On the banks of the Meuse in the "old city" district, this is the vastly impressive home of a 17th-century patrician/industrialist, Jean Curtius, now transformed into an archaeological museum of the Mosan (Meuse-related) area; it is among the truly important museums of Belgium. Its ground floor displays the most ancient treasures: Merovingian jewelry and swords, as colorful and decorative as modern art, yet of the 6th century; Carolingian coins and rings, the surprising splendor and radiance—contrary to everything we've been taught—of the early middle ages; and then, from yet an earlier time, Gallo-Roman tomb objects from excavations in Liege: little metal bulls, lobsters, fish people, heads of the Roman gods, coins. Upstairs, the times move forward to the days of the extraordinarily capable Bishop Notger (late 900s), about whom the Liegeois say "we owe Notger to God, and everything else to Notger"; three recognized masterpieces here are associated with him or his times: the Evangeliary (prayer book) of Notger, with sculpted ivory cover, displayed in a glass, temperature-controlled case; the Dom Rupert Virgin; and the Mystery of Apollo. As the centuries unfold in lavishly-furnished exhibit rooms, we see portraits of those other remarkable Prince-Bishops of Liege, the actual, richly-embroidered clothing of 18th-century courtiers, the decorative arts of wealthy Liege in the days of its greatest influence. We leave with a sense of the historic role played by the unusual "Principality of Liege", from an impressive museum.
Le Grand Curtius
13 Quai de Maestricht
Our Rating Hours Wed–Mon 10 to 6 p.m Phone 00 32 4 221 68 00 Prices Admission 9€, adult, 5€ seniors and students, free to children under 12 Web site Le Grand Curtius
Map13 Quai de Maestricht Liege
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.