Oud Leuven: #7 Predikherenkerk

Oud Leuven: #7 Predikherenkerk

  • Name on the map:

    Predicheeren Coll. Oratorium

  • Other names:

    -

  • Current name:

    Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-ten-Predikherenkerk, Predikherenkerk

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ABOUT

The Predikherenkerk, short for “Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-ten-Predikherenkerk”, is located not far from the Brusselsestraat. Hidden at the end of a beautiful medieval alleyway now called the Predikherenstraat, you will find this oldest Gothic church in Leuven and one of the earliest Gothic churches in Belgium.

Origin

The location of the Predikherenkerk used to be a Palace of the Duke of Brabant.

The “Predikheren” were actually Dominican Monks, and it was here that they set up their monastery, with the approval of the Duke of course. Sources state that the church itself was built in 1234.

The “Onze-Lieve-Vrouwstraat” forms the walls of the northern part of the monastery that used to surround the church. Attached to the eastern part of the church, parts of the monastery now located at No 2 Sint-Annastraat still remains. Also, the monastery garden still exists albeit divided among the current houses of both Onze-Lieve-Vrouwstraat and Sint-Annastraat, where many features of the original buildings still remain.

In the late 19th century, the Predikherenkerk became a parish church.

What's so special about this place?

Apart from being a relatively unknown yet very well-preserved 13th-century Early Gothic church in Belgium, the Predikherenkerk holds the remains of Duke Hendrik III of Brabant and his wife Lady Aleidis of Burgundy, who both died in the late 13th century. You can still see their grave in the Ducal Chapel.

Apart from that, the church contains 16th and 17th century gemstones in many part of its decorations, attesting to the ducal support of the Dominican Order.

Current situation

Until 2008, the church was undergoing extensive renovation works. It is now an auditorium for the Leuven cultural centre 30CC.

Sources:
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-ten-Predikherenkerk_(Leuven)
https://inventaris.onroerenderfgoed.be/dibe/relict/42132
http://www.kerkeninvlaanderen.be/pages/kerk_00860.htm

HOW IT LOOKS LIKE TODAY

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