Leuven Town Hall is a Gothic-style building located in the city of Leuven, in the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium.
Leuven’s first town hall was located on the Old Market Square. In the 15th century, the city authorities decided to build a new building on the Grote Markt. The construction took place in two stages. In 1439-1445, the eastern part of the Town Hall was built according to the project of two architects Sulpicius van Worst and Jan II Kelderman. From 1448 to 1469, the construction of the northern part continued, that is, the one located along the Grote Markt. The work was supervised by the architect Mathieu de Layens. The south wing along Munstrat Street appeared in 1938. During its existence, the Town Hall of Leuven has been rebuilt several times.
The style of Leuven Town Hall gravitates towards the late Gothic – this is the so-called Brabant Gothic. The openwork carving on the facade is fascinating: it seems that the building is woven from a million thin stone threads.
The town hall is located on the central square of Leuven – the Grote Markt. It is one of the oldest Town Halls in all of Belgium. The architects who worked on the Leuven City Hall were inspired by the Bruges Town Hall. and is a significant landmark of the Belgian city.
The stone-lace Leuven Town Hall in Belgium is considered the most beautiful in Europe, and some connoisseurs of architecture even call it the most magnificent town hall in the world.
Access : Coordinates: 50.8789, 4.7012 / The town hall is located on the central square of Leuven – the Grote Markt. directly opposite the church of St. Peter , It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the railway station to the Market Square.
- The main entrance to the town hall is located in the central part of the facade, where you can see the figure of the Madonna holding the baby.The Town Hall is considered one of the most luxurious medieval buildings in the world. It was erected by three ingenious masters: Keldermans, Matius de Lauens, who created the “flaming Gothic” facade, and Van der Worst.
- Statues : The building decorated with 236 statues, each of which is a separate real person. Each person embodied in the statue has put something of their own in the history of Leuven. The statues are located on several floors of the facade: the first level is occupied by famous townspeople (philosophers, artists, etc.), the second contains the figures of patron saints, and the third contains sculptures of the Brabant rulers. Made of stone, they are located in consoles and niches.
- Windows and towers : The façade also impresses with countless Gothic-style windows. In the upper part of the window openings, as a rule, there are stone trefoils – all thin and delicate. The space between the windows is occupied by sculptures under canopies.
- Interior : The so-called Gothic Room, dating back to 1467, is the most interesting room in the building. The Brussels sculptor Willem Ards was also here in charge of decorating the ceiling beams. There he sculpted Scenes from the New Testament, Life of Christ and the Virgin.
During the last decades of the 19th century the hall was restored. He also took the opportunity to redecorate it with the construction of a monumental fireplace and a series of 11 paintings were commissioned to the painter André Hennebicq of Tournai, who created four large canvases with scenes from the History of Louvain and seven portraits of wise citizens.
- The halls of the town hall display frescoes by Constantin Meunier and sculptures by Joseph Marie Thomas Lambeaux. You can also admire paintings by Flemish masters.
- The town hall has been classified as a historical monument since February 1937 and is included in the inventory of the real estate heritage of the Flemish Region.
Leuven Town Hall is currently used for ceremonies. Not far from it there is a tourist office, where you can find out information of interest. / Entrance fees: 4 Euro.
Opening hours : Guided tours at Leuven Town Hall are held every day at 15.00 in Dutch. In addition, guided tours in other languages are available on some days:on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in English at 16.00 on Saturdays and Sundays in French at 14.00.
Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / Excursions are organized for visitors, During the tour, your guide will lead you through the main halls.
Go next : See Leuven’s main attractions : The Church of St. Anthony / The Groot Begijnhof of Leuven, also known as Begijnhof Ten Hove, is a well-preserved and fully restored historic district.