The Largest Square in Leuven, Ladeuzeplein

Until World War II, the square was called the Volksplaats or People's Place. Among the local population, the square was known as the Jerkarlisse. This name is derived from the Clarisse religious order who used to have a monastery at this location.

 In 1783 the monastery was abolished and the city of Leuven bought the estate from the Belgian authorities, who had inherited it, in order to establish a market dedicated to the sale of wood.

The hill was leveled off and the first house on the square was erected in 1812. At this time the square was named Place Napoleon, later it was renamed the Volksplaats and eventually, it became the Mgr. Ladeuzeplein. Monseigneur Paulin Ladeuze is a former rector of the Catholic University of Louvain (KU Leuven).

Today, the Ladeuzeplein is the largest square in Leuven and there are two special artworks here. One of them is the historical university library building and the other one is the “Totem”  the jewel bettle on a steeel needle. 

(Source:, access date: November 2020), Photo by Aslı Tezcan 

Leuven Ladeuzeplein Square