Liège Province

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Liège  (French)
Lüttich  (German)
Luik  (Dutch)
Lîdje  (Walloon)
Flag of Liège  (French)
Coat of arms of Liège  (French)
Location of Liège  (French)
Coordinates: 50°38′N 05°34′E / 50.633°N 5.567°E / 50.633; 5.567Coordinates: 50°38′N 05°34′E / 50.633°N 5.567°E / 50.633; 5.567
Country Belgium
Region Wallonia
Capital
(and largest city)
Liège
Government
 • GovernorHervé Jamar
Area
 • Total3,857 km2 (1,489 sq mi)
Population
 (1 January 2019)[2]
 • Total1,106,992
 • Density290/km2 (740/sq mi)
HDI (2019)0.903[3]
very high · 8th
WebsiteOfficial site

Liège (French: [ljɛʒ] (About this soundlisten); Walloon: Lîdje [liːtʃ]; Dutch: Luik [lœyk] (About this soundlisten); German: Lüttich [ˈlʏtɪç] (About this soundlisten)) is the easternmost province of Wallonia and Belgium.

Liège Province is the only Belgian province that has borders with three countries. It borders (clockwise from the north) the Dutch province of Limburg, the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, Clervaux (canton) in Luxembourg, the Belgian Walloon (French-speaking) provinces of Luxembourg, Namur and Walloon Brabant and the Belgian Flemish (Dutch-speaking) provinces of Flemish Brabant and Limburg.

Part of the eastern-most area of the province, bordering Germany, is the German-speaking region of Eupen-Malmedy, which became part of Belgium in the aftermath of World War I.

The capital and the largest city of the province is the city of the same name, Liège. The province has an area of 3,857 km2 (1,489 sq mi), and a population of 1,106,992 as of January 2019.[4]

History[edit]

The modern borders of the province of Liège date from 1795, which saw the unification of the Principality of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège with the revolutionary French Department of the Ourthe (sometimes spelled Ourte). (Parts of the old Principality of Liège also went into new French départements Meuse-Inférieure, and Sambre-et-Meuse.)

The province of Ourthe, as it was known then, was under French control during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon visited the city during one of his campaigns and ordered the destruction of its vineyards in order to prevent the Liège wine industry from competing with its French counterpart.

Following Napoleon's fall from power in 1815, Liège became part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while eastern half of modern Verviers became part of the Kingdom of Prussia. Liège University scholars helped to write the new Dutch constitution after the Napoleonic Wars[citation needed]. Despite these contributions there was a widespread perception among the people of Liège that they were discriminated against by the Dutch government due to religious and language differences.

In September 1830, rumors spread that Walloons in Brussels were expelling the Dutch. Liège intellectuals responded to these events by contacting Walloon scholars living in Paris to discuss Belgian independence. A militia was formed to press these demands led by Charlier "Wooden Leg" leading (eventually) to the formation of an independent Kingdom of Belgium.

In the 19th Century, the province was an early center of the Industrial Revolution. Its rich coal deposits and steel factories helped Belgium to form the basis of the region's increasing economic power.

During the 20th century, due to Liège's borders with Germany, it saw fierce fighting in both World Wars. In World War I, Liège's strong line of reinforced concrete military forts temporarily halted the German advance through Belgium, giving time to construct trenches in Flanders which subsequently saw some of the worst fighting of that war. It also saw some of the war’s worst civilian casualties as the Imperial German Army performed collective punishments against local villagers for acts of resistance.[5]

In World War II, Liège was the site of major fighting during the Battle of the Bulge. There, the Germans orchestrated their final offensive move against the combined Allied armies. Malmedy and Saint-Vith in particular saw intense battles against the Nazis. Malmedy was the site of a Waffen-SS massacre of U.S. Army prisoners of war.

Liège's heavy industry thrived in the 1950s and 1960s[citation needed]but this has been in steady decline since that time. Liège is the last city of Wallonia that still maintains a functioning steel industry.

Liège continues to be the economic and cultural capital of Wallonia, with its university, medieval heritage and heavy industry[citation needed].

Politics[edit]

Provincial Council[edit]

2006–2012[edit]

Composition du Conseil Provincial de Liège - Législature 2006-2012.svg

Party Seats
Parti socialiste 32
Mouvement réformateur 24
Centre démocrate humaniste 13
Ecolo 11
Christlich Soziale Partei 2
National Front 1
Sozialistische Partei 1

2012–2018[edit]

Composition du Conseil Provincial de Liège - Législature 2012-2018.svg

Party Seats
Parti socialiste 20
Mouvement réformateur 17
Centre démocrate humaniste 7
Ecolo 8
Parti du travail de Belgique 2
Christlich Soziale Partei 1
Sozialistische Partei 1

2018–2024[edit]

[6] Composition du Conseil Provincial de Liège - Législature 2018-2024.svg

Party Seats
PS-SP 17
Mouvement réformateur 15
Ecolo 12
CDH-CSP 6
Parti du travail de Belgique 6

Economy[edit]

The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the province was 31.6 billion € in 2018, accounting for 6.9% of Belgiums economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 25,200 € or 84% of the EU27 average in the same year. GDP per person employed was 108% of the EU27 average.[7]

Subdivisions[edit]

The province has an area of 3,857 square kilometres (1,489 sq mi), which is divided into four administrative districts (arrondissements in French) containing a total of 84 municipalities.

Arrondissements[edit]

The Province of Liège is divided into four administrative arrondissements:

Municipalities[edit]

Map of the municipalities in Liège
The Coo Waterfalls (municipality of Stavelot)

Municipalities that have city status have a (city) behind their name.

Nine municipalities of Liège form the German-speaking Community of Belgium. From north to south they are: Kelmis (43), Lontzen (48), Raeren (60), Eupen (27), Bütgenbach (17), Büllingen (14), Amel (2), Sankt Vith (64), and Burg-Reuland (16) municipalities. Malmedy (49) and Waimes (80) are municipalities with language facilities for German speakers. The other municipalities of Liège are part of the French Community of Belgium.

List of governors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Be.STAT".
  2. ^ "Structuur van de bevolking | Statbel".
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab".
  4. ^ "Structuur van de bevolking | Statbel".
  5. ^ Hastings, Max (2013). Catastrophe 1914 : Europe goes to war (1st American ed.). New York. ISBN 978-0-307-59705-2. OCLC 828893101.
  6. ^ "Conseil provincial | Province de Liège". Mobilité durable | Province de Liège (in French). Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  7. ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.

External links[edit]