Place:Leuven, Brabant, Belgium

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NameLeuven
Alt namesLouvainsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VII, 514; Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1984)
Louvinsource: Family History Library Catalog
Lovainasource: Cassell's Spanish Dictionary (1990) p 863
Lovaniosource: Cassell's Italian Dictionary (1983) p 296
Lovaniumsource: Concise Description of Flanders [web site] (2002) accessed 22 Jan 2003
Löwensource: Family History Library Catalog
Löwensource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-102
TypeMunicipality
Coordinates50.867°N 4.7°E
Located inBrabant, Belgium
Also located inVlaams-Brabant, Vlaanderen, Belgium     (700 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Leuven or Louvain is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. It is located about east of Brussels. The municipality itself comprises the historic city and the former neighbouring municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal. It is the eighth largest city in Belgium and the fourth in Flanders with more than 100,244 inhabitants (Federal Ministry of Home Affairs, 1/11/2016).

Leuven is home to the KU Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence. The related university hospital of UZ Leuven is one of the largest hospitals in Europe. The city is also known for being the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer and one of the five largest consumer-goods companies in the world.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The earliest mention of Leuven (Loven) dates from 891, when a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia (see: Battle of Leuven). According to a legend, the city's red and white arms depict the blood-stained shores of the river Dyle after this battle, similarly to Austria’s Flag.

Situated beside this river, and near to the stronghold of the Dukes of Brabant, Leuven became the most important centre of trade in the duchy between the 11th and 14th centuries. A token of its former importance as a centre of cloth manufacture is shown in that ordinary linen cloth was known, in late-14th-century and 15th-century texts, as lewyn (other spellings: Leuwyn, Levyne, Lewan(e), Lovanium, Louvain).

In the 15th century, a new golden era began with the founding of what is now the largest and oldest university in the Low Countries, the Catholic University of Leuven, in 1425.

In the 18th century, the brewery Den Horen (meaning "the horn") flourished. In 1708, Sebastien Artois became the master brewer at Den Horen, and gave his name to the brewery in 1717, now part of AB InBev, whose flagship beer, Stella Artois, is brewed in Leuven and sold in many countries.

Leuven has several times been besieged or occupied by foreign armies; these include the Battle of Leuven (891), Siege of Leuven (1635) and Battle of Leuven (1831).In the 20th century, both world wars inflicted major damage upon the city. Upon Germany's entry into World War I, the town was heavily damaged by rampaging soldiers. In all, about 300 civilians lost their lives. The university library was also destroyed on 25 August 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. 230,000 volumes were lost in the destruction, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts, a collection of 750 medieval manuscripts, and more than 1,000 incunabula (books printed before 1501).[1] The destruction of the library shocked the world, with the Daily Chronicle describing it as war not only against civilians but also against "posterity to the utmost generation." It was rebuilt after the war, and much of the collection was replaced. Great Britain (on the initiative of the John Rylands Library in Manchester) and the United States were major providers of material for the replenishment of the collection.[2] The new library building was financed by the National Committee of the United States for the Restoration of the University of Louvain and built to the design of architect Whitney Warren; it was officially opened on 4 July 1928. Richard Harding Davis, a war correspondent for the New York Tribune, was in Leuven (or Louvain, in Davis' account) and wrote a column titled "The Germans Were Like Men After an Orgy" in which he described the organized civilian murders and vandalism committed by the occupying troops.

In World War II, after the start of the German offensive, Leuven formed part of the British Expeditionary Force's front line and was defended by units of the 3rd Division and Belgian troops. From 14 to 16 May 1940, the German Army Group B assaulted the city with heavy air and artillery support. The British withdrew their forces to the River Senne on the night of 16 May and the town was occupied the next day. The new university library building was set on fire by shelling, on 16 May, and nearly a million books were lost.

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