St Anthony's Chapel

In 1299, the clergy of the Sint-Pieterskerk (St. Peter’s Church) built a chapel at the foot of the Ramberg, in the center of Louvain. After the university of Louvain was established in 1425, the Artes faculty became the owner of the chapel. From the 16th century onwards, there was a worship of Sint-Antonius van Egypte (Saint Anthony of Egypt). Because of his popularity, the chapel was called Sint-Antoniuskapel (Saint Anthony’s Chapel). In 1617, the chapel was constructed in the late Gothic style as it is now. Restorations took place in the 18th century. In 1797, the French administration closed the chapel and it could be rented by religious groups from 1847 to 1853. In 1860, the chapel was sold and bought by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. They renovated the chapel and opened it in 1861. In 1936, the remains of the most famous Belgian missionary and saint, Jozef De Veuster, were transferred from Molokai (Hawaii) and placed in the crypt of the chapel. In 1960-1961, the chapel was rebuilt by the Congregation.

About this building

Key Features

  • Architecture
  • Stained glass
  • Monuments
  • Interior features
  • Social heritage
  • Links to national heritage
  • Famous people or stories

Visitors information

  • Steps to enter the building or churchyard

Other nearby buildings

Wikimedia Commons/Ad Meskens

St Michael's Church

The construction of the Baroque Saint Michael's Church with its impressive façade began in 1650. Works on the dome had to stop in 1660 due to problems with stability. The church was consecrated in 1671, but the work on the interior was not completed until the end of the 17th century. The church had to close in 1773 due to the closure of all monasteries in the Netherlands and was put back to use from 1778 onwards. During the occupation of the French, from 1795 until 1801, the church was used as the ‘Temple of the Law, of Reason and of the Supreme Being’. It became a parish church again in 1803. The building was restored from 1853 until 1878, in 1932, in 1934, after the second world war from 1947 until 1950 and from 1996 until 1997.

Wikimedia Commons/Jean Housen

St Peter's Church

In the center of Louvain, you can find the Sint-Pieterskerk (Saint Peter’s Church). It is the oldest church in the city and was built in 986. In 1176, the church caught fire for the first time. During the 15th century, the demolition of the pervious Romanesque church started and the construction of the current Gothic building began. It took more than a century before everything was completed and only the crypt has remained as an original part of the first church. In the 16th century, three unfinished towers collapsed due to unstable ground. The original plans for the building were changed and the towers remained unfinished. In 1750 an earthquake caused problems, but the most damage ever was done during the two world wars: the roof and a large part of the interior burned down in 1914 and the building was bombed in 1944. A number of thorough restorations has been conducted during the past few centuries.

Wikimedia Commons

Grand Beguinage of Leuven

The Grand Beguinage of Leuven is a well-preserved historical district and one of the largest remaining beguinages in Flanders. This beguinage was established in the early 13th century and the peak in the number of vocations was reached around 1650-1670 when the number of beguines exceeded 360. During the French Revolution, the beguinage was not sold as a national asset, as was the case with the monasteries. The last beguinage died in 1988.