Rediscovering Liège

Despite having a disputable bad reputation, Liège has a few charming corners that are well worth discovering, most of them located not far from the city centre.

In my view Liège has a potential that has been totally missed out. There is an interesting ensemble of medieval and Renaissance buildings, but the proliferation of shops selling low-quality products, the existence of a poor urban planning policy, and finally an insufficient heritage protection have caused the city to be outside many travellers’ route.

The economic success of Liège once lied in the importance of its iron and steel industry. When the need for restructuring arrived, Liège did not manage to adapt, and found its way down from glory to decline.

Nowadays Liège is still fighting to revive its former glory, that of a prominent industrial city. It should, likewise, enhance its own image, protecting and thus pushing up the value of its heritage.

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German cities: Part 3

What does the suffix burg (‘borough’, in English) mean when added to place names?

The incidence of these words as suffixes to place names usually indicates that they were once fortified settlements.

Hamburg, Lüneburg and Duisburg are not fortified settlements anymore, but modern cities located in western and northern Germany.

Even if they have common origins, they look quite different from each other today.
Hamburg is a cosmopolitan harbour city at the Elbe estuary;
Duisburg is a workers’ city in the centre of the Rhine-Ruhr industrial area;
And Lüneburg is a small old city kept out of the air raids of the World War II.


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Follow the links to see the Part 1 and Part 2 of this series of posts relating to German cities.


Storm in Maastricht 2.0

Similarly to what happened on Friday, last Saturday afternoon I was caught by a sudden downpour, and once again I took out my camera and photographed the picturesque skies that precede and follow the storm.

It is only 16th May, but the weather is really warm, and these downpours are happening quite often.

Summer is showing its face.

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Storm in Maastricht

Last Friday afternoon I happened to be walking around the river Maas when a big storm caught me by surprise.

Without an umbrella, I found shelter under a tree that somehow protected me from the pouring rain. This, however, did not avoid the fact that I ended up soaking wet. I must say though that it was well worth it! I have never had the chance before to make a full photographic report of a storm: the moment it stirs into life, the moment it breaks out, and finally the moment it fades away.

Threatening skies…

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The pouring rain…

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The calm after the storm…

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German cities: Part 2

Today I bring you two cities from Germany that apparently have nothing to do with each other: Münster and Dresden.

Münster is in western Germany, while Dresden is in eastern Germany. One was under the influence of capitalism after the World War II; the other one became communist.

Münster is a very lively city. It is full of students (and full of bikes!), being culturally closer to the Netherlands. Dresden is rather an artistic and tourist city, with plenty of worthy museums.

So what do these cities have in common?

Although you may guess it when going through the pictures, the historical parts of Münster and Dresden were both rebuilt after the World War II, unlike many other cities, by faithfully following the patterns in accordance with which they had first been designed.

Even if they cannot be objectively regarded as authentic, the buildings look almost the same as they were before the World War II.

But, what is authentic? Aren’t there many restoration works that, by adding new patterns and elements, detract greatly from an artwork’s value in terms of authenticity? What do you think?

Here below is the photographic report of Münster and Dresden. I hope you enjoy it.


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By clicking on the link you will see the Part 1 of this series of posts relating to German cities.

Thanks for stopping by,


Alkmaar cheese market

Alkmaar, a city in the north of the Netherlands, hosts every Friday from April to September its famous cheese market, dating back to the 16th century, when the cheese carriers’ guild was established here.

The cheese market consists nowadays of several stalls where cheese tasting can be done while watching perfomances that show how cheese traders worked in the past centuries. It is a very lively event that attracts quite many tourists (thanks also to the proximity of Alkmaar to Amsterdam).

A walk around the city centre, running its numerous narrow streets, and an improvised picnic at the edge of the canal, enjoying some cheese, bread and white wine, complete the visit to this charming and peaceful Dutch city in a cold spring day.

Here below my photographic report of Alkmaar cheese market. I hope you like it.

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