"Leuven" Leuven by annase

Leuven Travel Guide: 479 reviews and 1,031 photos

Leuven (French: Louvain, German: Löwen) is situated in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, about 20 km east of Brussels. The town has many historic buildings and pretty little cobbled alleyways. Its total population is about 90.000 of which about the third are students.

This is the main square in Leuven called 'Grote Markt'. It's surrounded by eloborate buildings such as the town hall and these fab town houses each of which have a cafe or bar downstairs. Opposite to these buildings, is the catolic church, St Peter's Church. the entrance is slightly hidden.

The Catholic University of Leuven is one of the oldest still existing catholic universities in the world, founded in the beginning of the 15th century and the new golden era. According to the students, it is "Belgium?s Oxford and Cambridge rolled into one". I think this is a rather strong claim, but students certainly bring fresh and flamboyant atmosphere to the town. The university and the university hospital are also major employers in Leuven with over 16,000 members of staff.

Leuven has a lively café society which is mainly centred on the handsome surroundings of the Old Market Square. There are no less than 50 eating and drinking establishments thereabouts. Going out might not be so much of a question about searching for a really nice place, but trying to decide which ones to miss!

And where there are lots of students, there is also cheap beer ;-) Leuven also happens to be the country?s beer capital. The flourishing brewery that would later become Interbrew, the largest brewery company in the world, was established in the 18th century. Stella Artois is probably the most famous (but certainly not the greatest by any standards). It was initially created as a Christmas beer in 1926. The brewery and main offices dominate the entire north-eastern part of the town, between the railway station and the canal to Mechelen. It is an attraction in its own right if you are into beer tasting and a brewery tour.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very pretty, most probably very beautiful in summer
  • Cons:I wasn't there long enough and it was raining almost all the time
  • Last visit to Leuven: Feb 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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