Leuven/Louvain, batiments universitaires, l'héritage de six siècles au sein du centre historique is part of the Tentative list of Belgium in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Leuven has been a university city since 1425. The Old University of Leuven used to have 40 constituent colleges and their buildings and gardens dominate the historic city center. In the 16th century Leuven had become a major European center for art and knowledge with humanists like Erasmus working there.

Map of Leuven

Load map

The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

Write a review


Czechia - 23-Dec-19 -

Leuven (T) by Matejicek

I had an opportunity to thoroughly visit this pleasant little University town in September 2019 beacause of the conference organized by KU Leuven (KU = Catholic University). Thus, I could explore the buildings belonging to KU located in the town center quite intensively. As the University is an inseparable part of Leuven, there are a lot of buildings used by KU scattered all around Leuven. While most of the lectures took place in modern buildings - the largest was Pieter de Somer Aula, we had opportunity to visit also huge late gothic University Hall during poster sessions. The Hall is located very close to Oude Markt (PHOTO - the building with tall roof on the right side belongs to KU and it is adjacent to University Hall, and in the middle one can see the Belfry of Leuven - WHS!!!) and also to the world-famous Town Hall. Unfortunately, I could see the impresive Library only from outside - the building is really expansive and it is hard to believe that it is really a library.

Even though Leuven is nice and worth-visiting, I cannot see any OUV in its University. No building belonging to the University is truly exceptional, and I mean not only old buildings but also modern ones. Furthermore, there are already two other WHS in Leuven! The University town of Leuven lacks the monumentality of WHS Coimbra and the spirit/integrity of still-not-inscribed Cambridge&Oxford, and does not stand out when compared to other University towns in Europe like Gottingen, Tubingen, Lund, etc etc. Even the famous Town Hall is not such exceptional when compared to other similar buildings in Belgium such as much bigger structure in Brussels (WHS already).


Malta - 05-Feb-13 -

A short trip from Brussels by car or train. Interesting university city but does not deserve WHS status IMHO.

Ian Cade

UK - 11-Mar-09 -

Leuven (T) by Ian Cade

Whilst I am not sure if Leuven would add much to a World Heritage list that is already pretty full of nice European cities, this university town really has a lot to reward visitors. My fond memories owe a lot to the fact that I have made some great friends at the university, which is a really great seat of European learning. Even if you do not know students here the university is a very important part of the city. Many of its buildings are architectural highlights, especially the library. Secondly, and somewhat intangibly, the large amount of students give this city a great atmosphere.

The architectural highlight of the city is the Stadthuis, on the Groot Markt, which has to stand as one of the highlights of secular Gothic architecture. Its masses of statues and flags are really quite exceptional. Alkso on the square is one of the already inscribed Belfries. The wonderful Oude Markt is just around the corner and really is beautiful, and full to bursting point with bars and cafes.

Those that have been to Belgium would probably know of its Beer culture, nowhere is this better expressed than in Leuven. The large InBev Brewery on the outskirts is perhaps the most famous, but the great Domus brewery-pub is one of my favourites.

I really love Leuven but I am not sure if it would really add much to the World Heritage List, there are plenty of well preserved medium sized European cities on the list already. However I would thoroughly recommend a visit to see the magnificent Stadhuis as well as the best of Flanders Begijnhoofs.

One of my favourite European towns, it already has two sites inscribed on the list which is more than enough to warrant a visit.

Full Name
Leuven/Louvain, batiments universitaires, l'héritage de six siècles au sein du centre historique
Structure - Science and Education
2002 Added to Tentative List

The site has 1 locations

Leuven (T)
WHS 1997-2024