wine industry from competing with the French wine industry. After Napoleon’s Defeat in 1815 at Waterloo the Liege province became part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Liege University scholars wrote the Dutch constitution. Despite Liege’s many contribution to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the people of Liege felt discriminated against by the Dutch because of their language (French) and their religion (Catholicism), were different from that of the Netherlands.
In September 1830, when rumors were heard that Brussels was expelling the Dutch, Liege intellectuals who had been in contact with Brussels scholars in Paris to talk about dreams of a free Belgium, quickly rallied the people of the city and formed a militia to march to the rescue of their Brussels fellows in their struggle against the Dutch. They brought along an old piece of artillery and it’s operator, Charlier Wooden Leg, who was a veteran from Napoleon’s armies, and who indeed had a wooden leg. Charlier Wooden Leg and his cannon received much of the credit for the Belgian’s victory in Park Royal, where he literally blew the Dutch soldiers away. Brussels was free and Belgium was being formed. Many of Belgium’s founding fathers came from Liege. In the 19th Century, Liege Province was a pioneer region in the Continental Europe Industrial Revolution. It’s rich coal deposits and John Cockerill’s steel factories help put Liege and Belgium on the map as an economic powerhouse to be reckoned with. In the 20th century, the Liege Province, which borders Germany was the first to be attacked in two world wars by the Germans. In World War I, Liege’s strong line of reinforced concrete military forts halted the German’s conquest of Belgium for a few days, giving time to the King and the rest of the Army to dig their trenches in Flanders and line up for the Flanders Field Battles. In world War II, Liege was the Allies’ key and final objective in the Battle of the Bulge. There the Germans orchestrated their final counterstrike and offensive move against allied troops. The battle of the Bulge saw many Belgians and Americans die alongside in the cause of freedom. When the US troops arrived in Liege, the people of the city flooded the streets, kissed the Americans, danced on tanks with them. Malmedy and Saint-Vith saw peculiarly intense battles against the Nazis.
Liege’s heavy industry thrived in the Golden Sixties. It has been declining ever since creating much unemployment and related social issues. However, Liege is the last city of Wallonia to still have a functioning steel industry. Liege Continues to be the economic and cultural capital of Wallonia with its university, its medieval heritage, its ailing but still functioning heavy industry. The Province has many projects to redevelop Liege and make it once again the light upon a hill it has been on so many occasions in the past 1200 years[clarification needed].
- Population per municipality on 1 January 2012 (XLS; 214 KB)
- Official web site of the Liège province (French) (German)
- Bureau des Relations Extérieures de la Province de Liège (French)