Visé

Centre of gravity of the Euregio

Vise enjoys an ideal geographical setting: halfway between Maastricht and Liege and some 40 kms from Aachen and Hasselt, it is the very centre of the Maas-Rhine Euregio. Perfectly linked by water (the Albert and Maas canal)  rail and road, its is only a few miles away from the Bierset and Beek airports.

Outside this exceptional location, Vise can boast its very own charm: the Maas River and the Robinson island are its best-known sites but its monuments also reflect, in spite of the destructions, its rich and glorious past. 

Its location also made Vise a town of shops, cafes and restaurants with friendly and attractive terraces. The town is particularly animated when the old harquebusiers and crossbow companies march around town for the celebrations of St George and St Martin or for their traditional summer parade. Vise is also the St Pierre Mountain, a natural reserve where bats and orchids attract specialists of wildlife worldwide.

Vise is also the most northernly francophone part of Europe.

Web sites

Pop: 17,000
Commune of the Province of Liege (Belgium)
Economy
: trade and commerce.
Specialties
: goose.
Sport
: RCS Visé (football 2nd division), Femina Visé (handball)
Celebrities
: St Hadelin, D’Artagnan.
Festivals
: Jazz festival, Bluemoon festival.

Timeline

  • 1st to 4th centuries

    A small village and a graveyard exist on the site
  • 780

    Charlemagne reign. First mention of the Vise church
  • 843

    Treaty o Verdun, modified by the Treaty of Meerssen in 870.
  • 1012-1015

    The domain of Visé is acquired by the chapter of the St Lambert cathedral.
  • 1040

    First mention of the Argenteau Castle.
  • 1330-1338

    The fortifications are completed. The St Hadelin relics are transferred to Visé.
  • 1347-1384

    Visé is besieged by the princes of Liege.
  • 1467-1468

    Visé is destroyed by Charles the Bold of Burgundy.
  • 1579

    Maastricht is seized by the Spaniards. The order of the Vise harquebusiers is created.
  • 1616-1650

    The canons of St Sepulchre and Recollets settle in Visé.
  • 1634-1643

    Argenteau is besieged by Spain. Gilles of Sarolea becomes lord of Cheratte.
  • 1673

    Visé is besieged by King of France Louis XIV. Musketeer D’Aragnan is killed during the siege.
  • 1790-1792

    Battle of the Visé Bridge. The French Revolutionaries enter in town
  • 1850-1867

    Building of the Liege to Maastricht canal. The Maas is equipped with dams and locks.
  • 1914

    Visé is occupied by the Germans and destroyed by fire
  • 1939

    The Albert canal is completed. The Phoney War starts.
  • 1958-1960

    A new lock puts and end to the “jam of Lanaye” the reluctant connection between Dutch and Belgian canals in Visé.
  • 1977

    Fusion of the communes of Visé, Argenteau, Cheratte, Lanaye, Lixhe and Richelle.
  • 1977-1979

    Closure of the Cheratte coalmine.
  • 1992

    Maastricht Treaty
Visé church - © Ville de Visé
Pop: 17,000
Commune of the Province of Liege (Belgium)
Economy
: trade and commerce.
Specialties
: goose.
Sport
: RCS Visé (football 2nd division), Femina Visé (handball)
Celebrities
: St Hadelin, D’Artagnan.
Festivals
: Jazz festival, Bluemoon festival.

Web sites

Visé and cycling

The peloton of the Tour will go around the Netherlands without entering them, as they border with the capital of Basse Meuse, situated halfway between Maastricht and Liege. The city of the goose, emblem of the city, the first new stage town of the 2012 Tour has gained experience by hosting the Tour of Belgium as well as the Tour de Wallonie and the Tour of the Province of Liège on several occasions. The most epic race finish in Visé was arguably a stage of the Tour of the Walloon region in 1998, which saw Davide Rebellin win ahead of Franck Vandenbroucke and Ludo Diercksens.

Pop: 17,000
Commune of the Province of Liege (Belgium)
Economy
: trade and commerce.
Specialties
: goose.
Sport
: RCS Visé (football 2nd division), Femina Visé (handball)
Celebrities
: St Hadelin, D’Artagnan.
Festivals
: Jazz festival, Bluemoon festival.

Web sites

What to see

The town hall

One of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings of the region, the Town Hall, built in 1611 and 1613, was seriously damaged during World War I. It was rebuilt in 1925 from plans by architect Jamar and restored in 2006.

The bulbous bell-tower, standing at 34 metres high, shelters chimes playing popular local tunes like "Le Valeureux Liegeois", which was the anthem of the Liege Revolution.

Above the porch can be found the armouries of the two mayors who built the hall: Frambach de la Haye et Denis de Marets de Charneux. Above them stand the statues of the patrons of the local guilds, St George and St Martin.

Argenteau castle

It was built in 1683 on the ruins of a previous 10th century castle destroyed by French forces in 1674. It once belonged to the Counts of Mercy-Argenteau, one of whom was Napoleon’s chamberlain. Many celebrities stayed in the castle, including composer Franz Liszt. The gardens boast a cedar tree planted in 1804.

The church

The first church was built in 779 thanks to the benevolence of Charlemagne’s sister Bertha. It was ravaged by a Norman raid in 881. It became a collegiate church after the arrival of canons from Celles in 1338, and became an integral part of the defensive structure. It rested on the city’s walls and had a fortified tower. But it did not resist the pillage of the town by the troops of Charles the Bold of Burgundy in 1467. Rebuilt in several phases, the church was again destroyed by fire by the Germans in 1914. Only the 1524 chancel and the apse’s stained glass windows were preserved.

St Hadelin reliquary

Hadelin was born in the early 7th century in Aquitaine and was a disciple of St Remacle, founder of the Stavelot Abbey. His wanderings led him to create an oratory in Celles, where he died in 690. A dozen canons stayed in the oratory to celebrate his memory. In 1046, Liege bishop Wason had the saint’s remains placed in a precious silver reliquary considered today as a masterpiece of the region’s art at the time. It was transferred to the Vise church in 1338 when the canons fled Celles and found refuge in the city. In 1414, St Hadelin’s skull was taken away to be placed in another reliquary designed by Liege goldsmith Jean Goeslin. Since 1788, Vise celebrates every 25 years the arrival of the reliquary in town. The next celebration will take place in 2013.  

The St Pierre mountain

At the border of Wallonia, Flanders and the Netherlands, the St Pierre Mountain is a picturesque region with its small villages, forts and castles and an extraordinary wildlife.

Visé bridge - © Ville de ViséVisé overview - © Ville de Visé
Pop: 17,000
Commune of the Province of Liege (Belgium)
Economy
: trade and commerce.
Specialties
: goose.
Sport
: RCS Visé (football 2nd division), Femina Visé (handball)
Celebrities
: St Hadelin, D’Artagnan.
Festivals
: Jazz festival, Bluemoon festival.

Web sites

City of the Goose

Rabbits are not especially glad to live in Tournai when comes the first Monday after the Epiphany, celebrated on January 6. It is called Lost Monday or Perjured Monday and an ancient tradition states that rabbit should be eaten that day, garnished with prunes and raisins.

Lost Monday was first mentioned in the 13th century, when the abbot of St Martin of Tournai noted that the wealthiest citizens gathered that day to dine together with their sons and elect a king. When the sovereign raised his glass, all the diners should do the same. The tradition apparently originates in the justice courts held by the local lords in the Middle Ages. Every citizen was summoned and asked to reveal crimes that might have been left unpunished, hence the expression Perjured Monday. The day became known as Lost Monday because it was a lost day for employers.

The dinner, based on the famous rabbit, is reminiscent of the meal offered by the lords at the end of the medieval courts. The people was invited to take part by bringing their own food.

Traditionally, the dinner begins with a small cabbage and cabbage. Then comes the famous rabbit, followed by salad. The meal ends with a King cake.

Visé geeses - © Ville de Visé
Pop: 17,000
Commune of the Province of Liege (Belgium)
Economy
: trade and commerce.
Specialties
: goose.
Sport
: RCS Visé (football 2nd division), Femina Visé (handball)
Celebrities
: St Hadelin, D’Artagnan.
Festivals
: Jazz festival, Bluemoon festival.

Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 5

Classifications after the stage 5

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