I. A Province Flem. Luikerland (Of Belgium), bounded N. by Belgian and Dutch Limburg, E. by Rhenish Prussia, S. by Belgian Luxemburg, and. S. W. and W. by Namur and Brabant; area, 1,119 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 592,177, nearly all Walloons and Roman Catholics. The W. portion is a fertile plain, while the S. and E. parts, which are traversed by an offshoot of the Ardennes, are woody, rocky, and hilly. The principal rivers are the Meuse and the Ourthe. The province is rich in potatoes, in sheep and cattle, and in mines and mineral springs, of which those of Chaudfontaine and Spa are the most celebrated. The chief manufactures are cotton goods, cloth, straw hats, wooden, glass, steel, and iron ware, surgical instruments, machines, and firearms. The principal places are Liege, Verviers, Seraing, and Huy.
II. A City (Flem. Luik), capital of the province, in the middle of a plain surrounded by mountains, at the junction of the Meuse and the Ourthe, 56 m. E. S. E. of Brussels and 23 m. W. S. W. of Aix-la-Cha-pelle; pop. in 1870,106,442. The Meuse, which is here crossed by four bridges, separates Liege into the old or upper and the new or lower town. The streets, excepting in the new part of the town and in some of the ten suburbs, are steep and narrow. The houses, which have a smoky and dingy appearance, are generally so high as to exclude the sun and confine the air. There are however 11 public squares, and the quays along the river afford pleasant promenades. The city is defended on the N. W. by a large citadel built on Mt. St. Wal-burge, and on the S. E. by Fort Chartreuse. The church of St. Jacques is the most remarkable architectural monument, its magnificent interior containing some of the finest specimens of tracery and fretwork in the world. There are more than 20 Roman Catholic churches, and a place of worship for Protestants. The palate de justice, formerly the palace of the prince bishop, occupying one side of the Place St. Lambert, built in 1533, is of imposing appearance, with a portico of composite columns, each carved with a different pattern.
Liege is rich in educational, charitable, literary, and artistic institutions. The University place is adorned by statues of the native composer Gretry and the geologist Du-mont; it also contains a botanic garden and various public buildings, besides the university. The latter, founded by the king of Holland in 1817, is attended by about 500 students. Connected with it are a school of mining and a polytechnic school (ecole des arts et manufactures). There are also an academy of painting, a conservatory of music, a theological seminary, a royal gymnasium, an institution for the deaf and dumb, a chamber of commerce, and a commercial tribunal. Liege, from its extensive iron works, and from its situation in a district abounding with coal and iron, has acquired the title of the Birmingham of Belgium. The neighboring village of Se-raing is a focus of industry, iron furnaces, forges, and coal mines, the chief being the establishment formed by John Cockerill, an English engineer, and now conducted by a company. Glons, a village N. of Liege, is the centre of a great straw hat manufacture, employing more than 6,000 persons; and 3 m. from the town is Herstal, from which Pepin the Fat took his name D'Heristal, and which is important for its steel works, coal mines, and iron founderies.
The manufactures in and around the town include hardware, broadcloth, glass, leather, nails, steam engines, and all sorts of machinery, carriages, and linen and cotton goods. The manufacture of firearms, however, is that for which Liege and its environs are most celebrated. The royal cannon foundery was established there in 1802. - A village named Legia or Leodium occupied the site of the town in the 7th century. At the beginning of the 8th it became the seat of a bishop, who in the 10th was raised to the rank of an independent sovereign prince by the German emperor. At the beginning of the 12th the chapter of St. Lambert cathedral in Liege was the noblest in Europe. In 1212 Henry L, duke of Brabant, captured the city and pillaged it for six successive days. The struggles of the Liegeois with their bishops and the dukes of Burgundy are described in Scott's "Quentin Durward." Charles the Bold, to protect the bishop Louis de Bourbon, inflicted severe punishment upon his mutinous subjects by abridging their privileges and demolishing all the fortifications. In 1468, the citizens having resumed their rebellious conduct, Charles condemned the town to destruction, and all the buildings except churches and monasteries were burned and many of the inhabitants slaughtered.
Louis of Bourbon was murdered in 1482 by William de la Marck, the "wild boar of the Ardennes," who wished to obtain the mitre for his son. But the audacity of the bishops was not easily to be subdued, and one of them declared war against Louis XIV., in consequence of which the town was taken by the French. Marshal Bouflers bombarded it for five days in 1691, and eventually abandoned it to the duke of Marlborough, who stormed the citadel, Oct. 23, 1702. The bishops were expelled on the outbreak of the French revolution in 1789, but reinstated by Austrian troops. In 1794 Liege was annexed to France, and was comprised in the department of Ourthe till 1814, when it was included in the new kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1830 the Liegeois were the most enthusiastic in advocating the national independence of Belgium.
Court of the Palais de Justice, Liege.