Добро пожаловать к этому международному месту открытки изображения. Benvenuto a questo luogo internazionale della cartolina di immagine. Καλωσορίστε σε αυτήν την διεθνή περιοχή καρτών εικόνων. Willkommen zu diesem internationalen Abbildungspostkarteaufstellungsort. Bienvenue à cet emplacement international de carte postale. Onthaal aan deze Internationale plaats van de beeldprentbriefkaar. Welcome to this International picture postcard site. (Please Click on the Picture for an Enlarged View)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Belgium – Leuven University Library

The Catholic University of Leuven, or Louvain, was the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium. Pope Martin V founded the Old University in 1425. After the disruptions of the French Revolutionary Wars, it was re-founded in 1816 as the State university of Louvain and converted into the Catholic University of Leuven in 1835.
In 1968 the university split to form two institutions:
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Dutch-speaking, situated in Leuven; and
  • Université catholique de Louvain, French-speaking, situated in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
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. The library was lost, as well as about 300,000 books; and a huge collection of manuscripts, such as the Easter Island tablet bearing Rongorongo text E. In the early stages of the war, allied propaganda capitalized on the German destruction as a reflection on German Kultur.
The new main library was built between 1921 and 1928 and designed by the American architect Whitney Warren in Low Countries neo-renaissance style. Its monumentality is a reflection of the Allied victory against Germany. It is one of the largest university buildings in the city. In 1940, during the second German invasion of Leuven, the building largely burnt down, including its (at that time) 900,000 manuscripts and books. Rebuilt after the war in accordance with Warren's design, it is now the Central Library of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. The paintwork decorations of the original design were completed only in 2000, and marked the 575th anniversary of the university's foundation. Thank you Thomas for sending me this card from Leuven.