Great Beguinage, Leuven

Great Beguinage, Leuven (must see)

The Great Beguinage of Leuven stands as a remarkable testament to medieval communal living and architectural heritage. Situated in the southern part of downtown Leuven, this historical quarter spans about 3 hectares (7.5 acres) and consists of a dozen streets lined with nearly 100 houses containing some 300 apartments. It ranks among the largest and best-preserved beguinages in the Low Countries, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of communal living.

Nestled along the banks of the river Dijle, the Great Beguinage is divided by the river into two parts, forming an island connected by three picturesque bridges. The entire beguinage, owned by the University of Leuven, serves as a campus, primarily housing students and academic guests. Stepping into the Great Beguinage feels like entering a small town, with its network of narrow streets, quaint squares, and charming houses.

The houses within the Great Beguinage, dating primarily from the period between 1630 and 1670, reflect the local traditional architecture enriched with subtle Baroque elements. Characterized by red brick facades adorned with sandstone cross-bar frames for windows and doors, these houses exude a timeless elegance. One of the distinctive features of the beguinage is the abundance of dormers, often embellished with crow-stepped gables and round arched windows, adding to its architectural charm and historical significance.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Leuven. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Great Beguinage on Map

Sight Name: Great Beguinage
Sight Location: Leuven, Belgium (See walking tours in Leuven)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Leuven, Belgium

Create Your Own Walk in Leuven

Create Your Own Walk in Leuven

Creating your own self-guided walk in Leuven is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Leuven Introduction Walking Tour

Leuven Introduction Walking Tour

Nestled in the heart of Belgium, the picturesque town of Leuven has no shortage of historic and cultural attractions. Its name is thought to originate from the Old Germanic word "Loven," meaning “to love or praise”, an explanation of which may be found in the Leuven slogan, “Always praise God.”

Leuven's roots date back to 891 when it was first mentioned after a Viking...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Leuven Monuments and Statues

Leuven Monuments and Statues

Leuven, Belgium is a city steeped in history and culture, embellished with an assortment of monuments and statues that mirror its abundant heritage. Ranging from age-old landmarks to contemporary sculptures, each of them narrates a tale and contributes to the city's distinct allure. Whether paying tribute to historical luminaries, commemorating artistic triumphs, or simply enhancing the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles