27/11/2022

1905, Liège BE – Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Liège

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1905 Liège

Name:Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Liège
Dates:27 Apr – 6 Nov 1905
Days:194 days
Venue:At the intersection of the rivers Meuse and a rerouted Ourthe
– 70 ha (173 acres)
Theme:75th anniversary of Belgian independence
– and the 40th anniversary of Leopold II’s reign
Exhibitors:16,119 exhibits from 39 nations and colonies
Awards:No data
Visitors:6,143,157 40c admission, 54,000 season tickets sold
Legacy:75k FFr profit.

The King and Queen opened the fair, the King visiting on four occasions. A piece by Jean-Théodore Radoux entitled Cantate pour l’inauguration de l’Exposition universelle de Liège, 1905, with words by Jules Sauvenière, was written specially for the expo opening ceremony.

As the fourth major expo in Belgium across twenty years, this event established the country as a leading Exhibitions’ centre.

This event was located at the intersection of the rivers Meuse and a rerouted Ourthe, to the south of the city. It covered 70 ha (173 acres) and three new bridges were built to facilitate it. The main halls were in the Les Vennes area. This area had regularly flooded and the work for the fair and the rerouting of the Ourthe created a viable cityzone for the future.

1905 Liege siteplan

More than ninety pavilions were built, including Palais de Beaux-Arts, Machine Gallery, Music… There was an exhibition of medieval and Renaissance art, L’art ancien au Pays de Liège, run as part of the event.

General view

Foreign exhibitors that participated were: Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Congo, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Morocco, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Persia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United States and Uruguay. Some built national pavilions and are shown emboldened.


German Pavilion

Moroccan Pavilion

The French presence was enormous with 7,950 (of 16,000) exhibitors at the Liege show.

1905 Liege

There were ethnological exhibits, including a Village Senegalese. There was an amusement section, including Old Liege, and a a roller-coaster that looped-the-loop.

1904 Liege Souvenir

National Cash Register company recorded the visitor attendance. With almost seven million visitors this meant the Liege event exceeded all other European shows other than 1900 Paris.

1905 Liege Main entrance

Notable visitors were King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy, the Shah of Persia amd the Prince and Princess Arisugawa of Japan.

The Palais des Beaux Arts building was used to house the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporaine. Today it houses a Beaux Arts museum known as La Boverie. Three bridges over the Meuse were transferred to the city after the exposition.

Forward to 1905, Portland US – Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition
Back to 1905, Geneva CH – First Geneva Motor Show
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