Exploring Leuven neighborhoods

Walk through three Leuven neighborhoods and explore their roots with ErfgoedApp . Neighbors will guide you past a series of striking spots and tell stories of the past that colored the neighborhood.

Street histories

The three Leuven tours are part of Straathistories, a series of neighborhood publications created for and by Leuven residents. With the help of the Leuven Heritage Unit, local residents themselves collect information about the past of their neighborhood. They search in archives, collect old photographs and interview older local residents. The result is a publication about the history of the neighborhood. Three of these street histories can now also be discovered with the ErfgoedApp : De Mussenbuurt, Vlierbeek and De Ziekelingenstraat.

© Leuven Heritage Unit 

Neighbors speak out

"Good day, I'm Hugo. I haven't lived here for over forty years but my heart still beats for this neighborhood. Because in the 1960s and 1970s I had a fantastic childhood here. I would like to show you some beautiful things from the past and present." - Hugo from Ziekelingen Street
Street histories Ziekelingenstraat © Jan Crab - Leuven Heritage Unit

The three tours in the ErfgoedApp take you past old and striking Leuven buildings, guide you through unsuspected bits of nature and introduce you to the stories that color the neighborhood. Along the way, you will discover forgotten histories that took place behind the facades. In the Mussenbuurt, for example, you will learn more about Jozef II Street:

"In the middle of the street, at number 26, was the community center of De Straatmus. The house belonged to Baroness De Walque, but it was completely dilapidated. Therefore, in 1980, the neighborhood work decided to squat and renovate the house. A children's work and a service for neighborhood meals were built out and everyone was welcome for a chat." - Kris from the Sparrow neighborhood
Vlierbeek street histories © Jan Crab - Leuven Heritage Unit

Finally, in Vlierbeek, ErfgoedApp dishes out several quiz questions to you. You can solve them using the clues on your route. Along the way, guide Maria will tell you more about the people who may be forgotten today, but who once played a particularly important role in this neighborhood:

"Elisabeth Alberdingk Thym was an important figure for the neighborhood. During the war years she hospitably received Vlierbeek refugees in the cellars of the abbey and mediated with the German army. Undaunted and carrying a white flag, she stepped up to the occupiers. She stressed that she only wanted to offer the innocent civilians refuge within the abbey wall. And she persuaded the Germans to spare the refugees." - Mary from Vlierbeek

Practical

Would you like to explore Leuven's neighborhoods? Then download the ErfgoedApp in the App Store or via Google Play and choose one of these three tours!

Street histories Sparrow neighborhood
This audio walk takes you past some striking places and sights in the Sparrow neighborhood, one of Leuven's oldest working-class neighborhoods. Kris and his daughter Laura take you on the tour. They share some juicy stories about the buildings, the "gangs" and the residents of the Sparrow neighborhood. D...
Street histories Vlierbeek
This walking quest takes you along 11 interesting locations of Vlierbeek, one of the most picturesque places in Kessel-Lo. The audio fragments are narrated by local resident Maria. She takes you on a tour. On the basis of a short explanation and a multiple-choice question, you learn more each time...
Street histories Ziekelingen Street
This walking search takes you past 14 interesting locations on Ziekelingen Street and the surrounding area. The audio clips are narrated by former local resident Hugo. He takes you on a walk. On the basis of a multiple-choice question you will learn more about the history and daily life in each location.
Street histories
Streetistories is a series of neighborhood publications, for and by the neighborhood. Interested in chronicling the roots of your neighborhood yourself?