".: Welcome to my VT pages :." Christophe_Ons's Profile
Hi, my name is Chris and I live in this Belgian town you may not have heard of yet ...
Leuven (in French : "Louvain") is a historic town in Flanders whose medieval roots date back as far as the 10th century, it's located about 30km / 20miles east of Brussels. The town covers an area of 14,371 acres and consists of the boroughs Heverlee, Leuven, Kessel-Lo, and Wilsele. Since Leuven is practically in the center of Belgium, from here you have a direct connection by train to a.o. Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent and Liege, all of which are within a one and a half hour travel distance by train or car. Since Belgium is smack in the middle of Europe, major cities like Cologne, Amsterdam, Paris and even London are only a few hours away.
The city of Leuven, capital of the province of Flemish-Brabant, is perhaps best known throughout the world for it's magnificent architecture, it's university and last but certainly not least, it's world famous beer. De "Oude Markt" (Old Marketplace) in the center is basically a square lined with nothing but cafes - Louvain is a city full of national and international students, as it has a world renowned university, the K.U.L. (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) . It is also the hometown of IMEC (Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center) - Europe's leading independent research center in the field of microelectronics and nanotechnology.
Although Leuven suffered heavily during the two World Wars it is now a modern, yet charming city with a very rich past - it is often called an "open air museum" : places of interest include abbeys, churches, beguinages, The Old Market Square, the Treasury of Saint-Peter, ... Scattered throughout the city are fine examples of flamboyant Gothic architecture. Louvain is also the hometown of Dirk Bouts, one of the important Flemish Primitives (painters who lived in the Southern Netherlands in the 15th century) ...
I hope my Leuven pages will convey the idea that Leuven is an authentic yet often overlooked Flemish town and well worth a visit / day trip when you're in our tiny, little Belgium ...
Of course, many of you visiting my home country will want to see Brugge (Bruges) - and with good reason. Despite the fact that this town is, well, sort of too popular for it's own good - and constantly flooded with tourists - partially "faux-medieval" Bruges has an undeniable charm and beauty - from it's breathtaking architecture, canals and bridges, to its lovely alleys and, of course, a true treasure of cultural heritage and arts. It's tough to say when to visit as it's hard to avoid the tourist crowd - but a visit to Brugge really is a must for those interested in European, and Flemish culture in particular. In my opinion it would certainly be a shame to limit one's Belgium visit to just Brussels - Brugge is worlds apart.
Brugge is - at least in my opinion - best explored intensely to fully appreciate its unique character. Despite being relatively small, it takes time to just see the landmarks even though they are crammed one next to the other. Staying out of the touristy shops and rather explore Brugge off the beaten path, really pays off, too. I'll try to reflect that in my pages. I spent a wonderful day here this Easter, took tons of pictures and will be working on my Brugge pages gradually in the coming weeks - so check back often ...
My other - and probably favourite - page is about my preferred travel destination, New York City. I'll be visiting the city for the fourth time in Oct/Nov 2005. For now, the focus of my pages is on Manhattan, but I'll gradually add content about the outer boroughs, and of course lots more Manhattan tips as well.
I hope you find my pages useful. VT is not a contest and I don't care about ranks and stuff, but if you browse here, please rate my tips for what you think they're worth so I know which ones to improve... and by all means drop me a line if you feel like doing so - I always respond. Thanks for visiting - and happy travelling !
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- Top 5 Page for this destination New York City Intro, 76 reviews, 287 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Leuven Intro, 82 reviews, 174 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Brugge Intro, 28 reviews, 71 photos, 5 travelogues
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