BELGIUM – When many people think of Liège, they imagine something like Charleroi, another Belgian town which is famous for its defunct industry and urban decay. But what they think is Liège is actually Seraing, a municipality made up of three industrial towns in the Meuse valley to the south-west of the city. The most noticeable of these is Ougrée, which is clustered around a high viaduct carrying the Route du Condroz, an important road from the south.
View of the Meuse river from a street that climbs the wooded hill of Sart-Tilman, where the University of Liège is located:
The viaduct carrying the Route du Condroz is visible on the left:
Ougrée’s most noticeable landmark is the Cockerill steel mill, which stretches along the Meuse for approximately three kilometers between Ougrée and Seraing:
English industrialist John Cockerill opened the first steel mill in Seraing in 1821, making it one of the oldest in the world outside the United Kingdom.
Arcelor, the multinational that owned the Cockerill-Sambre company, was bought by Indian steel giant Mittal in 2006, which closed the factories in Seraing and Ougrée in 2011. This was bad for employment in the region, but caused a significant improvement in air quality.
A small church opposite the steel mill:
The railway line which runs through the steel mill was reopened to passenger traffic since I left Liège in December 2017
The Kinkempois shunting yard seen from the bridge the last picture was taken from
The Meuse and the steel mill
The bridge carrying the freight railway line to somewhere near Liège Airport:
A villa housing Cockerill offices
Tubes from the factories run between the houses in various places:
Much of the area is being cleared, and these houses have been demolished since I took this picture:
View from under the viaduct:
I think most of this has been cleared since I made this picture as well
A typical row of houses:
The neighbourhoods get richer as we go up the hill:
Looking towards Seraing (at the bottom of the hill) and Jemeppe-sur-Meuse (on the hills in the distance):
Looking towards Saint-Nicolas (on the hills in the distance):
I found a place which had the best view of the factories on a trip to Liège with a friend before I lived there (or had any clue I ever would). But I lost the pictures I made of it on a damaged hard disc, and couldn’t find the place again. So I was very happy that I finally found it in the last of 98 months I lived there:
The Basilica of Cointe, which is situated on the hill behind Liège-Guillemins station, and the roof of the new Tour des Finances (which houses the tax office) is visible in the background
The viaduct again, with the Standard de Liège football stadium (the red building) on the other side of the Meuse:
View back to the hill I pictures 1 and 2 were made from:
And lastly, a few evening shots of the place where this post started:
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