Liège is situated on the Meuse River in eastern Belgium. It is the capital of Liège province, as well as the most prominent Francophone community within Belgium.
Liège was known to the Romans, who called it Leodium, but according to legend it owes its origins to St Lambert, bishop of Maastricht who was murdered there in AD 705. St Hubert then decided to make Liège the capital of a new bishopric, and the city was to be ruled by bishop-princes for several centuries.
Notger was the first bishop to exercise secular as well as spiritual authority, and under his rule the city developed into a major intellectual centre. Since Liège was ruled over by a bishop-prince it rapidly assumed an identity independent of its powerful neighbours—Germany and France, and the city frequently had to defend its independence from their incursions. Liège was twice sacked by Charles the Bold during the fifteenth century, but after his death the city began to prosper again. However the...