Commemoration of their presence of 500 years : 1519 – 2019

The VOLIÈRE* of the wounded birds: an exhibition, some scientific symposia and conferences, guided tours, concerts, storytelling, etc.


Year 2019 will mark the 500th anniversary of the installation of the Cellite Brothers, first in Liège, then in 1520 in the neighborhood of Liège called « Volière » (Aviary), in support of the authorities who were overwhelmed by an epidemic of plague. For almost half a millennium, the congregation would care for victims of epidemics and then welcome insane people in its convent-hotel-hospital, in current « Coteaux de la Citadelle » (« The Hillsides of the Citadel »).

Dedicated from the end of the seventeenth century to the “foolish”, the institution was secularized in 1968, ten years after the inauguration of the first Volière hospital pavilion, to be followed by the expansion of the ISoSL institution, which is nowadays overlooking the former convent of the Cellite brothers (Alexians) and continuing the tradition of its psychiatric vocation.

Volière 1519-2019“: there is extraordinary continuity, on the same hill of the City or Liege, for the care of the weak and the suffering.

The former Cellite convent has been remarkably restored by the Housing Fund for Large Families of the Walloon region, which had acquired it in 1992 to install housing social services and offices. At the same time, the Walloon Region was conducting a vast campaign of archaeological excavations. The jewel of the place, the Saint-Roch chapel, the former oratory of the Cellite Brothers, benefited itself from exterior restoration and the renovation of its renowned organ, dated 1769. But the chapel is still waiting for its inner metamorphosis.

Volière 1519-2019“: the complete restoration of Saint-Roch should be the climax of the Jubilee and the Commemoration of 500 years of uninterrupted medical and social assistance. This is why « The Friends of the Saint-Roch chapel at Volière », a non-profit organization, took the initiative to propose and coordinate a range of cultural and scientific events, in partnership with the main institutions linked to “Volière”, among which ISoSL institution, the Walloon Region (AWaP), the University of Liège, the Family Housing Fund, the City of Liege, in addition to other associations and private initiatives.

Volière 1519-2019” will spread its wings from October 11, 2019 to April 4, 2020. A history and education exhibition for schools and everyone that is interested in Liege, a dozen of conferences, two specialized symposia, concerts and events around the 1769 Robustelly organ of the Saint-Roch chapel, guided tours around the multi-centennial site, without forgetting storytelling and activities for all families.


At a stone’s throw from Saint-Lambert Square, the Saint-Roch Chapel is part of a historic and remarkable architectural ensemble. This is the former convent of the Cellite Brothers, implanted at « Volière » since 1520. It is also included in the site of « Volière and Fond Saint-Servais », classified since July 25, 1988. More widely, this place is integrated in an iconic site of the landscape of Liège: the « Coteaux de la Citadelle » (« The Hillsides of the Citadel »).