The Venue: University Hall (Hallen) of Leuven

We are happy to welcome you in the University Hall of the KU Leuven, one of Europe's highest-ranked and most renowned universities. The university boasts a long tradition of pioneering research and high-quality education. Founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V, KU Leuven bears the double honour of being the oldest extant Catholic university in the world and the oldest university in the Low Countries. Today, it is Belgium's largest university.

Historic aspect

Around 1100 the Hall was originally built by the weavers to be used for trading fabric. Shortly after the establishment of the university (in 1425), the city put part of the building at the disposal of the colleges as a library and classrooms.
When the German army set fire to the inner city of Leuven on 25 August 1914, the university hall was almost completely destroyed except for its façade. A total of 300,000 books and manuscripts went up in flames as well. The university library was rebuilt at a different location (Ladeuzeplein) afterwards.

The fabric Hall today
The Fabric Hall currently serves as the university’s policy centre. It is still the central place of enrolment, and one of its halls is still regularly used for public PhD defences. Recently the university hall was opened to the public.  Here you can visit a tiny museum, the university shop and the cosy coffee bar.

Leuven as a town

The town of Leuven is located in the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium, approximately 20 kilometer east of Brussels. Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant  and has nearly 100.000 inhabitants. More information about leuven and places to visit and see, can be found on : http://www.leuven.be/en/tourism/ or Tourism Leuven site.

Since its founding, KU Leuven has been based in the city that shares its name. Leuven is a pleasant, safe and bustling student town, where centuries-rich history meets cutting-edge science. Since the downtown is rather small (diameter < 3km), the venue is within walking distance from several hotels.

 

Leuven in keywords

  • University town
  • Conveniently located: 20 km east from Brussels
  • Excellent (train) connection to international airport of Brussels and other cities
  • KULeuven (Sedes Sapiensis) largest and oldest university of Belgium, founded in 1425
  • Medieval history: quite some historic buildings and landmarks (churches, castles…)
  • Presence of prestigious University Hospital “UZ-Leuven: Gasthuisberg”.
  • Headquarter of a large famous beer brewery of (Anheuser-Busch-InBev) localy referred to by historic name : “Stella (Artois)”
  • Several, outstanding, small scale breweries in or around Leuven.
  • Presence of several: high-tech companies : KLA-Tencor, JSR, layerwise, ….