Liège

Image - Liege, Belgium: city center.

Liège. See Map. A city in Belgium (2018 pop 197,355); the center of its Walloon section, and site of the country’s largest concentration of Ukrainians. Until 1919 the few Ukrainians who lived there formed the Ruthenian Neutral Circle (Cercle Neutre Ruthène). In the interwar period the Ukrainian community grew to about 200, including many political exiles and 25 students. Main organizations included the Ukrainian Hromada and the Society of Former Ukrainian Soldiers in Belgium. In 1945 the number of Ukrainians in the city grew to 2,000, with the increase consisting mainly of women (former Ostarbeiter) from displaced persons camps in Germany. After a wave of emigration to North America, the community in Liège stabilized at around 1,000. There are two local Ukrainian parishes, one Catholic and one Orthodox. Other organizations include the Union of Ukrainians in Belgium, branches of the Ukrainian Relief Committee in Belgium, the Ukrainian Women's Alliance in Belgium, and the Ukrainian Youth Association (SUM). The Saint Sophia Community Center was built in Liège in 1978 and is used by local cultural and religious groups.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]




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