What started with a wing in a cloth hall, grew over six centuries to become a world-class university and with very many colleges.
Each of which is a striking building that is worth a visit.
The walking tour Smart City leads you along some of these colleges.
The colleges are open to students during the academic year, but unfortunately not accessible to visitors.
Atrecht College in the past
In 1508, Nicolaus Ruterius rebuilt his own home into this college for destitute students.
Atrecht College today
Today, the college houses the International Office.
College De Valk
De Valk College in the past
This former hall of residence of the Artes faculty was founded circa 1434 and relocated here in 1543. The classicist buildings were constructed in 1783 and modified at the end of the 20th century. A new complex was added to the old college in 1966.
De Valk College today
It currently houses the Faculty of Law.
College of the Holy Spirit
College of the Holy Spirit in the past
In 1442, patrician Lodewijk De Rycke donated a house for theology students to the university and thus established the first college of Leuven university.
College of the Holy Spirit today
The College of the Holy Spirit) is one of the last halls of residence in Leuven exclusively accommodating male students.
Hogenheuvel College in the past
The house was built by Golin van 't Sestich in the 15th century. The Gothic brick façade features the Roman numeral LX, which refers to the founder’s surname (sestich means sixty).
The college was established in 1683 when the Utrecht priest students were transferred from Hogenheuvelcollege in Cologne to this house in Leuven.
Hogenheuvel College today
The Faculty of Economics and Business is currently located here.
King's College in the past
Founded in 1579 by king Philip II of Spain, the college was first housed in Heilige Geestcollege and then moved to the current location.
King's College today
It currently houses the zoological institute.
Maria-Theresia College in the past
In 1778, empress Maria Theresa housed the theological seminary in this former Jesuit college, whose 17th-century façade has been preserved.
Maria-Theresia College today
The auditoriums are still used to host conferences, lectures and concerts.
Pope’s College in the past
Pope Adrian VI, who had been a professor at the university of Leuven, founded the college in 1523.
Pope’s College today
The building is still a hall of residence.
Premonstratensian College in the past
Theology students from various Premonstratensian abbeys moved into the college in 1571.
Premonstratensian College today
It is currently used by the university to house the Department of Biology and the student counselling service of the Faculty of Science.
Van Dale College
Van Dale College in the past
In 1569, Canon Pieter van Dale, a former student of the university who was born in Antwerp, founded this college to provide poor theology, philosophy and canon law students from Antwerp and Aalst with accommodation.
The façade of this beautiful 16th-century college in Renaissance style still has some Gothic features.
Van Dale College today
The university’s Social Service has been located here since the building was thoroughly restored in 1986.