Louvain 1649

18:30 Jun 29 2015 Louvain, Belgium

Louvain 1649
Good map of Louvain / Leuven anno 1649, nicely colored, made by Joan Blaeu.

The earliest mention of Leuven is from 891, when a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia (Battle of Leuven).
Leuven became between the 11th and 14th centuries the most important centre of cloth manufacture (linen) and trade in the duchy of Brabant. In the 15th century a new golden era began with the founding of what is now the largest and oldest university in the Low Countries, the Catholic University of Leuven, in 1425.
Leuven has several times been besieged or occupied by foreign armies; these include the Battle of Leuven (891), Siege of Leuven (1635) and Battle of Leuven (1831). Both world wars in the 20th century inflicted major damage upon the city. Upon Germany's entry into World War I, the town was heavily damaged by rampaging soldiers. Some German soldiers shot the burgomaster, the university rector and all of the city's police officers. The university library was also destroyed on 25 August 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. 230,000 volumes were lost in the destruction, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts, a collection of 750 medieval manuscripts, and more than 1,000 incunabula (books printed before 1501). The destruction of the library shocked the world, with the Daily Chronicle describing it as war not only against civilians but also against "posterity to the utmost generation." It was rebuilt after the war, and much of the collection was replaced. Great Britain (on the initiative of the John Rylands Library, Manchester) and the United States were major providers of material for the replenishment of the collection. The new library building was financed by the National Committee of the United States for the Restoration of the University of Louvain and built to the design of architect Whitney Warren, reopened on 4 July 1928.
Additional Data
year: 1649
accuracy (m): 30
map size (Mb): 300
artist: Joan Blaeu
publisher: Joan Blaeu
image source: Wikimedia, Geheugen van Nederland, Scheepvaart Museum Amsterdam
map download link 1:
map download link 2:

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