Overlooked by almost everyone, the Walloon Belgian town of Verviers (pop: 55,936) was one of the first towns in the world outside Great Britain to be mechanically industrialised in the early 19th century, when British entrepreneur William Cockerill (and his son John) set up shop there in 1799. Verviers - which is set in the dramatic valley of the Vesdre -- also contains many traces of its pre-mechanical history, which dates make to medieval times. While the town might not be for everyone, it will certainly prove fascinating to some!
Verviers is a middle sized town, and is navigable on foot, though this requires some climbing.
Verviers is home to a rich and eclectic mix of architecture, including early 19th century, neoclassical, belle époque, art-nouveau and medieval. The partly preserved old center even boasts a number of timber-framed houses.
Eat and drink
Though there isn't much in the way of nightlife in Verviers, there are numerous cafes and restaurants, some of which serve local produce.
Verviers sits on the border of a number of regions that are worth exploring:
Visitors will find most inhabitants of Verviers friendly, helpful and exemplary in stopping for pedestrians while driving. Nonetheless, there are some fringe like elements who might attempt to steal something, though this can easily be avoided by using a minimum of common sense.