Louvain-la-Neuve and Leuven

Grand Markt

Stéphanie lives an hour outside of Brussels in Louvain-la-Neuve. It is very much a student town that is only forty years old. It is an interesting town because it was built on top of a valley and so the cars drive beneath the city center. The whole city center is pedestrian and the academic buildings are mixed with shops and restaurants. Since Stephanie had to work during the days, I took one of the afternoons to visit the town of Leuven. Stephanie had recommended I visit the town of Bruges, Leuven, and Nider, but I had to be content to visit only one because I wanted to stay within my stopover budget. Leuven is a really nice city. It is smaller than Brussels but has wonderful historic buildings. It is also a university town that had a vibrant energy. I was confused at first because I thought Louvain and Leuven where different places, but one is just the french spelling and the other the flemish way. Supposedly the university used to be flemish and french until they had conflict and split up. The french part moved out and built what is now Louvain-la-Neuve (the New). The first evening I went to choir practice with Stephanie and the next night to have dinner with her family to celebrate her sister’s birthday. I didn’t mind the social interaction because I was happy to have the chance to practice my french before moving on to african french. Les amies et la famille de Stephanie étaient sympa!

Leuven Town Hall


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