Oud Leuven: Dominicanessenklooster

Oud Leuven: Dominicanessenklooster

  • Name in 1649:


  • Other names:


  • Current name:


  • SHARE:


Along today’s Brouwersstraat and Fonteinstraat in Leuven, here once stood a Convent of Dominican Sisters, also known as the “Dominicanessenklooster” of “Predikherinnenklooster”.


In 1652, two Dominican nuns from Holland, Agathe Bennebroek and Cecile Berenstein, arrived in Leuven to establish a convent here. Once they have received the necessary permission, they bought a house located between the “Lange Bruel” (today’s Brouwersstraat), the “Korte Bruel” (half of today’s Pieter Coutereelstraat), the river Voer (today’s Fonteinstraat) and against the gardens of the Hospice of the Seven Sleepers (Godshuis De Zevenslapers). On 10 July 1652, on the Feast Day of St Raymond, the community was officially founded under the patronage of Saint Catherine of Sienna.

There was nothing remarkable about this convent. It was said to have a new chapel in 1714, on the side of the river Voer.

It is worth mentioning that on the opposite side of the Lange Bruul was another convent, the Priory of the Holy Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins (Priorij van de Heilige Ursula en de 11.000 Maagden). The location is today’s Bruul Park.

What's so special about this place?

The Remaining Walls of the Dominican Sisters

In 1783, by the edict of Habsburg Emperor Joseph II, the Dominicanessenklooster was banned together with the rest of the monastic communities in the Southern Netherlands. Once the sisters left, the army took over and the complex was turned into a military camp. Once the French invaded by the end of the century, the French soldiers took over the camp. By 1802, the complex was broken down and the possessions were auctioned off in Brussels. The entire property was sold to private owners while the buildings were demolished.

The Dominican nuns only returned to Leuven in 1858 first in the Rattemanspoort and then a year later, they moved outside of Leuven in Ter Bank.

In the garden of the tall white social housing block located at 101 Fonteinstraat, the walls of the old Dominicanessenklooster can still be seen. Try to look for the arched indents in the walls for candles. The underground cellar is now a batcave.

Current situation

The gardens of the former Dominicanessenklooster touched the street that was later called the Speelkaartenstraat. This was changed to Predikherinnenstraat to commemorate the convent.




“Louvain dans le passé et dans le présent”, Edward van Even, 1895 (Image)


Click on the zoom icon to view the full size.

  • SHARE:

  • Share:

Leave a Reply

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