Venue and city general information
PROVINCIEHUIS (PROVINCIAL HOUSE)
Provincieplein 1 – 3010 Leuven
How to get there
By public transportation
The Provinciehuis is located next to the train (NMBS) and main bus (De Lijn) station of Leuven (only a few minutes’ walk from the platforms). When you exit the train station, the Provinciehuis is located on your left-hand side. You just need to follow the promenade.
From the E40 take the E314 and take exit 15 in the direction of Leuven Centrum. Continue driving until you reach the ring of Leuven. Take the ring in the right direction to Tienen and Diest. When you pass the Tiense Poort, hold on to the right lane and continue in the direction of the train station until you reach the end. Turn right and drive underneath the pedestrian bridge until you reach the railway. Now turn right and continue along the railway until you reach the Provinciehuis.
Older types of GPS may not find the address. To plan you route using GPS, enter “Tiensevest” as destination instead of “Provincieplein 1”.
A limited number of parking places are available in the parking garage underneath the Provinciehuis (only 40 places available for all visitors of the entire building). Alternatively (and maybe better), you can park your car underneath the train station in the Parking “De Bond”.
The City of Leuven
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium. It is located about 25 kilometres (16 miles) east of Brussels, close to other neighbouring towns such as Mechelen, Aarschot, Tienen, and Wavre. The municipality itself comprises the historical city of Leuven and the former municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal.
It is home to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewing group and one of the five largest consumer-goods companies in the world, and to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence. It is also home to the UZ Leuven, one of the largest hospitals of Europe.
Leuven can be very easily reached both by plane and by train. The town is located approximately 15 minutes’ drive from the Belgian National Airport of Zaventem, which has its own train station (Brussels National Airport) with direct trains to Leuven.
Leuven is easy to reach by train from all Belgian and European cities (20 minutes’ train ride from Brussels) and the station is very close to the town centre.
Within the city and its immediate surroundings most distances can be covered on foot or with a bicycle. Several streets are off-limits to vehicle traffic and within the city centre road speed regulations prescribe 30 km/h (19 mph) as the maximum speed limit, making it a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly city. There are also a few car parking lots.
There are numerous buses, primarily from the public transportation company De Lijn, that connect the city with the region while providing travel options within the city center. The so-called Ringbus follows the ring road of the city. Except for long distance routes (such as to other cities) and other irregular bus services, most buses come by every 10 minutes. Buses 616, 652 and 651 connect Leuven with Brussels Airport.
The train station of Leuven is located on the railways 35 (Leuven - Aarschot - Hasselt), 36 (Brussels - Liège), 36N (Schaarbeek - Leuven), 53 (Schellebelle - Leuven), and 139 (Leuven - Ottignies).
In Bierbeek, south-west of Leuven, lies the beginning of HSL 2, the high-speed railway towards Liège.
For practical information on how to reach Leuven and how to get around the town, please visit the website http://www.leuven.be/en/tourism/useful-information.
Buildings and landmarks
Leuven's Town Hall (Stadhuis) is one of the best-known Gothic town halls worldwide and Leuven's pride and joy. It took three architects and thirty years to build it. Leuven's 'Hall of Fame' features 236 statues, which were only added to the façade after 1850. There are 220 men and 16 women in total. On the bottom floor are famous Leuven scientists, artists and historical figures, dressed in Burgundian garb. The first floor is reserved for the patron saints of the various parishes of Leuven. Above them the façade is adorned by the counts and dukes of Brabant while the towers primarily feature biblical figures. These days the town hall merely has a ceremonial function after the city's administrative services moved in 2009. On the side of the Town Hall you will find the tourist information.
The University Library is the most spectacular building in Leuven. The Library Tower (Bibliotheektoren) casts on everything in the city centre its shadow. After a steep climb you get a splendid view of Leuven and surroundings.
The prestigious University Hall (Universiteitshal) dates from 1317. It was originally the municipal Cloth Hall and only comprised a ground floor in Gothic style. In 1432 the newly founded university was housed in the wing on the Krakenstraat. The hall was used as a lecture hall until the First World War. In 1679 the city sold the entire building to the university that immediately built the baroque first floor. In 1723 the Rega wing was added (classical sandstone façade overlooking Oude Markt). Today the Registrar's Office is housed here.
Saint Peter's Church (Sint-Pieterskerk) is the oldest church in Leuven. It was presumably founded in 986. The first church burnt down in 1176. A new Romanesque church was built with a crypt, an extension, at the back of the choir. The Westwork was flanked by two towers as can be seen in the old town seal.
Saint Michael's Church (Sint-Michielskerk) is considered to be the main Jesuit church in Belgium. The impressive façade in pure baroque style is characterized as "the altar outside the church" and is as such one of the seven wonders of Leuven.
Saint Gertrude’s Church (Sint-Geertruikerk) was constructed between the 13th and 15th century. The late Gothic tower, said to be one of the seven wonders of Leuven because its tower was built without securing pins, dates from 1454 and was constructed by the master builder of the Brussels' town hall, Jan van Ruysbroeck. In the church, noteworthy Late Gothic choir stalls can be admired. The abbey belonged to the Augustinian Order.
Although the construction and history of Saint Quentin's Church (Sint-Kwintenskerk) have a Romanesque base, in its present appearance this building bears a close resemblance to the Brabant high-Gothic style.
The Great Beguinage (Groot Begijnhof), recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is a bewitching piece of pure relaxation right in the heart of the city, dating from the 13th century. It has a succession of streets, squares, gardens and parks, with dozens of houses and convents in traditional sandstone. During the high days in the 17th century around 360 beguines lived there, pious women who didn't have their own conventual order and needed accommodation. These days students, foreign guest professors and employees from the oldest catholic university in Europe have replaced these ladies. The old infirmary and the beguinage's communal accommodation - the Chièvres Convent - are now home to a Leuven congress centre. And the picturesque streets are now a favourite area for walkers wanting to bathe in the atmosphere of times gone by.
The spacious Donatus Park (Sint-Donatuspark) park is laid out in English landscape style. There are still a few ruins of towers, built in the 12th century, of the first wall around Leuven. The park was created in 1866 by combining private properties like the burnt out Sint-Donatuscollege and the gardens of three other colleges. In the Nineties the park was fully renovated.
The name “Leuven” instantly brings beer to mind. Beer culture is after all an inescapable aspect of the city. Not only is Leuven the home of Stella Artois, you will also find the longest bar in the world there at the Oude Markt, along with the domestic brewery Domus. Leuven has several bars priding themselves in offering a wide variety of local and international beers, including a bar that claims to offer more than 3000 different beers.
For further and detailed information on Leuven attractions, please visit the website http://www.leuven.be
10th European Echocardiography Course on Congenital Heart Disease
- 14th to 17th October 2015, Leuven (Belgium)
9th European Echocardiography Course on Congenital Heart Disease
- 15th to 18th October 2014, Timisoara (Romania)