The Students' Landlady of Leuven; Kotmadam

The Landlady (De Kotmadam) is a statue, part of the Oude Markt in Leuven, made by Alfred Bellefroid on May 16, 1985. 

“Kot” is Flemish slang for a student room, and the “kotmadam” is the landlady of the building, who would prepare meals for the students, tidy their rooms and help them when help was needed.

The statue was a gift from the Tourism Office of Leuven to the city, but the original idea belongs to the Marktrock committee. The inauguration twenty years ago was attended by Maria Swerts, the then oldest Kotmadam in Leuven and also godmother of the statue.

Despite the amusing character of the statue, the Landlady initially evoked mixed feelings. For example, the figure depicted did not correspond to the typical image of a kotmadam: old and full figured. On the contrary, the Kotmadam on the Oude Markt is a youthful, attractive lady.

Over the years the statue became an eye-catcher and so many people have taken photos with this lady.

(Source:, Photo by Aslı Tezcan 

De Kotmadam of Leuven