Thirty-one years old! The Christmas Village of the City of Liège (Village de Nöel) is not only the largest of its kind in Belgium, it is also the one with the longest pedigree.
Building on the long-standing Germanic legacy of Christmas markets, the Christmas Village of Liege turns the city center into a place filled with the magical and enchanting spirit of the Christmas festivities. True to its Latin roots, as reflected in the Village Council competition and its various chalets offering a myriad of culinary delights, the Christmas Village has broken new grounds 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 (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 31 years, the Christmas Village of Liège has carved out the role of being the top Christmas market in Belgium, thanks to its scale, its duration and its atmosphere. The 200 chalets attract an estimated two million visitors to Liège every year, with an increasing number of people from abroad turning up to join the fun…
The Christmas Village is part of the dynamic process focused on Liège, the Christmas City. This operation is designed to ensure Liège is recognised as being the Latin capital of Christmas festivities. Against this background, the Christmas Village is working together with all the city centre businesses and in conjunction with operators organising the many other Christmas activities: the Christmas Ice-skating Rink, the European Circus Festival, the "Noélies" of Liège. In the forefront of this "Liège, the Christmas City" operation, the Village contributes by drawing to Liège, and its region, an impressive number of visitors from Belgium and other countries. All are attracted by this Christmas initiative; modern owing to the wide range of activities on offer, while remaining closely linked to the territory and culture of the Liège region.