Because today was the only day it didn’t rain and we’re not in lockdown yet, I went to Liège to pick up a book (which wasn’t there but that’s another story). It was a good occasion to pay a vist to two old acquaintances, before Corona gets us (the beer or the virus, whichever comes first). So consider it a dark pilgrimage as the one to the Holy Blood last year was of no use, lol.
It looks like quite a few of my ancestors are from the Liège region, not including my great grandfather who was born on the same day as me (in another year, obviously), though my grandmother always claimed this. He lived near the road to Liège but that was about it. But there are a few others. Anyway, I’ve been on a great many shopping trips to Liège with my grandmother, but I had never visited the treasury.
The city was quite trashed by the Charles the Bold and the Burgundians in 1468. It’s a long story, readily available on the internet. So here are just some pictures of today.
The palace of the bishops. The medieval one was badly damaged by the Burgundian troops and by other disasters, so this is a newer version.
The statue of Lucifer by Guillaume Geefs. I already have millions of pictures of this I just took a couple. It’s quite ironic that the Charles the Bold reliquary is not far away, through the door on the right and down the cloister corridor.
There are plenty of shiny objects in the treasury, some manuscripts, a coffin and the cape (chasuble is the word I guess) of David of Burgundy, an illegitimate son of Philip the Good, Charles the Bold’s father, and thus a half-brother of Charles. Didn’t take a picture.
I couldn’t find the reliquary at first because it is in a small, completely black room, somewhere through a narrow door. And I’m an idiot and didn’t look at the signs.
The place is so quiet that I was alone for most of the time.
Trivia: Around more or less the same time last year – the only sunny day during spring break in February – I was standing before the tomb of Charles the Bold at Bruges and shortly after that before the Van der Paele Madonna painting by van Eyck, whose St. George inspired that of the reliquary.
Here are a couple pictures, not great because I took them with my phone. More pictures are on their own page of the menu under The Burgundian Codex. Side note: I am not sure nowadays what is true and false after a couple recent museum visits where lots of stuff turned out to be replicas so I can’t tell for 100% sure if this is the real thing or a replica. It is presented as the real thing but you never know. In any case, it was hard to photograph as a) it is very shiny and b) it looks much better in real, even next to the professional pictures.
Can’t say that this is a flattering portrait. That scowl, those terrifying eyes. But interesting with regard to quest number 1 (see The Sword in the Stone).