Oud Leuven: #55 Korenhuis

Oud Leuven: #55 Korenhuis

  • Name in 1649:

    Coorenhuys

  • Other names:

    Korenhuis, Domus Bladi, Halle au Blé

  • Current name:

    -

  • SHARE:

ABOUT

Leuven’s 13th-century Korenhuis (Corn House) was located in the modern-day Zeelstraat.

Origin

The Move to the Oude Markt

The word ‘corn‘, in English and in Dutch alike, used to mean ‘grains‘. Thus the ‘Korenhuis‘ was a central location where the sale of grains took place.

Leuven’s first Korenhuis – a large wooden hall – was located on the ‘Lagere Plaats‘ (Lower Square) mentioned in a record from 1160, Today, this place is known as the Pater Damiaanplein, where the Sint-Antoniuskapel, the Irish College Leuven and the Hollands College are situated.

In 1255, this Korenhuis moved to the centre of the city by the main market square, today’s Oude Markt, on the Zeelstraat.

And in 1293, the Duke of Brabant Jan I gave the ‘Lagere Plaats‘ square to the city, on the condition that it would never be built on. This condition still stands today.

According to the city’s records, which stated in 1256:

Domus Bladi de Lovanio sita in Brevi platea, in opposito DOMUS SEGETUM
“Leuven’s Corn House is located in a short street, opposite the Weighhouse”

According to archaeologists, when the current Lakenhal was built in 1317, it was linked by a vaulted passage to the old 12th century cloth hall or to the Office of the Weavers in the courtyard at the back. Further from the old Lakenhal – which could be at the current Number 1 Zeelstraat with the sign ‘Koöperatief der oud strijders‘, was the Korenhuis at the end of the street. Opposite the Korenhuis was the Waag.

What's so special about this place?

Why the name ‘Zeelstraat’?

Here is a side story. The name of the street where the Korenhuis and the Waag are located is the Zeelstraat.
This slightly winding ancient street leads from the Naamsestraat to the Oude Markt, with the Lakenhal and the Korenhuis on one side, and the Waag on the other.

This Middle Dutch word ‘zeel‘ means ‘ropes‘, and the name of the street refers to the ‘Rope Market‘ that used to occupy the exterior of the Korenhuis, as shown by a record in 1487:

“Onder ‘t Coerenhuys op te ZEELMERCKT”

Because the word is not used anymore by the 19th century, it led to the confusion that the street was named after the patrician family Sadeleere who used to own a property on this street.

An unremarkable building

According to Leuven’s 19th-20th century city historian, Edward van Even, the Korenhuis stood until ‘the end of the Austrian regime‘, and it had no artistic value whatsoever. This was where farmers came to sell their grains, and they paid a fee for the display of their goods to the ‘benefit of the sovereign’. This fee, called the ‘lepeltol‘ (spoon toll), allowed the Korenhuis to be open ‘on all days of the market‘. In the 18th century, this toll also allowed farmers to ply their goods on the Oude Markt itself.

Below the main hall of the Korenhuis were five small shopfronts called ‘hallekens, which were rented out to small retailers selling along the streets. These shopfronts were closed around 1750, because they were falling apart.

On the facade of the Korenhuis, there were metal hooks along the walls. These were intended for ‘foreign‘ (i.e. non-Leuven) butchers to come sell their meat here, once a week. It was apparently that by the mid-18th century, the Korenhuis was not entirely dedicated to the sale of grains.

City records show that by then, both the Korenhuis and the Waag had become private properties.

Current situation

It is not known when the building of the Korenhuis was torn down. But the German bombardment of Leuven that led to the Great Fire on 22-24 August 1914 completely destroyed the Zeelstraat and the whole of the Oude Markt. This means that not even the foundations of the Korenhuis could be found.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.geneanet.org/cartes-postales/view/7729136#0 (image)
Louvain monumental ou Description historique et artistique de tous les édifices civils et religieux de la dite ville, by Edward van Even, 1860

HOW IT LOOKS LIKE TODAY

Click on the zoom icon to view the full size.

  • SHARE:

Harold Tor - Oud Leuven: Pauscollege Oud Leuven: #36 Pauscollege The Pauscollege is located on today's Hogeschoolplein, opposite the park. It is one of the world's oldest university colleges. Oud Leuven: #44 Sint-Joriskapel In the corner between the Kapucijnenvoer and Bankstraat, there used to be a Chapel devoted to St George. Today, it is a quant 18th-century house that is privately owned. Oud Leuven: #22 Sint-Monicaklooster The Sint-Monicaklooster - Convent of St Monica - was a forgotten convent in Leuven founded by English sisters, fleeing Anglican persecution in their home country. Today, its location is on the Kapucijnenvoer opposite Biezenstraat, all the way from the former Sint-Rafaëlziekenhuis and the co-housing project BotaniCo up until opposite the entrance of the Kruidtuin, Leuven's... Oud Leuven: #72 Naamsepoort The Naamsepoort (Namur Gate) was one of Leuven's outer city gates dating from the 14th century. Today, it is a traffic junction on the city ring road that connects the intra-muros Naamsestraat to the extra-muros Naamsesteenweg. Outside the Naamsepoort was the village of Heverlee, also known in the Middle Ages as Heveren, which was also... Oud Leuven: #65 De Wijnpers On the 1649 map of Leuven in the Atlas van Loon, two areas were marked as Number 65 - Wijnberg (Wineberg). The correct one is the secondary school and agricultural school known as 'De Wijnpers' (the wine press), bordered by the Mechelsevest, the Donkerstraat and the Wijnpersstraat. The hill is the only remnant of Leuven's... Oud Leuven: #26 Keizersberg Located at the northern tip of Leuven, within the second and outer city wall and east of the city gate Mechelsepoort, the Keizersberg is a medieval fortified hill that currently houses a Benedictine monastery, a public park and an emblematic giant statue of Queen Virgin Mary with baby Jesus that overlooks the city. Keizersberg is... Harold Tor - Oud Leuven: Augustijnenklooster Oud Leuven: #10 Augustijnenklooster The former Augustijnenklooster (Augustinian Monastery) occupied a huge space. It is enclosed by the current-day Vissersstraat, Vismarkt, Karel van Lotharingenstraat and Vaartstraat. Harold Tor - Oud Leuven: Pedagogie Het Varken Hogeschoolplein Oud Leuven: #35 Pedagogie Het Varken The "Pedagogie Het Varken" existed from 1428 to 1797. It was located on today's Hogeschoolplein. Oud Leuven: #16 Het Klein Begijnhof Het Klein Begijnhof (The Small Beguinage) is one of the two beguinages in Leuven. Located north of the Sint-Geertrui-abdij (Saint Gertude Abbey), it is a small, secret picturesque spot in the city, consisting of one main and two side streets. Oud Leuven: #34 College van Luik The College van Luik (Liège College) was a college of the old University of Leuven specialised in theology, for priest-students from the Bishopdom of Liège. Located on the Muntstraat directly opposite the s Meiersstraat, the College van Luik existed from 1605 to 1806. Oud Leuven: #56 Waag Leuven, like many trading centres across the Benelux, used to have a public weighing house, or a 'weighhouse' called 'waag'. This allows the city administration to control the weighing of goods, to ensure a fair levying of taxes on goods. Leuven's Waag was located on the Zeelstraat, at the exit to the Oude Markt. Oud Leuven: #62 Vismarkt The oldest recorded marketplace of Leuven, the Vismarkt (Fish Market) is now an above-ground carpark that is framed by the Craenendonck, the Mechelsestraat, the Karel van Lotharingenstraat, the Visserstraat and the Augustijnenstraat. Its history as probably the first nuclear settlement of Leuven still lies hidden beneath the surface, as is an ancient arm of the... Oud Leuven: #42 Van Dalecollege Located on the highest point of the inner city of Leuven, the Van Dalecollege along the Naamsestraat is one of the best preserved old college from the former University of Leuven and the most charming yet quiet spot in the city. Oud Leuven: #49 Cellebroedersklooster Located at the end of the Brusselsestraat in Leuven, close to the Brusselsepoort, was the Monastery of the Cellites, known as the 'Cellebroeders'. Officially called 'Alexianen' (Alexians), the monastery existed from 1345 to 1889 - the longest continuously-running religious community in Leuven. Oud Leuven: #58 Maria-Theresia- en Veteranencollege The former 'Meiershuis' (Mayor's House) was located on the site of the current Maria-Theresia- en Veteranencollege on the Sint-Michielsstraat.
  • Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *