Outremeuse, sometimes called the Outremeuse Free Republic, is one of the city's most iconic areas. In the past, it was inhabited by workers who came to Liege to work in the mines and nearby steel mills. The symbol of the district is Tchantches. Francis, because this is how his name is translated in the local slang, is a character derived from the local folklore. Brave but still drunk, the crude freethinker was to be born coming out from between two cobblestones in Outremeuse 25 on August 760. According to legend, he served Charlemagne in his campaigns. Today, his character appears in traditional performances of puppet theater. There is a statue of him on Place I'Yser where he was said to have died. Also Tchantches' beloved, Nanesse has her figures in Liege.
The procession of 15 August
Every year, on 15 August, a procession with a statue of the Black Madonna passes through the streets of Outremeuse. It starts in the church of St. Nicholas. On the same day, there is also a festival, during which the streets are filled with thousands of dancing participants dressed in colorful costumes. The main attraction of this festival, however, are the huge figures of Tchantches and Nanesse. Although both ceremonies, both the church and the secular one, take place at the same time, they do not conflict with each other, on the contrary, they have become extremely popular events attended annually by about several hundred thousand people from all over the world.
The next day, the celebration continues, however, Tchantches and Naness are no longer the main characters. Music dominates this day. There are concerts held at various venues in Outremeuse. The streets are filled with stalls with food and a light, typical of Liege, alcohol mixed with various juices. On this day, young people predominate in the streets, and the fun lasts until dawn.