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The Catholic University of Leuven or Louvain (French : Université catholique de Louvain, Dutch : Katholieke Hogeschool te Leuven, later Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven) was founded in 1834 in Mechelen as the Catholic University of Belgium, and moved its seat to the town of Leuven in 1835, changing its name to Catholic University of Leuven. In 1968 it was split into two universities, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Université catholique de Louvain, following tensions between the Dutch and French-speaking student bodies.
An earlier University of Leuven was founded in 1425 by John IV, Duke of Brabant and chartered by a papal bull of Pope Martin V.It flourished for hundreds of years as the most prominent university in what would become Belgium, and one of the more prominent in Europe. Once formally integrated into the French Republic, the law of 15 September 1793 had decreed the suppression of all the colleges and universities in France and it was abolished by Decree of the Departement of the Dijle on 25 October 1797.
A new institution, the State University of Louvain, was established in the city in 1816, but closed in 1835. With the closing of the State University, the Catholic University of Mechelen moved its seat to Leuven, adjusted its name and declared itself as a "re-founding" of the 1425 University of Leuven. This claim to continuity with the older institution was challenged in the courts, with Belgium's highest court issuing rulings (in 1844, 1855 and 1861) that as a matter of law the Catholic University of Leuven was a different institution created under a different charter.Nonetheless, the Catholic University of Leuven is very frequently identified as a continuation of the older institution.
In 1968, the Catholic University of Leuven split to form two institutions:
This entry deals with the three historic university/universities established in the town of Leuven, 1425–1797, 1817–1835 and 1834–1968. For the current successor institutions and their separate development since 1968, see the individual articles linked above.
In the 15th century the city of Leuven, with the support of John IV, Duke of Brabant, made a formal request to the Holy See for a university.Pope Martin V issued a papal bull dated 9 December 1425 founding the University in Leuven as a Studium Generale. In its early years, the university was modelled on those of Paris, Cologne and Vienna. The university flourished in the 16th century due to the presence of famous scholars and professors, such as Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens (Pope Adrian VI), Desiderius Erasmus, Johannes Molanus, Joan Lluís Vives, Andreas Vesalius, Ferdinand Verbiest and Gerardus Mercator.
In the time of the Directory, by the Treaty of Campo Formio, this region was ceded to the French Republic by Austria in exchange for the Republic of Venice.Once formally integrated into the French Republic, a law from 1793 which mandated that all universities in France be closed came into effect. The University of Leuven was abolished by decree of the Département of Dijle on 25 October 1797.
The region next became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1830), and William I of the Netherlands founded a new university in 1816 in Leuven as a state university (Dutch : Rijksuniversiteit) which was a secular university and where several professors from the old university continued their teaching. This university was also abolished in 1835. In 1830, the Southern Provinces of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands became the independent state of Belgium.
On 8 November 1834, on the basis of authorisation in a papal brief of 13 December 1833 from Pope Gregory XVI,the Belgian bishops founded a new Catholic University of Mechelen. The announcement of the bishops' founding of the University in Mechelen was met with demonstrations and disturbances in the cities of Ghent, Leuven and Liège. The first rector was Pierre de Ram.
The Catholic University of Belgium (Latin : Universitas catholica Belgii), generally referred to as the Catholic University of Mechelen, was a university that was founded in Mechelen (French : Malines), Belgium, on 8 November 1834 by the bishops of Belgium, who aimed to create a university "to accommodate any doctrine from the Holy Apostolic See and to repudiate anything that does not flow from this august source". The first and only rector was the priest and historian Peter de Ram. The university was short-lived in Mechelen, as the bishops already moved the university to Leuven on 1 December 1835, where it took the name "Catholic University of Leuven". This outraged Belgian liberal opinion, which depicted it as an attempt to usurp the past of the former Old University of Leuven. It also reinvigorated demands for the foundation of a secular university in Brussels which would lead to the foundation of the Free University of Brussels.
The Catholic University of Leuven subsequently did widely come to be seen as a refounding of the old University of Leuven,although the Belgian Court of Cassation ruled that the two entities are legally distinct, and in spite of the liberal protests of the time.
On 3 November 1859, the Catholic University celebrated the silver jubilee of its foundation.A banquet for more than five hundred guests offered by the students to the Rector and the faculty, took place the 23 November 1859 in the great festival hall of the Music Academy of Louvain.
In the year 1884 the Catholic University of Louvain celebrated solemnly its 50th anniversary.
In 1909, the Catholic University celebrated its 75th anniversary, and struck a medal where for the first time it officially used the French word "réinstallation" (resettlement), and the Dutch word "herstelling" (restoration) beginning of a new "official" history.
In 1914, during World War I, Leuven was looted by German troops. They set fire to a large part of the city, effectively destroying about half of it, including the university library (see below). In the early stages of the war, Allied propaganda capitalized on the German destruction as a reflection on German Kultur.
From its beginning in 1834, the Catholic University of Louvain provided lectures only in French. Latin was sometimes used in the theology faculty, but it was essentially a French-language institution. Lectures in Dutch, the other official language of Belgium and the language spoken in Leuven, began to be provided in 1930.
In 1962, in line with constitutional reforms governing official language use, the French and Dutch sections of the university became autonomous within a common governing structure. Flemish nationalists continued to demand a division of the university, and Dutch speakers expressed resentment at privileges given to French-speaking academic staff and the perceived disdain by the local French-speaking community for their Dutch-speaking neighbours. At the time, Brussels and Leuven were both part of the officially bilingual and now defunct Province of Brabant; but unlike Brussels, Leuven had retained its Dutch-speaking character. Tensions rose when a French-speaking social geographer suggested in a televised lecture that the city of Leuven should be incorporated into an enlarged bilingual 'Greater-Brussels' region. Mainstream Flemish politicians and students began demonstrating under the slogan Leuven Vlaams – Walen Buiten ("Leuven [is] Flemish – Walloons out"). Student demonstrations escalated into violence throughout the mid-1960s. Student unrest fueled by the history of discrimination against Flemings eventually brought down the Belgian government in February 1968.
The dispute was resolved in June 1968 by turning the Dutch-language section of the university into the independent Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, which remained in Leuven. The French-speaking university, called the Université catholique de Louvain, was moved to a greenfield campus called Louvain-la-Neuve ("New Leuven"), farther south in the French-speaking part of the Province of Brabant. Acrimony about the split was long-lasting. Currently, however, research collaborations and student exchanges between the two "sister universities" take place with increasing frequency.
The library of the Catholic University dating from 1834 was housed in the University Hall, a building which in its oldest parts dated back to 1317. This was destroyed in August 1914 by invading German forces, with the loss of approximately 230,000 books, 950 manuscripts, and 800 incunabula.Materials lost included the Easter Island tablet bearing Rongorongo text E and the oldest Czech Bible.
After the First World War, a new library was built on the Mgr. Ladeuzeplein, designed by the American architect Whitney Warren in a neo-Flemish-Renaissance style. Construction took place between 1921 and 1928.Its monumental size is a reflection of the Allied victory against Germany, and it is one of the largest university buildings in the city. The library's collections were rebuilt with donations from all around the world, outraged by the barbaric act which it had suffered. In 1940, during the second German invasion of Leuven, the building largely burnt down, with the loss of 900,000 manuscripts and books. The building was rebuilt after the war in accordance with Warren's design.
The library's collections were again restored after the war, and by the time of the split in 1968 had approximately four million books. The separation of the university into distinct French-language and Dutch-language institutions in 1968 entailed a division of the central library holdings. This was done on the basis of alternate shelfmarks (except in cases where a work clearly belonged to one section or the other, e.g. was written by a member of faculty or bequeathed by an alumnus whose linguistic allegiance was clear). This gave rise to the factoid that encyclopedias and runs of periodicals were divided by volume between the two universities, but actually such series bear single shelfmarks.
The building on the Mgr. Ladeuzeplein is now the central library of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
Louvain-la-Neuve is a planned village in the municipality of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Wallonia, Belgium, situated 30 km southeast of Brussels, in the province of Walloon Brabant. The village was built to house the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) which owns its entire territory; following the linguistic quarrels that took place in Belgium during the 1960s, and Flemish claims of discrimination at the Catholic University of Leuven, the institution was split into the Dutch language Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven which remained in Leuven, and the Université catholique de Louvain.
University of Leuven or University of Louvain may refer to:
The Université catholique de Louvain is Belgium's largest French-speaking university. It is located in Louvain-la-Neuve, which was expressly built to house the university, and Brussels, Charleroi, Mons, Tournai and Namur. Since September 2018, the university has used the branding UCLouvain, replacing the acronym UCL, following a merger with Saint-Louis University, Brussels.
Pierre François Xavier de Ram, was a Belgian papal prelate, canon and historian, best known for being the first rector of the new Catholic University of Belgium, founded in Mechelen in 1834, which in 1835 moved to Leuven as the Catholic University of Leuven.
The Catholic Church in Belgium, part of the global Catholic Church, is under the spiritual leadership of the Pope, the curia in Rome and the Conference of Belgian Bishops.
The Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF) is an educational charity. It supports the exchange of university students, scientists and scholars between the United States and Belgium. The foundation fosters the higher education of deserving Belgians and Americans through its exchange-fellowship program. Since 1977, Dr. Emile Boulpaep is the president of the BAEF.
Saint-Louis University, Brussels or UCLouvain Saint-Louis Brussels is a public university in Brussels, belonging to the French Community of Belgium and specialized in social and human sciences.
The Leuven Faculty of Theology was a branch of the Catholic University of Leuven, founded in 1834 in Mechelen by the bishops of Belgium as the Catholic University of Belgium, that moved its seat to the town of Leuven in 1835, changing its name to Catholic University of Leuven.
The State University of Leuven was a university founded in 1817 in Leuven in Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was distinct from the Old University of Leuven (1425-1797) and from the Catholic University of Leuven, which moved from Mechlin to Leuven after the State University had been closed in 1835.
The Old University of Leuven is the name historians give to the university, or studium generale, founded in Leuven, Brabant, in 1425. The university was closed in 1797, a week after the cession to the French Republic of the Austrian Netherlands and the principality of Liège by the Treaty of Campo Formio.
The city of Leuven, in the former Duchy of Brabant, has been the seat of four universities:
The city of Leuven in Belgium was the seat of three successive universities, each of which had a notable academic library.
The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a Catholic research university in the city of Leuven, Belgium. It conducts teaching, research, and services in computer science, engineering, natural sciences, theology, humanities, medicine, law, canon law, business, and social sciences.
Antoine Édouard Ducpétiaux was a Belgian journalist and social reformer.
The Catholic University of Leuven was one of Belgium's major universities. It split along linguistic lines after a period of civil unrest in 1967–68 commonly known as the Leuven Affair in French and Flemish Leuven, based on a contemporary slogan, in Dutch. The crisis shook Belgian politics and led to the fall of the government of Paul Vanden Boeynants. It marked an escalation of the linguistic tension in Belgium after World War II and had lasting consequences for other bilingual institutions in Belgium within higher education and politics alike. In 1970 the first of several state reforms occurred, marking the start of Belgium's transition to a federal state.
The Marie Haps Faculty of Translation and Interpreting is a faculty of Saint-Louis University, Brussels (UCLouvain) located on its own campus in Brussels' European Quarter, in the municipalities of Ixelles and the City of Brussels. It is Belgium's oldest translation school, founded in 1955, and the fifth faculty of Saint-Louis University, Brussels, which it fully merged with in 2015.
The Louvain School of Engineering or École polytechnique de Louvain (EPL) is a faculty of the University of Louvain, Belgium, founded in 1864. Known as the Faculty of Applied Sciences prior to 2008, it currently operates on the campuses of Louvain-la-Neuve and UCLouvain Charleroi.
Louis Defré (1816-1880), was a burgomaster mayor of Uccle, Belgium, from 1864 to 1872, and deputy
Aloïs Jacques Victor Marie Simon (1897–1964) was a Belgian historian, professor at the University Faculty of Saint-Louis in Brussels, with a particular interest in 19th-century Belgian Church history from the perspective of Church–State relations and international diplomacy.