The 16 forts of the Fortified Position of Liège

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On the tourism trail of memory for the two great World Wars, the 16 forts of Liège are impossible to miss. This collection of forts constitutes the Fortified Position of Liège, the first barrier of the Allies against the enemy troops. In recognition of the effort and sacrifice of its troops, Liège is the first Belgian city to receive the Legion of Honor outside of France.

The forts of Liège: a concrete belt surrounding the city

The Fortified Position of Liege (P.F.L.) consists of 12 fortifications that surrounded the city in 1914, 1916, and 1940. They were heavily armed and built with concrete. Some were even constructed partially underground. Because of their strategic positions, they protected each other, the city of Liège itself, and its main bridges.

The heroic resistance of the Belgian forces within the P.F.L. at the beginning of the 14-18 war (from 4 to 16 August 1914) played a decisive role in the beginning of the conflict. It allowed the French troops to organize themselves while the forts were violently shelled by the first shots of the new Big Bertha artillery. In memory of this feat of arms, Liège was the first city outside France to receive the French Legion of Honor. In addition, as a testimony to this courage, it hosts a unique symbol: the Inter-Allied Memorial. During the Second World War, the Liège forts continued their mission at the bloody cost of many soldiers.

As a last tribute, Paris renamed the Viennese café that evoked the enemy, to give it the name of café liégeois, known and drunk everywhere on the terraces of the Cité Ardente!

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