- An Introduction to Leuven, with pictures and videos.

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Discover Leuven

Important Note : In September 2021, Leuven is the location for the UCI Road World Championships of Cycling. World champions in many different categories will be crowned. Men and women elite road race, individual time trials, etc. Finals often will develop around the city center of Leuven.

Leuven is located 26 kilometers (16 miles) east of Brussels. By international standards it is a relatively small city with a population of about 100,244 (2016). Leuven is an historic long established Flemish city, with impressive buildings, Belgium's largest university (founded in 1425), and home to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewing group. The Stella Artois brewery is still very visible, located close to Leuven's railway station.

Library of Catholic University of Leuven

The Catholic University of Leuven is ranked 71th in the world at QS Top Universities Rankings (2018), higher than any other university in Belgium. Founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V, the University is considered the oldest catholic university in the world, though its services were temporarily interrupted during French occupation at the end of the 18th century. For a long time, both a Dutch- (Flemish) and French-speaking section coexisted in Leuven, but the university was split in 1968, and Louvain-la-Neuve was established in the French speaking region of Belgium, south of Brussels.
Leuven can be called a student city during the academic year, when the number of inhabitants increases by more than 20,000 students. This is reflected in the number of student cafes (bars), cheaper restaurants and eateries, the number of bicycles on the streets, bookshops etc.

Leuven is also the capital of the Province of Flemish Brabant. As such houses a lot of administrative services and the Province Building, where the province council is located. Municipal and provincial administration buildings are located close to the railway station.

Famous inhabitants of Leuven include : Quentin Matsys (or Quinten Matsijs in Dutch, 1466-1530, painter), Dirk Bouts (1410/20-1475, painter), pope (H)Adrian VI (1459-1523), Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564, anatomist), Emiel Puttemans (long-distance runner), Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536, humanist), Justus Lipsius (1547-1606, humanist).

Of particular interest to visitors is that the town of Leuven is very well connected with the other main cities of interest in Flandres and the Belgian capital Brussels.
By train Bruges can be reached in 90 minutes, Ghent in 60 minutes, Antwerp in 45 minutes, Mechelen and Brussels in about 30 minutes.
Brussels Airport can also be reached by train in about 15 minutes.
As such Leuven is a good place to explore the other historical cities of Flanders. You will not find 5-star hotels in the city, but there are about 20 smaller sized well suited (and cheaper) hotels available.



Information about Leuven :

Oude Markt (Old Market Square)
University Central Library
Park Abbey, Heverlee
Saint Peter's Church
Saint Michael's Church
Churches of Leuven
University Buildings in Leuven
Grand Beguinage of Leuven

Add-On's :
Basilica of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel

Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren

Videos of Leuven :

Grand Market Place and Town Hall of Leuven
Oude Markt
University Hall of Catholic University of Leuven
Saint Peter's Church
Saint Michael's Church
Grand Beguinage of Leuven
Schouwburg (Concert Hall) of Leuven
Muntstraat in Leuven
Ladeuze Bells Carillon Concert
A Visit to the Stella Artois (AB Inbev) Brewery in Leuven
Arenberg Castle in Heverlee
Park Abbey, Heverlee
Railway Station in Leuven
Leuven at Night
University Hospital Gasthuisberg
Green Leuven

Videos Outside Leuven :

Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren
Basilica of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel

Saint Peter's Church in Leuven