Main facade

"Leuven's 'Hall of Fame' features 236 statues, which were only added to the façade after 1850. There are 220 men and 16 women in total. On the bottom floor are famous Leuven scientists, artists and historical figures, dressed in Burgundian garb. The first floor is reserved for the patron saints of the various parishes of Leuven. Above them the façade is adorned by the counts and dukes of Brabant while the towers primarily feature biblical figures.  
"These days the town hall merely has a ceremonial function after the city's administrative services moved in 2009." -- http://www.leuven.be/en

(Photo: Diane and Rick)

Floral carpet in front of the Leuven city hall, September, 2015 (click the image for a larger view)

Facade sculptures depicting: two instances of false justice

Top: Pillaging in wartime 

Bottom: Cain murders Abel

(Photos: http://www.youropi.com)

Gerardus Mercator, the great cartographer, began his career at the University of Leuven

Gerardus Mercator, the great cartographer, began his career at the University of Leuven

Leopold II (left) and Napoleon (right) In the years following the death of Napoleon, the citizens of Leuven were most grateful for his reopening of the churches

Leopold II (left) and Napoleon (right)

In the years following the death of Napoleon, the citizens of Leuven were most grateful for his reopening of the churches

The Gothic Hall

The original dimensions of the room, and much of the woodwork, date from the fifteenth century. The floors, chimney, and wall coverings were put in place in the late nineteenth century. The chairs and tables were installed in 1994.

Gothic Hall mural by André Hennebicq, "Pieter Coutereel tearing up the privileges of the patricians"

(Full story of his rebellion, with conflicting interpretations of Coutereel's motives, can be found here)

Statue of Coutereel on the Leuven city hall facade

Statue of Coutereel on the Leuven city hall facade

André Hennebicq, Antonia van Roesmals Explicates the Bible to her Friends

I confess that the inclusion of this picture on the walls of theGothic Hall is a mystery to me.  Here is one account of the story:

“In 1520 appeared the first two edicts of Charles V, against the heresy of Luther. The first is March 20; the second, signed in Worms, the same day that the Emperor put Luther under the ban of the empire, in May 8 of that year. In 1529, a new edict, even more violent, banned the writings of Luther, and to any gathering of heretics, even to the possession of an unauthorized New Testament; the offender would be sentenced to death, "men with the sword, women in the pit, the relapsed by fire.

"Sentenced to death in the pit meant being buried alive. Thus died Antonia van Roesmals, a follower ofZwingli's ideas.”

So: is the inclusion of a late nineteenth-century painting of the incident an instance of anti-Holy Roman Empire rule? Anti-Spanish sentiment? Woman-as-hero?  Leuven was and remains intensely Catholic, so it is unlikely that the picture represents an anti-Catholic sentiment.

The Wedding Room

Many Belgian city halls -- Brussels, Antwerp, Leuven -- contain sumptuous rooms where a government official meets and speaks with the couple in the French Baroque style chamber, then performs the wedding ceremony. In Belgium  a priest cannot perform a legally binding marriage.

Damage in World Wars I and II

(Archival photo: http://en.wiki2.org)  

(Archival photo: http://en.wiki2.org)

 

The Leuven City Hall was damaged in 1915 (shown above) and again in the Second World War.

Repair and reconstruction were completed in 1983.

In 2012, The Flemish-Brabant Radio Station began broadcasts from the Leuven city hall.

In 2012, The Flemish-Brabant Radio Station began broadcasts from the Leuven city hall.

Wikipedia Article on the Leuven City Hall

Special thanks to Wim Stiers for his excellent guided tour of the Leuven city hall.