4 maart 2014

RAVAGE - Legacy of the Great War in Leuven

The City of Leuven suffered from the start.  The historic city centre was burned down already early on  in August 1914.

The burning of the University Library and "le Sac de Louvain" are remembered in many historica books on the Great War.
More informatie on
http://www.ravage1914.be/en and on http://www.martyrcities.be

YENN b&b is located in a town house reconstructed after this Great War.

Witness thereof are the remembrance stones in the facade.

There are many facade stones like this in Leuven, very many.
Look for them when walking around in streets and on squares and you'll get an idea of the RAVAGE and chaos in that part of history.

The origings of our house date back to the end of the 1880's, when these boulevards were developed after bulding the Leuven Railway Station.
The boulevards were grand avenues, with stylish modern houses where the grand families of Leuven enjoyed modern architecture and amenities like tapwater and gas lighting, and lived in healthy large rooms with high ceilings and large windows.

This area was burned and bombed right from the start in August 1914 because of its location: pressed between the railway Station (critical for logistics and local opposition) and the University Library (where Nazi leaders thought the local intelligentsia was in hiding).

I checked the archives and found the original drawings for reconstruction in the post-War era.

Courageous people.
With a positive attitude en full of courage reconstruction began and rebuilding plans were filed for approval at the city offices.

Approval for reconstruction was given on 30th June 1920.   

Watching these drawings in detail, you'll see what corrections were expected, where the architects made changes, and what finally was approved.

At that time in the post-Great War era people didn't realise what was yet to come in 20 years time.

There are so many areas in the world where people still experience RAVAGE and chaos every day.
Let us consider this focus on the historical era in Leuven with respectful memory of  every person past or present finding courage to start all over again and again.

How come we can not forget this long Great War ?  Some academic approach is available here: