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Louvain-la-Neuve is a planned city in the municipality of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, situated 30 km southeast of Brussels, in the French-speaking part of the country. The city was built to house the Université Catholique de Louvain; following the linguistic quarrels that took place in Belgium during the 1960s, and Flemish claims of discrimination at the Catholic University of Leuven, the institution was split into the Dutch language Katholieke Universiteit Leuven which remained in Leuven, and the Université Catholique de Louvain.To a great extent, it still lives following the rhythms of the university that is its raison d'être. However, with the recent construction of L'Esplanade shopping complex, the Aula Magna exhibition centre and auditorium, as well as a large cinema complex, it is beginning to grow beyond its academic roots.Louvain-la-Neuve is an example of the "automobile under" type of New Pedestrianism.HistoryAfter much deliberation, the university administration agreed on a building site near the town of Ottignies, in the French-speaking part of the province of Brabant. They bought a 9 km2 plot of beetroot farmland, which became the site from which the new city would arise. Construction started on 20 January 1969.Use our Belgium travel route planner to arrange the hows, wheres, and whens of your trip to Louvain-la-Neuve.
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