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Leuven

Culture of Leuven. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Het Tafelrond Grote Markt Leuven 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 in the first half of the 15th century and lasted for 21 years. At first glance on the town hall, the name of the architectural style is understood. Narrow carved windows that adorn the facade of the town hall do resemble graceful flames. Beautiful statues complement its design; during the last renovation in the late 19th century, 200 sculptures were added to Town Hall facade. Among those statues, are images of scientists, artists, politicians and other prominent figures of the city.
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
In the southern part of Leuven there is a landmark of world importance - Groot Begijnhof. Here you can see the beautiful ancient basilica, as well as preserved 16th-century buildings. For a long time they were in disrepair; today one of the buildings of the Catholic University is situated here. Continuing the theme of religious sites, it’s necessary to mention Collegiale Sint-Pieterskerk, which is not far from the Town Hall.
The first mention of the church refers to the year 986, but ancient Roman buildings have failed to survive to this day. In 1176, a wooden church has been burned down and hasn’t been rebuilt again until the end of the 15th century. Over the long history, the cathedral also has been repeatedly destroyed and badly damaged during the Second World War. The only surviving element of the building is the bell tower; it is the subject of global importance. Grote Markt square is considered the busiest place in Leuven. Around it there are most important sights. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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
In addition to historical sites, there are restaurants and shops next to the square; for many years it has remained a permanent venue for trade fairs, concerts and other public events. To the east of the square is the house of assembly, Tafelrond. It was built in the late 18th century; the building was used for events and meetings, and from the mid-19th century it was in neglect. Today, a totally renovated building is managed by the private entrepreneur. No less impressive historical monument is the Arenbergkasteel. Beautiful red-brick building is a unique combination of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles.
The Belgian city is famous for its university - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. It is worth noting that its building is of equal interest. Besides that, it is interesting from a historical perspective, being the first Belgian university that opened back in 1425 and re-founded in 1797. By the way, despite the fact that it has the word "Catholic" in its name, today it is open to students of various faiths. Bibliotheektoren, University Library & Bell Tower, is also interesting from the architectural and cultural points of view. It would be especially nice to get on a tour during a bell-ringing concert.
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
Many tourists who arrive by train begin their acquaintance with the city immediately from the railway station. It must be said that its architecture is particularly attractive, being a masterpiece of modern architecture. Besides the fact that the station building is very beautiful, it is still very functional. For those looking for magnificent views of the picturesque green landscapes, it may not be superfluous to mention the Kruidtuin Botanical Garden. It attracts visitors with the aroma of its wonderful tropical flowers, and walking in such a park is a pure pleasure. Another great place to walk is Sint-Donatuspark where one can meet several historical sights (Toren Oude Stadsomwalling is one of them).
Art connoisseurs would be delighted to visit such a cultural institution as M-Museum Leuven, which presents a large number of interesting works by famous artists performed in completely different styles. The museum building itself is a piece of contemporary art - the style in which the cultural institution is built can be called Avant-garde. Scouts En Gidsen Museum, as one might guess from the name, demonstrates the history of scouts though exhibits related to this movement in Belgium.
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 … Open
An interesting attraction is De Ballon Van De Vriendschap - "The Friendship Balloon", which is located on Herbert Hooverplein Square. The sculpture has long become a symbol of the city. It was demounted in May 2014 to become available to tourists and townspeople again in August 2018. Sometimes, next to the statue you can see the following picture: some of the most active people are trying to build a pyramid of themselves, trying to recreate the sculpture and become the "symbols of friendship". It is also worth noting that Leuven has many religious attractions (other than those presented above), and it's recommended to visit three more shrines to admire their spectacular exteriors and interiors: these include Sint-Kwintenskerk, Sint-Michielskerk, and Sint-Jacobskerk.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Leuven and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Leuven and surroundings

Leuven - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Leuven
♥   Palace 'Royal Castle of Laeken' Brussels, 23.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Royal Palace of Belgium' Brussels, 24.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Egmont Palace' Brussels, 24.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Royal Palace of Antwerp' Antwerp, 42.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Leuven
♥   Basiliek Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Scherpenheuvel, Scherpenheuvel / Montaigu, 22.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Primatiale Sint-Romboutskathedraal, Mechelen / Malines, 22.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Sint-Servaasbasiliek, Grimbergen, 23.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Collegiale Sint-Michiels- en Sint-Goedele-co-kathedraal, Bruxelles / Brussel, 24.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathedrale abdijkerk Sint-Jacob op de Koudenbergkerk, Brussel / Bruxelles, 24.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Cœur, Koekelberg, 26.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basiliek Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Lourdes, Edegem, 35.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Leuven

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Leuven

Landmarks of culture on Leuven map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Leuven

Culture guide to Leuven. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Leuven: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Leuven. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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