Our conference social programme is set up with a dual purpose: by facilitating visits to our university institutions and offering guided walks through Leuven, we hope to give you the opportunity to network outside the conference sessions while acquainting you with our institution and fostering an appreciation for this old university town.
Visit A: guided tour of the University Library
Would you like to find out more on the history, architecture and the inner workings of the University Library and its tower? On this guided tour, our guide will take you through the building’s well-known and lesser-known sides. You can continue your visit with a climb of the tower, where you can enjoy the permanent exhibition about the stirring history of the University Library and its carillon tower. Your visit ends with a wonderful view over Leuven.
Visit B: Imaging Lab and guided tour of the University Library
The Imaging Lab, located in the University Library, is optimally equipped for the digitization and scientific imaging of fragile and precious (mainly documentary) heritage materials, with a special focus on high quality. The equipment is diverse, which allows for the choice of imaging infrastructure to fully depend on the nature and physical state of the original objects. This guarantees the physical integrity of the originals. Together with the Book Heritage Lab it forms VIEW, the KU Leuven Core Facility for Heritage Science and Digitisation Technology. On this visit, you combine a guided tour of the Imaging Lab with a guided tour of the University Library, during which you find out more about its history and architecture.
Visit C: guided tour of the University Library and Special Collections
On this visit, you combine a guided tour of the University Library, during which you find out more about its history and architecture, with a guided tour of the Special Collections. This unit of KU Libraries is housed in the University Library and takes care of the precious materials (papyri, manuscripts, rare books, prints, and newspapers) kept at this location. Special Collections also manages an extensive library with 75.000 books about book history, organizes and contributes to exhibitions, and facilitates teaching and research based on heritage material.
Visit D: Agora Learning Centre
Agora is KU Leuven’s learning centre in the city center. With its extensive opening times, group work facilities, individual study spaces and a wide range of free educational and digital technology, it supports all forms of social and active learning. Agora is located in the former Pharmaceutical Institute, inaugurated in 1934 and enlisted as a heritage monument in 2010. Since then, it has been beautifully renovated and repurposed to house a learning centre, an auditorium, and an event space.
Visit E: Book Heritage Lab and Maurits Sabbe Library
The Book Heritage Lab is an interdisciplinary research centre of the KU Leuven focusing on diagnosis, research and conservation of medieval manuscripts, early printed books, and documentary heritage. In order to do so, it concentrates on material history, book archaeology, preservation, and scientific imaging. Together with the Imaging Lab of KU Leuven Libraries, it forms VIEW, the KU Leuven Core Facility for Heritage Science and Digitisation Technology. The Book Heritage Lab is located within the Maurits Sabbe Library, the library of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at KU Leuven which houses one of the largest and richest theological collections in the world. On this tour, you combine a guided tour of the Book Heritage Lab with a guided tour of the Maurits Sabbe Library.
Visit F: Maurits Sabbe Library and Book Heritage Lab
Same as visit E, but in reverse order.
Visit G: Husserl Archives
The Husserl Archives was established in 1938 at the Higher Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven with the purpose of preserving and publishing the writings of the Austro-German philosopher Edmund Husserl, whose phenomenological thinking is widely acknowledged as one of the most significant philosophical endeavors of the 20th century. In the ‘Husserlkamer’ visitors can learn about the life and work of Edmund Husserl, the suspenseful story of Pater van Breda’s rescue of Husserl’s philosophical estate, and about the history of the archives and its role in the phenomenological movement. During the tour, you will also learn more about digitalHusserl, the comprehensive digital environment of the Husserl Archives.
Visit H: Guided city walk “Leuven in a nutshell”
For a first introduction to Leuven, this is the ideal walk. You will discover well-known monuments and attractions: the Grand Place with the Town Hall and the St. Peter’s Church, the University Hall, the university colleges, and the pubs of the Old Market. But we also take you to small streets and alleys, parks and courtyard gardens and we tell you stories and anecdotes about the famous and less famous people who have left their mark on our town. Afterwards, you will understand why Leuven can still aptly call itself ‘the best city in Brabant’.
Visit I: Guided city walk “Follow the professor”
During this walk you will walk in the wake of a professor who will teach you about the university from the inside: he will describe his classes to you, gossip about colleagues and complain about students. The professors who accompany you have a reputation to uphold: the well-known humanist Erycius Puteanus, the famous physician Henri Rega and the first female professor Marguerite Lefèvre can all make an appearance. They each tell their personal story based on their own lives, but one thing they all guarantee is that they will make the old university buildings buzz with life again.
Visit J: Guided city walk “Leuven Beer Stories”
Leuven is “the place to beer”. A city that over the centuries has boasted more than 40 breweries. Today the largest brewery consortium in the world (AB InBev) has its headquarters here. No wonder Leuven is the beer capital of Belgium. Is it true that as much beer was consumed as Erasmus claimed? Is it true that fish scales, pig’s feet, and water from the river Dyle were used in the process of brewing beer? You will find out during this tour, which also reveals the historical and economic importance of beer for Leuven.
Visit K: self-guided tour of the University Library
Come and discover the University Library at your own pace and take a tour of the building with the help of the audio tour. Afterwards, you can visit the tower where you can enjoy the permanent exhibition about the stirring history of the University Library and its carillon tower. A wonderful view over Leuven awaits you at the end. The audio tour is available via the Heritage App in Dutch, French, German, English and Spanish. For the deaf and hard of hearing, there is a visiotour in Flemish Sign Language and International Sign Language. Download the Heritage App ahead of time, so you can start your visit right away.