Friday, March 4, 2011
2010-05-20 BELGIUM from Johan
~ Belgium ~http://johanPostCard.BlogSpot.Com
Thanks for JOHAN
Sent: 20th MAY 2010
Received: June 2010
Leuven (Dutch, pronounced Nl-Leuven.ogg; French: Louvain, often used in English, German: Löwen) is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium. It is located about 30 kilometers east of Brussels, with as other neighbouring cities Mechelen, Aarschot, Tienen, and Wavre.
The township comprises the historical city of Leuven and the former municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal.
It is home to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer group and one of the top five largest consumer goods companies in the world; and to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence.
Saint Peter's Church (Dutch: Sint-Pieterskerk) of Leuven, Belgium, is situated on the city's Grote Markt (main market square), right across the ornate Town Hall. Built mainly in the 15th century in Brabantine Gothic style, the church groundfloor has the shape of a cross with a low bell tower that has never been completed.
The first church on the site, made of wood and presumably founded in 986, burned down in 1176. It was replaced by a Romanesque church, made of stone, featuring a west end flanked by two round towers like at Our Lady's Basilica in Maastricht. Of the Romanesque building only part of the crypt remains, underneath the chancel of the actual church.
Construction of the present Gothic edifice, significantly larger than its predecessor, was begun approximately in 1425, and was continued for more than half a century in a remarkably uniform style, replacing the older church progressively from east (chancel) to west. Its construction period overlapped with that of the Town Hall across the Markt, and in the earlier decades of construction shared the same succession of architects as its civic neighbor: Sulpitius van Vorst to start with, followed by Jan II Keldermans and later on Matheus de Layens. In 1497 the building was practically complete, although modifications, especially at the west end, continued.