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Visiting The Bull: statue by Léon Mignon, Liège, Belgium, symbolic of the city

Updated on October 3, 2012
Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
The Liège Bull
The Liège Bull | Source
Map location of the Liège area
Map location of the Liège area | Source

Strength portrayed and symbolized

This statue, which still seems to effuse vigour and strength even over 130 years after it was executed, is situated in Liège, in Belgium's Walloon region (French: Région wallonne ).

The work of sculptor Léon Mignon (1847-1898)(1), it is made of bronze and dates from 1880. The sculptor made a number of statues based on the theme of bulls.

Interestingly, in World War Two, local students hid the statue from the German invaders. After the War, Les Terrasses — The Terraces — (2), where the statue was replaced and where it still stands, became the focus of an annual commemoration.

The bull has become somewhat of a symbol of the city of Liège, with idea — symbolized within the statue — of human energy battling the forces of nature and triumphing over them.

The statue's name: The Bull, is more often than not given in Walloon: Li Tore (3), rather than in its French version: Le Taureau , or, more fully, Le Dompteur de taureau — the bull tamer.

October 2, 2012


(1) Liège-born Sculptor Mignon studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Art (French: Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts ), in that city.

(2) Les Terrasses are located at the junction of Avenue Rogier and the Albert I Bridge (French: Pont Albert Ier ) over the Meuse River, Liège.

(3) The Walloon language is widely spoken in the south of Belgium, in much (though not all) of the Walloon region. (It has also been spoken in pockets of territory in northern France and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.)

Also worth seeing

In Liège itself, its abounding visitor attractions include: much, fine ecclesiastical architecture; the Perron steps; the Fragnée Bridge; the Zénobe Gramme Monument; the Bueren Mountain; the former Prince-Bishops' Palace; and many others.

Brussels (distance: 97 kilometres) has numerous sights, including the Grand' Place, the Royal Palace and BELvue museum, and the Palace of Justice.


How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York (JFK) to Brussels Airport, where car hire is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Liège : 94 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company SNCB / NMBS maintains a service from Brussels to Liège . Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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