A quintessential Flemish city, in the heart of Brabant, Leuven is full of fine architecture and student life. After the new territorial division of the country of 1995, Leuven has become the capital of the new province called Flemish Brabant.
The city was devastated after WWI, but the whole centre has been carefully rebuilt.
Leuven is also home to Belgium's oldest and most famed University. It was split in the seventies, when Flemish was chosen as the main instruction language. A new town in the Wallon Brabant was built, called Louvaine-la-Neuve, to accomodate the French speaking students of the University.
This is a picture of the extremely ornated City Hall of Leuven. You can see more pictures in my Leuven page.
Okay, I'm probably the only person on VT who will go to some small village just to make pictures of the church, but if you like to do that too you might like the church of Bertem. It's in true Romanesque style and dates from between 950 and 1050. In 1994 Belgian post put it on a stamp.
Officially Brussel is not in this province, but in reality it is. It's an enclave in the province and has a status of its own. A bit artificial if you ask me. Historically this city belongs to the Dutch-speaking part of Brabant anyway.
This is the national bilingual capital. An obvious choice for tourists. Plenty to see, lots of things to do. You can find my tips in my seperate page.
The picture shows one of many wallpaintings depicting Belgian comics. This one shows the characters from my favourite Belgian comic, Nero.
Leuven is not the best known of the bigger cities of Belgium, but it is the one I know best. Sights include this magnificent Gothic town hall and many churches in various styles. There's also a nice brewpub/restaurant. See my pages about Leuven for my tips!
Grimbergen is usually best known as a brand of beer. Not bad, but not spectacular either. Anyway, these aren't made in this town, but the abbey has licensed a brewery to make beers in its name instead. The abbey is worth a visit, especially the big Baroque church.
The crown jewel of Pajottenland, the castle, together with its gardens, offers an opportunity for a day among nature, history and art. (see separate tip under Gaasbeek)