Liege's Christmas Village blows out its 25 (Christmas) candles and hosts the "Christmastide in Tsarist Russia" exhibition
Twenty five years! The City of Liege's Christmas Village (Village de Nöel) is not only the largest one of its kind in Belgium it also the one with the longest pedigree. Building on the long-standing Germanic legacy of Christmas markets, Liege's Christmas Village aspires to turn the city centre into a place that is filled with the special magical and enchanting spirit of Christmas festivities. Cleaving to its Latin roots, as reflected in the Village Council competition and its various chalets offering myriad culinary delights, the Christmas Village has broken new ground by creating a warm and festive atmosphere, its main distinguishing feature, helping it to stand out from similar festivities of the Germanic and Alsatian variety.
What is the difference between a Christmas village and a Christmas market? Where do we begin? Well let us start with its spirit, the parochial approach, the spirit of an authentic village, where the cheeky humour of the inhabitants (we mean the exhibitors) is matched by the extravaganza of products on display outside the timber chalets. Account also has to be taken of the organisation, in this case revolving around a Village Council comprising a Mayor, aldermen and councillors in charge of folk entertainment in the context of the Village activities. Next you have the layout, streets and alleyways, plus the squares featuring a town hall, a church, a post office, a toboggan run... And above all, the warm atmosphere in the midst of the winter wonderland, the extremely warm-hearted, hospitable approach and... one of a kind!!
Over the last 25 years, the Liege Christmas Village has carved out the role of being the top Christmas market in Belgium, thanks to its scale, the time it lasts and the atmosphere. The 200 chalets attract an estimated one million and a half visitors to Liege every year, with an increasing number people from abroad turning up to join in the fun…
The "Christmas Village" will be open from Friday, 30 November to Sunday, 30 December, on St Lambert square and Marché de Liege square, from Sunday to Wednesday, 11 am to 10 pm, and from Thursday to Saturday until 12 midnight for the chalets offering culinary delights.