Leuven

Leuven

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Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant
Flemish Brabant
Flemish Brabant is a province of Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. It borders on the Belgian provinces of Antwerp, Limburg, Liège, Walloon Brabant, Hainaut and East Flanders. Flemish Brabant also completely surrounds the Brussels-Capital Region. Its capital is Leuven...

 in the Flemish Region
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

. It is located about 30 kilometers east of Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, with as other neighbouring cities Mechelen
Mechelen
Mechelen Footnote: Mechelen became known in English as 'Mechlin' from which the adjective 'Mechlinian' is derived...

, Aarschot
Aarschot
Aarschot is a city and municipality in the province of Flemish Brabant, in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Aarschot proper and the towns of Gelrode, Langdorp and Rillaar. On January 1, 2006 Aarschot had a total population of 27,864...

, Tienen, and Wavre
Wavre
Wavre is a town and municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant, of which it is the capital.Wavre is located in the Dyle valley. Most of its inhabitants speak French as mother tongue and are called "Wavriens" and "Wavriennes"...

.

The township
Township
The word township is used to refer to different kinds of settlements in different countries. Township is generally associated with an urban area. However there are many exceptions to this rule. In Australia, the United States, and Canada, they may be settlements too small to be considered urban...

 comprises the historical city
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 of Leuven and the former municipalities
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 of Heverlee
Heverlee
Heverlee is a town in Belgium. It is a deelgemeente of the city of Leuven. Heverlee is bordered by Herent, Bertem, Oud Heverlee and several other municipalities that are part of Leuven ....

, Kessel-Lo
Kessel-Lo
Kessel-Lo is a town in Belgium. It is a borough of Leuven North of Leuven proper. Kessel-Lo is bordered by Holsbeek, Lubbeek, and several other municipalities that are part of Leuven ....

, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele
Wilsele
Wilsele is a part of the city of Leuven, Flemish Brabant, Flanders, Belgium.The Canal Leuven-Dijle which runs from Leuven to Mechelen passes through Wilsele and separates this part of Leuven into two parts: Wilsele-Dorp and Wilsele-Putkapel. Due to the physical separation, both parts have gone...

 and Wijgmaal.

It is home to Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V. is a Belgian-Brazilian publicly-traded company, based in Leuven, Belgium. It is the largest global brewer with nearly 25% global market share and one of the world's top five consumer products companies by EBITA....

, the world's largest brewer group and one of the top five largest consumer goods companies in the world; and to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a Dutch-speaking university in Flanders, Belgium.It is located at the centre of the historic town of Leuven, and is a prominent part of the city, home to the university since 1425...

, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 and the oldest Catholic university still in existence.

History



The earliest mention of Leuven ("Loven") is from 891 when a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 king Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia was the Carolingian King of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death.-Birth and Illegitimacy:...

 (see: Battle of Leuven
Battle of Leuven
The Battle of Leuven was fought in September 891 between the Franks and the Vikings, essentially ending the Viking invasions in the Low countries. The existence of this battle is known due to the Annales Fuldenses.-The battle:...

). According to the city legend, its red-white-red colours depict the blood-stained shores of the river Dijle
Dijle
Dyle or Dijle or historically the River Dyle in English, is a river in central Belgium, left tributary of the Rupel. It is long. It flows through the Belgian provinces of Walloon Brabant, Flemish Brabant and Antwerp...

 after this battle.

Situated at this river and nearby the stronghold of the Dukes of Brabant
Duchy of Brabant
The Duchy of Brabant was a historical region in the Low Countries. Its territory consisted essentially of the three modern-day Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant and Antwerp, the Brussels-Capital Region and most of the present-day Dutch province of North Brabant.The Flag of...

, Leuven became the most important centre of trade in the duchy
Duchy
A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

 between the 11th and the 14th century. A token of its former importance as a centre of cloth manufacture, is nicely reflected in the typical Leuven linen cloth, known in late 14-15th century texts as lewyn (other spellings: Leuwyn, Levyne, Lewan(e), Lovanium, Louvain).

In the 15th century a new golden era began with the founding of the by now largest and oldest university in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

, the Catholic University of Leuven
Catholic University of Leuven
The Catholic University of Leuven, or of Louvain, was the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium. The university was founded in 1425 as the University of Leuven by John IV, Duke of Brabant and approved by a Papal bull by Pope Martin V.During France's occupation of Belgium in the...

, in 1425.

In the 18th century Leuven became even more important as a result of the flourishing of the brewery
Brewery
A brewery is a dedicated building for the making of beer, though beer can be made at home, and has been for much of beer's history. A company which makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company....

 now named AB InBev, and whose flagship beer, Stella Artois
Stella Artois
Stella Artois is a 5% ABV lager brewed in Leuven, Belgium since 1926. In the UK, Canada and New Zealand a 4% ABV version is also available.-Production:...

, is brewed in Leuven.

In the 20th century, both world wars inflicted major damage to the city. Upon German entry in World War I, the town was heavily damaged due to German Schrecklichkeit
Schrecklichkeit
Schrecklichkeit is a word used by English speakers to describe an assumed military policy of the German Army towards civilians in World War I during the invasion of Belgium, France and Poland as well as in Russia....

policy. The Germans shot the burgomaster
Burgomaster
Burgomaster is the English form of various terms in or derived from Germanic languages for the chief magistrate or chairman of the executive council of a sub-national level of administration...

, university rector and all the city's police officers. The university library was deliberately destroyed
Library fires
Library fires have happened sporadically through the centuries: notable examples are the destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the accidental burning of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar...

 by the German army on August 25, 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable volumes and Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts were lost.

The world was outraged over this and the library was completely rebuilt after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 with American charity funds and German war indemnities. After World War II, the burnt down building had to be restored again. It still stands as a symbol of the wars and of Allied solidarity.

Economy


Given the presence of the KULeuven, an important European institution for academic research and education, much of the local economy is concentrated on spin-offs from academic research. There are several biotech and ICT companies; Gasthuisberg, the academic hospital and research center and a large number of private service providers in the medical and legal field.

Being the capital of the region of Flemish-Brabant means that there are many governmental institutions located in Leuven as well as the regional headquarters of transport corporations such as De Lijn
De Lijn
Vlaamse Vervoersmaatschappij De Lijn , usually known as simply De Lijn , is a company run by the Flemish government in Belgium to provide public transportation, similar to the way in which Belgian railroads or the postal system is run. It runs about 3650 buses and 359 trams...

.
As the largest and one of the oldest Flemish cities in the immediate vicinity of Leuven, with a large palate of cafés, restaurants, cultural institutions and shopping neighbourhoods, the city also attracts people from nearby cities and villages.

Leuven is also the worldwide headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V. is a Belgian-Brazilian publicly-traded company, based in Leuven, Belgium. It is the largest global brewer with nearly 25% global market share and one of the world's top five consumer products companies by EBITA....

, the largest beer company on the planet. In fact, InBev's Stella Artois
Stella Artois
Stella Artois is a 5% ABV lager brewed in Leuven, Belgium since 1926. In the UK, Canada and New Zealand a 4% ABV version is also available.-Production:...

 brewery and main offices dominate the entire north-eastern part of the town, between the railway station and the canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

 to Mechelen
Mechelen
Mechelen Footnote: Mechelen became known in English as 'Mechlin' from which the adjective 'Mechlinian' is derived...

.

Student population


Nowadays Leuven is a real "student city", as during the academic year most citizens in its centre are students.

Leuven sports one of the liveliest bar scenes in Belgium. Besides boasting the "longest bar" in Belgium, the Old Market, dozens of bars and cafés crammed into a central square in Leuven, it's also the proud home city of Belgium's smallest bar, Onder den Toog in the Noormannenstraat.

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a Dutch-speaking university in Flanders, Belgium.It is located at the centre of the historic town of Leuven, and is a prominent part of the city, home to the university since 1425...

 (K.U.Leuven; Catholic University of Leuven) is the oldest Catholic university still in existence in the world and the biggest university in Belgium.

There are also a number of hogescholen (Vocational university, literally translated: "high schools") such as the Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven (KHLeuven; the Catholic High School Leuven), as well as a university college: Groep T
Groep T
Group T is a college in Leuven, Belgium. The school was formed by a fusion of an existing school for technical engineers and the Provinciale Normaalschool...

 (Group T).

Mayor


The mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 of Leuven is currently Louis Tobback
Louis Tobback
Louis Marie Joseph Tobback is a Belgian politician. Tobback is a Flemish social democrat and member of the political party SP.A. He is currently the mayor of Leuven. He graduated in Romance philology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel....

, a socialist politician prominent on the national level, formerly minister of internal affairs and leader of the socialist faction in the lower chamber of the Belgian
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 parliament, among other positions held.

Culture


One of Belgium's finest conservatories is based in Leuven: the Lemmens Institute
Lemmensinstituut
The Lemmensinstituut is a Belgian conservatory in Leuven named after Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens. It was founded in 1879 and has a reputation for offering one of Europe's finest Music Therapy degree programs...

, which is described as "Faculty of Music, Performing Arts and Education". It is known for its Music Therapy Education and its Wordart-Drama Education.

Leuven is well known for its summer rock festival Marktrock
Marktrock
Marktrock is a popular crowd-puller music festival held each year around the August 15, in the heart of the university town of Leuven, Belgium.There is also a smaller Marktrock festival in Poperinge which is held the last Saturday of August....

. The main football club of the municipality is Oud-Heverlee Leuven, the successor of K. Stade Leuven
K. Stade Leuven
Koninklijke Stade Leuven was a Belgian football club from the city of Leuven, Vlaams Brabant that existed between 1903 and 2002.-History:The club was founded as Stade Louvaniste and wore the matricule n°18. It was admitted to the first season ever of the second division in 1910-11. It left the...

.
Leuven also has some orchestras, like the famous Arenberg Orchestra (Dutch).

Sights



  • The Town Hall
    Leuven Town Hall
    The Town Hall of Leuven, Belgium, is a landmark building on that city's Grote Markt square, across from the monumental St. Peter's Church...

    , built by Sulpitius van Vorst, Jan II Keldermans, and, after both of them died, Matheus de Layens
    Matheus de Layens
    Matheus de Layens was a Brabantine architect from the 15th century.He was employed in Leuven from 1433, first under the architect Sulpitius van Vorst , and afterwards under Jan Keldermans II, whom he succeeded in 1445 as master mason...

     between 1439 and 1463 in a Brabantian
    Duchy of Brabant
    The Duchy of Brabant was a historical region in the Low Countries. Its territory consisted essentially of the three modern-day Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant and Antwerp, the Brussels-Capital Region and most of the present-day Dutch province of North Brabant.The Flag of...

     late-Gothic
    Gothic architecture
    Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

     style. The reception hall dates from 1750.
  • The St. Peter's Church
    St. Peter's Church, Leuven
    Saint Peter's Church of Leuven, Belgium, is situated on the city's Grote Markt , right across the ornate Town Hall...

     (1425–1500) was finished by Jan Keldermans and Matheus de Layens
    Matheus de Layens
    Matheus de Layens was a Brabantine architect from the 15th century.He was employed in Leuven from 1433, first under the architect Sulpitius van Vorst , and afterwards under Jan Keldermans II, whom he succeeded in 1445 as master mason...

    . During the Second World War
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

     the church was damaged; during the restoration a Romanesque
    Romanesque architecture
    Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

     crypt
    Crypt
    In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

     from the 11th century was found. In the church itself there are several paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries (amongst others Dirk Bouts
    Dirk Bouts
    Dieric Bouts was an Early Netherlandish painter. According to Karel van Mander in his Het Schilderboeck of 1604, Bouts was born in Haarlem and was mainly active in Leuven , where he was city painter from 1468...

     famous painting of the last supper) and the grave of Duke
    Duke
    A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

     Henry I of Brabant
    Henry I, Duke of Brabant
    Henry I of Brabant , named "The Courageous" Duke of Brabant and Duke of Lower Lotharingia until his death.-Biography:...

    . The 50 meter high tower—which was meant to be 169 meters but was never completed—is home to a carillon
    Carillon
    A carillon is a musical instrument that is typically housed in a free-standing bell tower, or the belfry of a church or other municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to play a melody, or sounded together to play a chord...

    . The tower was included in UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

    's list of Belfries of Belgium and France
    Belfries of Belgium and France
    The Belfries of Belgium and France is a group of 56 historical buildings designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, in recognition of an architectural manifestation of emerging civic independence in historic Flanders and neighbouring regions from feudal and religious influences, leading to a...

     in 1999.
  • Saint-Anthony's Chapel, Pater Damiaanplein, from the 17th to the 20th centuries, contains the tomb of Father Damien
    Father Damien
    Father Damien or Saint Damien of Molokai, SS.CC. , born Jozef De Veuster, was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a missionary religious order...

    , the "leper priest" of Molokai
    Molokai
    Molokai or Molokai is an island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is 38 by 10 miles in size with a land area of , making it the fifth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands and the 27th largest island in the United States. It lies east of Oahu across the 25-mile wide Kaiwi Channel and north of...

    , beatified by Pope John Paul II
    Pope John Paul II
    Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

    . The Catholic priest
    Priest
    A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

    's remains were returned in Belgium with great fanfare in 1936 after having been originally buried on the Hawaii
    Hawaii
    Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

    an Island of Molokai
    Molokai
    Molokai or Molokai is an island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is 38 by 10 miles in size with a land area of , making it the fifth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands and the 27th largest island in the United States. It lies east of Oahu across the 25-mile wide Kaiwi Channel and north of...

     where he had served the outcast lepers and died.
  • The Linen-hall in an early-Gothic style, with baroque addition, is today the University Hall.
  • The Church of Saint Michael was built in the typical Jesuit Baroque
    Baroque
    The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

     Style.
  • The Church of Saint Quinten incorporates remains of a Romanesque church built in the 13th century.
  • The University Library on the Ladeuzeplein
    Ladeuzeplein
    The Mgr. Ladeuzeplein is a square in the center of Leuven . The square was named after a former rector of the Catholic University Leuven, Monseigneur Paulin Ladeuze. The Ladeuzeplein is the largest square in Leuven...

     was built by the American
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     architect
    Architect
    An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

     Whitney Warren
    Whitney Warren
    Whitney Warren was an architect with Charles Delevan Wetmore at Warren and Wetmore in New York City.-Biography:He was born in 1864 and his brother was Lloyd Warren, also an architect. He was a cousin of the Vanderbilts and spent ten years at the École des Beaux Arts...

    . It was a gift from the American people to Leuven after World War I
    World War I
    World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

     during which the Germans burned down the original library, causing much outroar in the USA. The tower houses one of the largest carillons in the world.
  • Totem is a statue at the centre of the Ladeuzeplein; it is a work of the Belgian artist Jan Fabre
    Jan Fabre
    Jan Fabre is a Belgian multidisciplinary artist, playwright, stage director, choreographer and designer.He studied at the Municipal Institute of Decorative Arts and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp...

    . On a 23 meters high needle a giant jewel beetle shines, against the clouds pricked compared with the university library.
  • There is a ducal castle dating from the 12th century on the Keizersberg ("Emperor's Mountain") which was demolished in the 17th Century. Today there is a neo-Romanesque Abbey where the castle once stood.
  • The Large Beguinage
    Grand Béguinage, Leuven
    The Grand Béguinage of Leuven is a well preserved and completely restored historical quarter containing a dozen of streets in the south of downtown Leuven. About 3 hectares in size, with some 300 apartments in almost 100 houses, it is one of the largest still existing beguinages in the Low...

     is one of the world's best remaining examples of its architectural type. It was recognized by UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

     as a World Heritage Site
    World Heritage Site
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

     in 1998.
  • There are several other smaller churches and chapels around town.
  • "Fonske" is a statue near the centre of town. Its full name is Fons Sapientiae, Latin for "fountain of wisdom". The statue represents a university student who, while reading a book, lets wisdom flow into his head as liquid from a glass. Just like Manneken Pis
    Manneken Pis
    , is a famous Brussels landmark. It is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain's basin. It was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and put in place in 1618 or 1619...

     in Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

    , Fonske is from time to time dressed in costumes appropriate for the occasion.
  • Lerkeveld: A famous Jesuit abbey, headquarters of the Jesuits in Belgium.
  • Irish College
    Irish College
    Irish Colleges is the collective name used for approximately 34 centres of education for Irish Catholic clergy and lay people opened on continental Europe in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The Colleges were set up to educate Roman Catholics from Ireland in their own religion following the...

     of Louvain/Leuven in located in the city on Pater Damiaanplein. The Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe is located on the premises.

Born in Leuven

  • Most Dukes of Brabant
    Duke of Brabant
    The Duchy of Brabant was formally erected in 1183/1184. The title "Duke of Brabant" was created by the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in favor of Henry I, son of Godfrey III of Leuven . The Duchy of Brabant was a feudal elevation of the since 1085/1086 existing title of Landgrave of Brabant...

     in the 12th and 13th century
  • Maria of Brabant, queen consort
    Queen consort
    A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

     of France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     (1256–1321)
  • Martin Margiela
    Martin Margiela
    Martin Margiela is a Belgian fashion designer. He studied at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts along with the legendary avantgarde fashion collective the Antwerp Six. Many still consider him to be the "7th" member of the collective.- Life and work:After graduation in 1980 he worked as a...

    , fashion designer (b. 1957)
  • Quentin Matsys
    Quentin Matsys
    Quentin Matsys was a painter in the Flemish tradition and a founder of the Antwerp school. He was born at Leuven, where legend states he was trained as an ironsmith before becoming a painter...

    , painter (1466–1530)
  • Petrus van der Aa
    Petrus van der Aa
    Petrus or Pieter van der Aa, also called Vanderanus was a Brabantine jurist.Petrus van der Aa was born in Leuven. His father, Johan van der Aa, was a descendant of a well-known Brabantine family of patricians, which had settled in Leuven, Mechelen and Antwerpen.While his biographers disagree on...

    , jurist
    Jurist
    A jurist or jurisconsult is a professional who studies, develops, applies, or otherwise deals with the law. The term is widely used in American English, but in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries it has only historical and specialist usage...

     (1530–1594)
  • Adriaan van Roomen
    Adriaan van Roomen
    Adriaan van Roomen , also known as Adrianus Romanus, was a Flemish mathematician.-Life:Van Roomen was born in Leuven, the son of Adriaan Van Roomen and Maria Van Den Daele. He became a professor, and then travelled extensively in Europe.After studying at the Jesuit College in Cologne, Roomen...

    , mathematician
    Mathematician
    A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....

     (1561–1615)
  • Charles de Bériot
    Charles de Bériot
    Charles Auguste de Bériot was a Belgian violinist and composer.-Biography:Born in Leuven, where there is now a street named in his honour, he moved to France in 1810, where he studied violin with Jean-François Tiby, a pupil of Giovanni Battista Viotti...

    , violin
    Violin
    The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

    ist (1802–1870)
  • Eugène Prévinaire
    Eugène Prévinaire
    Eugène Marie Ignace Prévinaire was a Belgian businessman, liberal politician, civil servant, and former governor of the National Bank of Belgium from 1870 until 1877....

    , (1805–1877), second governor of the National Bank of Belgium
    National Bank of Belgium
    The National Bank of Belgium has been the central bank of Belgium since 1850...

  • Laurent-Guillaume de Koninck
    Laurent-Guillaume de Koninck
    Laurent-Guillaume de Koninck was a Belgian palaeontologist and chemist, born at Leuven.He studied medicine in the university of his native town, and in 1831 he became assistant in the chemical schools. He pursued the study of chemistry in Paris, Berlin and Gießen, and was subsequently engaged in...

    , palaeontologist and chemist
    Chemist
    A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

     (1809–1887)
  • Jean Stas
    Jean Stas
    Jean Servais Stas was a Belgian analytical chemist.- Life and work :Stas was born in Leuven and trained initially as a physician. He later switched to chemistry and worked at the École Polytechnique in Paris under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Dumas...

    , analytical chemist (1813–1891)
  • Arthur De Greef
    Arthur De Greef
    Arthur De Greef was a Belgian pianist and composer.Born in Louvain, he won first prize in a local music composition when he was only 11, and subsequently enrolled at the Brussels Conservatoire...

    , pianist
    Pianist
    A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

     and composer
    Composer
    A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

     (1862–1940)
  • Christian de Duve
    Christian de Duve
    Christian René, viscount de Duve is a Nobel Prize-winning cytologist and biochemist. De Duve was born in Thames Ditton, Surrey, Great Britain, as a son of Belgian refugees. They returned to Belgium in 1920...

    , cytologist and biochemist
    Biochemist
    Biochemists are scientists who are trained in biochemistry. Typical biochemists study chemical processes and chemical transformations in living organisms. The prefix of "bio" in "biochemist" can be understood as a fusion of "biological chemist."-Role:...

    , recipient of the 1974 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (b. 1917)
  • Hortense Clews
    Hortense Clews
    Hortense Daman Clews Croix de Guerre, Order of Leopold II, Medal of the Armed Resistance 1940-1945 was an Allied heroine of World War II.-Early years:...

     World War II Resistance worker and concentration camp survivor (b.1926)
  • Arthur Berckmans
    Arthur Berckmans
    Arthur Berckmans , better known as Berck, is a Belgian comics author, best known for Sammy.-Biography:Arthur Berckmans was born in Leuven in 1929. He studied drawing at the Art academy of Leuven and at the Saint Lucas Institute in Brussels. His first job as an illustrator was in 1948 for the...

    , comics
    Comics
    Comics denotes a hybrid medium having verbal side of its vocabulary tightly tied to its visual side in order to convey narrative or information only, the latter in case of non-fiction comics, seeking synergy by using both visual and verbal side in...

     author (b. 1929)
  • Mark Eyskens
    Mark Eyskens
    Marc Maria Frans, Viscount Eyskens , known as Mark Eyskens , is a Belgian economist and politician in the Christian People's Party , now called Christian Democratic and Flemish, and briefly served as Prime Minister of Belgium in 1981.-Background:He was born in Leuven, the son of Gaston Eyskens, and...

    , politician
    Politician
    A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

     and former Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1933)
  • Louis Tobback
    Louis Tobback
    Louis Marie Joseph Tobback is a Belgian politician. Tobback is a Flemish social democrat and member of the political party SP.A. He is currently the mayor of Leuven. He graduated in Romance philology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel....

    , politician and mayor
    Mayor
    In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

     (b. 1938)
  • Emiel Puttemans
    Emiel Puttemans
    Emiel Puttemans is a retired middle- and long-distance runner, who set world records for 3000 metres in 1972, for 2 miles in 1971, and for 5000 metres in 1972....

    , middle- and long-distance runner (b. 1947)
  • Chris Miseur, painter (b. 1953)
  • Daniël Theys
    Daniël Theys
    Daniël Theys is a Belgian glassmaker and expressive artist.He's a member of Belgian glass styling...

    , expressive artist and glassmaker (b. 1953)
  • Peter Van Lancker, boat designer (b. 1952)
  • Jaak Pijpen, media personality (b. 1952)
  • Frank Vandenbroucke, politician (b. 1955)
  • Bruno Bosteels
    Bruno Bosteels
    Bruno Bosteels is a philologist, a translator, Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell University. He currently serves as the General Editor of diacritics. Bosteels is best known to the English-speaking world for his translations of the work of Alain Badiou...

    , philosopher, known for English translations of Alain Badiou
    Alain Badiou
    Alain Badiou is a French philosopher, professor at European Graduate School, formerly chair of Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure . Along with Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Žižek, Badiou is a prominent figure in an anti-postmodern strand of continental philosophy...

     (b. 1967)
  • Kim Gevaert
    Kim Gevaert
    Kim Gevaert is a former sprint athlete from Belgium.-Career:Her closest brush with a world title came in running 4/100 of a second behind three-time champion Gail Devers at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics...

    , sprint athlete, Olympic silver medalist in 4×100 relay (b. 1978)
  • Jonathan Vandenbroeck, singer-songwriter, better known as Milow
    Milow
    Milow is a municipality in the Ludwigslust-Parchim district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.-References:...

     (b. 1981)
  • Dries Mertens
    Dries Mertens
    Dries Mertens is a Belgian footballer currently playing for Dutch Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven.- Early career :...

    , footballer (b. 1987)

Lived in Leuven

  • Jean Baptiste Abbeloos
    Jean Baptiste Abbeloos
    Jean Baptiste Abbeloos was a Belgian orientalist and Rector of the University of Leuven.-Life:He was born 15 January 1836, at Goyck, Belgium. He was educated in the seminary of Mechelen, 1849 to 1860. After his ordination to the priesthood, 22 September 1860, he studied at Leuven and Rome,...

    , orientalist
    Oriental studies
    Oriental studies is the academic field of study that embraces Near Eastern and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages, peoples, history and archaeology; in recent years the subject has often been turned into the newer terms of Asian studies and Middle Eastern studies...

     and rector of the University of Leuven (1836–1906)
  • Adrian VI
    Pope Adrian VI
    Pope Adrian VI , born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens, served as Pope from 9 January 1522 until his death some 18 months later...

    , pope
    Pope
    The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

     and theologian (1459–1523)
  • Michel Baius, theologian (1513–1589)
  • Dirk Bouts
    Dirk Bouts
    Dieric Bouts was an Early Netherlandish painter. According to Karel van Mander in his Het Schilderboeck of 1604, Bouts was born in Haarlem and was mainly active in Leuven , where he was city painter from 1468...

    , painter
    Painting
    Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

     (c. 1410/20-1475)
  • Eustace Chapuys
    Eustace Chapuys
    Eustace Chapuys was a Savoyard diplomat who served as the Imperial ambassador to England from 1529 until 1545 and is best known for his extensive and detailed correspondence.-Life:...

    , Imperial ambassador to England
    Imperial ambassadors to England
    This is a partial list of Imperial resident ambassadors to the Kingdom of England.* Bernardo de Mesa, December 1514 - March 1523* Louis of Praet, May 1522 - May 1525* Jean de le Sauch, February 1525 - August 1525...

     (1489–1556)
  • Matheus de Layens
    Matheus de Layens
    Matheus de Layens was a Brabantine architect from the 15th century.He was employed in Leuven from 1433, first under the architect Sulpitius van Vorst , and afterwards under Jan Keldermans II, whom he succeeded in 1445 as master mason...

    , architect
    Architect
    An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

     (d.1483)
  • Koenraad Elst
    Koenraad Elst
    Koenraad Elst is a Belgian writer and orientalist .He was an editor of the New Right Flemish nationalist journal Teksten, Kommentaren en Studies from 1992 to 1995, focusing on criticism of Islam, various other conservative and Flemish separatist publications such as Nucleus, t Pallieterke,...

  • Desiderius Erasmus
    Desiderius Erasmus
    Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus , known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and a theologian....

    , humanist
    Humanism
    Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

     and theologian (1466–1536)
  • Cornelius Jansen
    Cornelius Jansen
    Corneille Janssens, commonly known by the Latinized name Cornelius Jansen or Jansenius, was Catholic bishop of Ypres and the father of a theological movement known as Jansenism.-Biography:...

    , father of Jansenism
    Jansenism
    Jansenism was a Christian theological movement, primarily in France, that emphasized original sin, human depravity, the necessity of divine grace, and predestination. The movement originated from the posthumously published work of the Dutch theologian Cornelius Otto Jansen, who died in 1638...

     (1585–1638)
  • Jean-Baptiste Janssens
    Jean-Baptiste Janssens
    Jean-Baptiste Janssens was the twenty-seventh Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was born in Mechelen, Belgium.-Early Life and schooling:...

    , philosophy
    Philosophy
    Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

     teacher, Superior General of the Society of Jesus
    Superior General of the Society of Jesus
    The Superior General of the Society of Jesus is the official title of the leader of the Society of Jesus—the Roman Catholic religious order, also known as the Jesuits. He is generally addressed as Father General. The position carries the nickname of Black Pope, after his simple black priest's...

     (1889–1964)
  • Abdul Qadeer Khan
    Abdul Qadeer Khan
    Abdul Qadeer Khan , also known in Pakistan as Mohsin-e-Pakistan , D.Eng, Sc.D, HI, NI , FPAS; more widely known as Dr. A. Q...

    , metallurgical engineer (b. 1935)
  • Georges Lemaître
    Georges Lemaître
    Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître was a Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Louvain. He was the first person to propose the theory of the expansion of the Universe, widely misattributed to Edwin Hubble...

    , astronomer (1894–1966)
  • Ron Lewis
    Ron Lewis (basketball)
    Ron Lewis is an American professional basketball player for Hapoel Holon from the Ligat HaAl and formerly for The Ohio State University and the Bowling Green Falcons.-College career:...

    , basketball player (b. 1984)
  • Justus Lipsius
    Justus Lipsius
    Justus Lipsius was a Southern-Netherlandish philologist and humanist. Lipsius wrote a series of works designed to revive ancient Stoicism in a form that would be compatible with Christianity. The most famous of these is De Constantia...

    , philologist and humanist (1547–1606)
  • Mícheál Ó Cléirigh
    Mícheál Ó Cléirigh
    Mícheál Ó Cléirigh , sometimes known as Michael O'Clery, was an Irish chronicler, scribe and antiquary and chief author of the Annals of the Four Masters, assisted by Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire, and Peregrinus Ó Duibhgeannain.-Background and early life:Grandson of Tuathal...

    , Irish
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

     chronicler (1590–1643)
  • Jan Van der Roost
    Jan Van der Roost
    Jan Van der Roost is a Belgian composer.Van der Roost was educated at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven , and followed further studies at the Royal Conservatory in Ghent and the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp. Since 1984 Van der Roost is a professor of counterpoint and fugue at the...

    , composer (b. 1956)
  • Philip Verheyen
    Philip Verheyen
    thumb|420px|Philip Verheyen Dissecting His Amputated Leg. Anonymous. From the collection of Pieter Deheijde.Philip Verheyen was a Belgian surgeon.-His birth and the beginning of his education:...

    , surgeon and rector
    Rector
    The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

     of the University of Leuven (1648–1711)
  • Andreas Vesalius, anatomist, physician (1514–1564)

Sister cities


Leuven is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 Lüdenscheid
Lüdenscheid
Lüdenscheid is a town in the Märkischer Kreis district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the Sauerland region. Lüdenscheid is seat of the administration of the Märkischer Kreis district...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Rennes
Rennes
Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.-History:...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...



Besides these sister cities, Leuven has friendly relations with: Tainan, Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 Stellenbosch, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 Cristian
Cristian
Cristian or Cristián is a masculine given name. It is the Italian, Romanian and Spanish form of Christian. Cristian may refer to:* Cristian Ivan Aguilar nava Mexican film director* Cristián Arriagada, Chilean actor...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...


In pop culture


Leuven is mentioned in the song "Dirty Blue" by Woven Hand
Woven Hand
Wovenhand is a band from Denver, Colorado led by former 16 Horsepower lead singer David Eugene Edwards. Woven Hand's music combines elements of neofolk, alternative country, post-rock, punk, industrial music, folk rock, old-time music and native American music, among other influences.-History:The...

, a lyric that mentions "the bells of Leuven".

External links