Louvain

Louvain (lōväNˈ) [key], Du. Leuven, city (1991 pop. 85,018), Flemish Brabant prov., central Belgium, on the Dijle River. It is a commercial, industrial, and cultural center, as well as a rail junction. Mentioned in the 9th cent., Louvain was a center of the wool trade and of the cloth industry in the Middle Ages. For a time it was the capital of the duchy of Brabant, and in 1356 the Joyeuse Entrée, a charter of liberties, was granted there. In the 14th cent., strife between the nobles and the weavers was prevalent; after the nobles gained authority most of the weavers emigrated to Holland and England, and the city declined. In 1426, Duke John IV of Brabant founded a Roman Catholic university. Its library was destroyed by the Germans in World Wars I and II, but was rebuilt after each. In 1968, as a result of a long-standing dispute between Dutch- and French-speaking sectors, the university was divided into two autonomous units. The Dutch-speaking Universiteit de Leuven remained in Louvain, and the French-speaking Université Catholique de Louvain was established at Ottignies. Among the noted buildings of Louvain are the Gothic city hall (15th cent.; damaged in both world wars); the 14th-century Cloth Workers' Hall, and several medieval churches.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Louvain from Fact Monster:

  • Cornelis Jansen - Jansen, Cornelis Jansen, Cornelis , 1585–1638, Dutch Roman Catholic theologian. He studied at ...
  • Dierick Bouts - Bouts, Dierick, Dirk, or Thierry Bouts, Dierick, Dirk, or Thierry , c.1420–1475, early ...
  • Christian de Duve - de Duve, Christian de Duve, Christian (Christian Renē Maria Joseph de Duve), 1917–, ...
  • Lemaître, Georges, Abbé - Lemaître, Georges, Abbé Lemaître, Georges, Abbé , 1894–1966, ...
  • Adrian VI, pope - Adrian VI Adrian VI, 1459–1523, pope (1522–23), a Netherlander (b. Utrecht) named ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Benelux Political Geography