Infobox Belgium Municipality
picture=Verviers JPG02.jpg

arms=Héraldique Ville be Verviers.svg

mayor=Claude Desama (PS)
majority=PS, MR
postal-codes=4800, 4801, 4802
web= []

Verviers is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Liège. It is the third biggest town in the province and an important regional center, conveniently located roughly halfway between Liège and the German border. Verviers is Wallonia's "Water Capital".

The Verviers municipality includes the old communes of Ensival, Lambermont, Petit-Rechain, Stembert, and Heusy.


Early history

Various flint and bone fragments, as well as Roman coins, were found in this area, attesting to the early settlements in the region. In the 4th century, the Romans had to deal with a constant push of Germanic tribes coming from the east. Successful at first at containing them, they finally had to concede defeat, allowing Clovis’s Salian Franks to occupy the region at the end of the 5th century. The Verviers area was covered with forests and became a hunting ground for the Merovingian kings, who maintained a vicus in neighbouring Theux. It was also slowly Christianized by the monks of the nearby Abbey of Stavelot.

In the 10th century, Charles the Simple ceded the Marquisate of Franchimont to the bishop of Liège, just before the creation of the Prince-Bishopric. Liège took direct control of the marquisate in 1014, an act which was confirmed by emperor Frederick Barbarossa and by Pope Adrian IV in 1155.

15th century to the present

The first mention of a textile industry in this area dates from the 15th century. One century later, the cloth industry took the place of the older metallurgical works, thanks in part to the Eighty Years War raging in the neighbouring Netherlands. The size of the town, however, remained relatively modest. It was only in 1651 that the expansion of the fulleries led to Verviers being recognized as one of the prince-bishopric’s "bonnes villes" (main cities).

The end of the 18th century was troubled by the French Revolution. The annexation of Liège to France in 1795 caused a steep economic decline and unprecedented misery. The city’s fortunes rose again after the Battle of Waterloo (1815). Verviers was at the eastern end of the sillon industriel, the industrial backbone of Wallonia. Industrialist William Cockerill used British know-how to start a new era in Verviers' textile industry. Roads were paved, gas lighting was installed, and the city doubled in size thanks to the Industrial Revolution. After World War I, Verviers could share with Bradford, the title of “Wool Capital of the World”.


Verviers was home to a thriving wool and textile industry that was renowned for its quality. It contributed greatly to the wealth of the town. However, as of the 1950s, the local factories could not face international competition and started closing one after the other which prompted the economic decline of the town. The economy has been slowly recovering since the mid-1990s but remains fragile. Several commercial complexes have opened in recent years in an attempt to revitalize the most affected areas.


*Verviers counts several museums, including the Wool and Fashion Tourist Centre, housed in a beautiful former factory with a Neoclassical-style façade.
*The "Grand Theatre", also known as "La Bonbonnière", was built in the same style at the end of the 19th century, while the "Grand Poste" was built in the Neogothic style.
*The city has a number of interesting fountains and thematic strolling paths.

Famous people

*William Cockerill, industrialist, settled in Verviers in 1799
*Henri Vieuxtemps, composer and virtuoso violinist (1820-1881)
*Henri Pirenne, historian (1862-1935)
*Guillaume Lekeu, composer (1870-1894)
*Mathieu Crickboom, violinist (1871-1947)
*André Blavier, poet and critic (1922-2001)
*Raymond Macherot, cartoonist (born 1924)
*Roger Leloup, comic strip scenarist (born 1933)
*Jean-Marie Klinkenberg, linguist (born 1944)
*Pierre Rapsat, singer (1948-2002)
*Luc Sante, writer and critic (born 1954)
*Eric van de Poele, Formula One driver (born 1961)
*Marc Lacroix, breast cancer researcher (born 1963)
*Dominique Monami, tennis player (born 1973)
*Philippe Gilbert, road racing cyclist (born 1980)
*Karima, writer (born 1976)

Twin cities

*FRA: Arles
*GER: Mönchengladbach
*FRA: Roubaix
*UK: Bradford
*FRA: La Motte-Chalancon

External links

* [ Official web site] (in French, Dutch, German, and English)
* [ Alternative site] (in French)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Verviers — Verviers …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Verviers — (spr. werwjĕ), Hauptstadt eines Arrondissements in der belg. Provinz Lüttich, an der Vesdre, die sie in die obere und untere Stadt teilt, und durch einen Kanal mit dem Bassin der Gileppe verbunden (s. Vesdre), ist Grenzstation der Rheinisch… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Verviers —   [vɛr vje], Stadt in der Provinz Lüttich, Belgien, an der Vesdre, 53 600 Einwohner; Kunst , volkskundliches Museum; Textilfachschule; Zentrum der (rückläufigen) belgischen Wollindustrie; ferner meist in Industrieparks außerhalb des engen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Verviers — Verviers, 1) Arrondissement in der belgischen Provinz Lüttich; mit 8 Cantonen u. 126,215 Ew.; 2) Hauptstadt hier, an der Rheinisch Belgischen Eisenbahn (Linie Aachen Lüttich) u. an der Vesdre, welche die Stadt in die obere u. untere theilt u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Verviers — (spr. wärrwĭeh), Stadt in der belg. Prov. Lüttich, an der Vesdre, (1904) 49.168 E.; Tuch und Kasimirfabrikation, Wollfärberei, Gerberei …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Verviers — Verviers, Bezirksstadt in der belgischen Provinz Lüttich, an beiden Seiten der Vasdre, zum Theil am Abhange eines freundlichen Berges gelegen, ist im Allgemeinen schlecht gebaut; doch verdienen das Rathhaus, das Schauspielhaus und das… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Verviers — (Werwieh), belg. Stadt in der Provinz Lüttich, an der Vèze und rheinisch belg. Eisenbahn, mit 25400 E., wichtiger Fabrikation in Tuch und chemischen Producten …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Verviers — v. de Belgique (prov. de Liège), sur la Vesdre, ch. l. d arr.; 55 370 hab. Autref., grand centre de l industrie lainière. Industr. du cuir, métallurgiques, chimiques, alimentaires …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Verviers — Géolocalisation sur la carte : Belgique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Verviers — {{{nombre}}} Bandera …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.