KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven), Leuven

KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven), Leuven

The Catholic University of Leuven stands as a prestigious institution of higher learning with a rich history dating back to its founding in 1425 Established by Pope Martin V at the request of Duke John IV of Brabant, the university was modeled after the esteemed University of Paris. For centuries, it served as a unitary entity until 1970 when it underwent partitioning, driven by linguistic differences, resulting in the creation of two separate universities.

Following student riots, ethnic protests, and government upheavals in 1969, the Catholic University underwent significant reorganization, leading to the establishment of separate Flemish- and French-language divisions. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of distinct legal statuses for each division, with the first faculties being established in Louvain-la-Neuve in 1972.

The university's historical significance is intertwined with the Cloth Hall, originally used by weavers for selling cloth. Following the university's establishment, part of the building was allocated as classroom space. Tragically, during the German occupation in 1914, the Cloth Hall suffered extensive damage in the Great Fire of Leuven, resulting in the loss of 300,000 books and manuscripts. However, the resilient spirit of the university prevailed, leading to the rebuilding of the library at Ladeuzeplein.

Today, the Cloth Hall serves as the university's policy center and remains a central hub for enrollment, while also housing a museum, university shop, and a cozy coffee bar, welcoming visitors to explore its historical significance and academic legacy.

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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KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven) on Map

Sight Name: KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven)
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