The Old Town Hall of Leuven
The old town hall of Leuven (Stadhuis ), is one of the most famous gothic town halls in the world. The elegant towers of the town hall are the most iconic image of the city.
The first Town Hall of Leuven was situated on the Old Market Square. The construction of the present town hall started in 1439. The exterior masonry and roof were finished in 1460, and in 1469 the whole building was complete. In the 19th century, the Town Hall underwent renovations made necessary by centuries' worth of decay. The building remained standing during World War I, with minor damages. In World War II, a bomb strike in front of the building caused yet more damage; it took until 1983 before repairs were completed.
The Town Hall has three main floors, lined with pointed Gothic windows on each sides. Statues in canopied niches are distributed all over the building. While the niches and corbels are original with the building, the 236 statues themselves are relatively recent.
Those on the first floor represent personages of importance in the local history of the city (scientists, artists, etc.); those on the second floor, represent patron saints and symbolic figures; those on the third floor the Counts of Leuven and Dukes of Brabant from various ages.
A statue of the controversial Belgian monarch Leopold II was removed from City Hall in 2020. Currently, there are 235 statues on the building.
The interior accommodates an interesting collection of artwork, including sculptures by Constantin Meunier and Jef Lambeaux.
(Compiling from various sources) , Photo by Aslı Tezcan