Liège (province)

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German: Lüttich
Dutch: Luik
Province of Belgium
Flag of Liège
Coat of arms of Liège
Coat of arms
Location of Liège
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 Liège
 • Governor Michel Foret
 • Total 3,844 km2 (1,484 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 1,083,400
 • Density 280/km2 (730/sq mi)
Website Official site

Liège (French: [ljɛʒ]; Walloon: Lîdje; Dutch: Luik, IPA: [lʌʊ̈k]; German: Lüttich, IPA: [ˈlʏtɪç]) is the easternmost province of Wallonia and Belgium.

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 capital of the province is the city of the same name Liège.


The modern borders of the province of Liège date from 1795 with 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 Liege 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 Liege wine industry from competing with the French wine industry.

After Napoleon’s Defeat in 1815, Liege became part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Liege University scholars helped write the new Dutch constitution after the Napoleonic Wars[citation needed]. Despite these contributions there was a widespread perception among the people of Liege 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. Liege intellectuals responded to these events by contacting Waloon 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 formed the basis of the regions 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, Liege’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. 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 allied troops. Malmedy and Saint-Vith in peculiar saw intense battles against the Nazis.

Liège’s heavy industry thrived in the 1950 and 1960's[citation needed]but has been in decline since. Liege is the last city of Wallonia to still have 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].


The province has an area of 3,844 square kilometres (1,484 sq mi), which is divided into four administrative districts (arrondissements in French) containing a total of 84 municipalities.


The Province of Liège is divided into four administrative arrondissements:


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

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

List of Governors[edit]


External links[edit]