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Sightseeing in Leuven - what to see. Complete travel guide

Leuven is a city in Belgium located in the province Brabant. Leuven is a port town that stands on the Dyle River and on a channel that connects Leuven with Scheldt. The population of the city estimated 32.2 thousands of people in 1971.
The main symbol of Leuven is located in the heart of the city; the old Town Hall, Stadhuis, is a true example of the so-called ‘Flamboyant Gothic.’ Construction of the building began … Open
The city features well developed sawing, textile, metal processing and chemical industries. The oldest catholic university of Belgium is also located in Leuven.

First mentions of Leuven are referred to 884 AD. At that time it was used as a stay for Normans. Starting from the IX century Leuven became the residence of earls. In 1106 it became the official residence of dukes of Louvain. During XI – XII centuries Leuven got sufficient popularity as the center of trading and textile industry. However, it lost its importance already in XV-XVI centuries. During both World Wars the town was occupied by the German troops.
Starting from the medieval time Leuven has got a circular planning. There are several gothic buildings in this place. These are Saint Quintin’s Kirche, St. Hertrudis Kirche, St. Peter’s churches, a 12 meters tall tabernacle made of stone, a town hall and living quarters. The St. Michael’s Kirche church is designed in the Baroque style. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Leuven is the lively student city, where there are beautiful parks, bustling pubs and nightclubs, as well as abundance of stylish shops. Nature lovers will enjoy the local Botanical Garden - … Open
The buildings of the university, Large and Old trading squares are surrounded by royal examples of architecture of XV-XVI centuries. The town hall located on the Grote Markt is the most fascinating building of the town and of all Belgium as well.
St. Peter's Church, which is also located on Grote Markt, is built in the gothic style. The church has been rebuilt after the World War II. In the crypt of St. Peter you can see such famous pieces of art of the XV century as “The Last Supper” and “The Martyrdom of Holy Erasmus” created by Dirk Boots.
1. Travelers, who are in Leuven for the first time, are sure to visit the tourist office located next to the Town Hall. There you can purchase a great set of colorful cards and booklets … Open
Travellers traditionally visit Begijnhof Monastery. In this monastery lived women who devoted themselves to religion, but who didn't get rid of their property, so they could maintain themselves. Other places of interest include St. Gertrude Abbey, Park Abbey and Vlierbeek Abbey.
It will be interesting for fans of historical sites to stroll through the Spanish Quarter. There are many beautiful buildings of the 17th century, built from red bricks. The entire territory of this picturesque area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For many travelers this historic area is also known as the old Aborg Castle. By beauty, it can only be compared with the cultural and historical complex of Big Beguinage.
In Leuven, shopping fans will have a chance to explore not only interesting stores but also colorful markets. Near the Cathedral on Smoldersplein Street, you'll find a wonderful flea market … Open
In the warm season, it is worth visiting the Botanical Garden of Leuven, located near the central square of the city and founded in 1738. Now, this botanical garden is the oldest in the country. It was originally run by the University of Leuven and used to grow medicinal herbs. Only in 1835 was the garden handed over to the city administration. Many beautiful fountains were built on its territory and decorative plants were planted, which can be admired now. A total of 800 species of plants are represented on the territory of the garden, and a beautiful greenhouse was built to maintain the most valuable specimens.
Bibliothèque de luniversité de Leuven In the vicinity of Leuven is located the beautiful Castle of Arenberg, which is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country in the Gothic style. This castle was built in the 11th century and was originally the residence of the lords of Heverle. However, already in the 15th century the clan was on the brink of ruin and had to sell the castle. The new owner has almost completely rebuilt the castle. From the beginning of the 16th century, he practically did not change its appearance. In 1921, the old building was taken over by the University of Leuven, which now houses a library.
Leuven is famous for its historical monuments and picturesque parks. Special entertainment can be found here for tourists with children. There is an excellent amusement park in the city … Open
The starting point of many sightseeing programs is the beautiful Grote Market Square. It is one of the oldest places in the city. This area was built simultaneously with the construction of the university. Now the huge area is surrounded by incredibly beautiful historical buildings in the Gothic style. In many buildings there are attractive restaurants and souvenir shops. For many years, the most important public events and holidays have been held on the square, and on the eve of Christmas there is always a festive fair here. The most interesting entertainment events on this square are held in August, when locals celebrate the symbolic holiday of the May Tree.
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City tours, excursions and tickets in Leuven and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Leuven
♥   Castle 'Arenberg Castle' , 2.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château Pastur' , 20.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Zétrud-Lumay Castle' , 20.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Royal Palace of Laeken Belgium' , 23.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Royal Palace of Brussels' , 24.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Leuven
♥   National Park 'Grenspark de Zoom - Kalmthoutse Heide' , 61.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'De Loonse en Drunense Duinen' , 91.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'De Groote Peel' , 91.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'De Biesbosch' , 97.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Scarpe-Escaut' , 101 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Leuven from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Hallerbos Forest

From the series “Stunning Beauty Places of the Earth, Unknown to Tourists”
The forest is located in the surroundings of the town of Dvorp and is only a 30 minute drive from Brussels. The fact that the sight is located in the immediate vicinity of the large industrial centers makes it even more strange. According to the approximate bills, the age of the unique Blue Forest forms about 400 years. The researchers believe that so extensive hyacinth thickening has formed on its territory in the course of a few centuries. Today, the forest is the unique ecosystem that serves as a location for rabbits, deer and rare birds. If you are lucky, you can meet the forest inhabitants during the hike. … Read further

Mini-Europe

From the series “Famous Miniature Museums of Architectural Objects and Cities”
The park is famous not only for its variety of realistic miniatures, but also for its amazing landscape decorations. At its registration, beautiful lawn, various dwarf trees and bushes have been used. Enjoy this beauty is best of all in summer. According to approximate estimates, the Mini Europe miniature park is visited by about 375000 people annually. The annual income of the park is about three million euros. As a rule, tourists spend at least two hours on sightseeing. The park can be visited from early March to early January. … Read further

Atomium

From the series “Top 16 Most Amazing Buildings of the Planet”
The unique building, whose design was developed by the outstanding architect Adre Waterkeyn, is today the landmark of national importance. The huge pipes that connect the spheres have not only a decorative purpose. Inside are the escalators and high-speed trains, with the help of which visitors of the 'atom' can move freely through their entire space. In 2006 the unusual building was completely renovated, after which it even looked more attractive. In the evening Atomium is illuminated by the wonderful illumination. The building is surrounded by the picturesque park with fountains and comfortable recreation areas. … Read further
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Leuven

All about Leuven, Belgium - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Leuven, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Leuven in few days.
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