A tour through 9000 years of history under Place Saint Lambert
Liege is the daughter of the Legia, as well as of the Meuse. As centuries went by, a number of streams and rivers as gradually modified the relief of the valley sloping down from the Hesbaye plateau to the Meuse. Two of them, 'rieu de Coquefontaine' and 'rieu du Bois' flow together to form the Legia. At the source it is called Glain, Rèwe or Rieu (local words describing a stream) – only downstream does it become the “Legia”. The river formed an alluvial cone, a loamy ridge where Place Saint Lambert stands above the high water mark of the Meuse, sheltered from northern winds – with all of the qualities needed to make this natural site a crossing point and a place favourable to life.
In prehistory, men found useful resources here. Drinking water was taken from the river. The nearby hills provided game and wood for construction and heat. Moreover, from the Neolithic era, the valley floor was also used as grazing land for animals.
In the first century A.D., this fertile spot was chosen for the erection of a large Gallo-Roman Villa. Then came the first village in the High Middle Ages on the site of the martyr of St. Lambert. As the political and religious centre of Liege, Place Saint Lambert has lost none of its attraction in 9000 years..
Based on a text written by Mr. Joseph Deleuse.