Oud Leuven: Sint-Eligiuskapel

Oud Leuven: Sint-Eligiuskapel

  • Name in 1649:


  • Other names:

    Klein Vleeshuis

  • Current name:


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Located on Numbers 42 and 44 on today’s Parijsstraat, you will find traces of a small chapel that was dedicated to the 6th century Frankish Saint Eligius.


Built in 1456 by the Guild of the Smiths, the Sint-Elooikapel (or formally “Sint-Eligiuskapel“) – Chapel of Saint Eligius – was a small chapel located on the then “Legerstraat” or “Lagerstraat” – the Lower Street – that led from today’s Brusselsestraat to the “Lagere Plaats” – the Lower Square.

Saint Eligius is the patron saint of smiths and basically builders. Today, his scope is extended to electricians and painters.

Bear in mind that the Lagerstraat, today’s Parijsstraat, had three chapels: Sint-Eligiuskapel, Sint-Barbarakapel just behind it, and Sint-Antoniuskapel at the end of the street.

What's so special about this place?

The Small Meat Market

The French Occupation banned all religious institutions and the occupiers turned the Sint-Eligiuskapel into an indoor meat market in 1797. At the time, it became known as the “Klein Vleeshuis“, with the larger one located on today’s Mathieu de Layensplein.

It was recorded that this smaller meat market was located between the houses ‘Den Perselaer‘ on the left and ‘Den Loop‘ on the right.

The meat market only closed in 1850.

Current situation

The building was sold and split into two houses: Number 42 is now a late 19th-century style neoclassical building. Number 44 was damaged by fire in the 1970s and was rebuilt. But the new facade deliberately created an arched window to pay tribute to the former chapel.



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


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