Celestine Priory at Leuven
From Monastery to Library

Edited By Guido Langouche, et al.
August 2005
Leuven University Press
ISBN: 9058674738
159 pages, Illustrated, 9 " x 10 "
$120.00 Hardcover

This is the story of a place that can only be properly appreciated by describing it in all its wonderful colors. After all, at first sight the location does not look like much: an enclosed complex of low buildings on the edge of Leuven. The only thing which catches they eye is the brick wall on the corner of the Croylaan and the Celestijnenlaan, of which even the pointing has been colored bright red. Because of the heartfelt disgust which the wall aroused in the people living in the district, the building was intensively commented, also beyond the columns of international architectural magazines.

An introverted building which does not immediately reveal its past is hidden behind the wall. Nevertheless it has an extremely prestigious history. It is as though it was written entirely in capital letters and golden initials: a monastery of the order of the Celestines, unique in the Netherlands, with a founder who was a politician of European stature, William Croy, counselor of Philip the Fair and Charles V. Erasmus wrote about him and Lisius sang his praises. Rombout Keldermans was appointed for its construction.

He came from a dynasty of top architects and builders from the Low Countries. Nothing was too good for the monastery in Heverlee. Even the architects charged with the demolition came from the Viennese Court. Within a very short time, the church was crammed full of the work of Jan Mone, the most important representative of Renaissance sculpture in the Netherlands. The ruins of the monastery were recently restored by the internationally celebrated Rafael Moneo, who undertook the task with the greatest restraint.

The Dynasty
The Will
The Order
The Prince
The Monastery
The Mausoleum
The Monastery Library
The Dismantling
The Looting
The Stables
The Test Station
The Campus Library
The Arenberg Campus Library-Facts & Figures
From Monastery to Library-The Chronology
Sources & Literature

Religious History

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