August 17, 2014

1188 BELGIUM (Flemish Brabant) - Leuven Town Hall


Located about 25km east of Brussels, Leuven is home to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewing group and one of the five largest consumer-goods companies in the world; and to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence. Mentioned for the first time in 891, it became between the 11th and 14th centuries the most important centre of trade in the Duchy of Brabant, and in the 15th century witnessed a new golden era. One of the city's  landmarks, the Town Hall (in the postcard), was erected in this period.

The Town Hall was built by Sulpitius van Vorst, Jan II Keldermans, and, after both of them died, Matheus de Layens between 1439 and 1463 in a Brabantian late-Gothic style, being famous for its ornate architecture, crafted in lace-like detail. It has three main stories, lined with pointed Gothic windows on the three sides visible from the Markt. Above is a gallery parapet, behind which rises a steep roof studded with four tiers of dormers. At the angles of the roof are octagonal turrets pierced with slits allowing for the passage of light. Statues in canopied niches are distributed all over the building. The corbels supporting the statues are carved with Biblical scenes in high relief. While the niches and corbels are original with the building, the 236 statues themselves are relatively recent, dating from after 1850. The main façade has an entrance staircase, and two portals in the center, above which are figures of Saint Peter (left) and Madonna and Child (right), the former in compliment to the patron of the church opposite.

About the stamp
The stamp, depicting a Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio Machaon), was issued on June 25, 2012.

References
Leuven - Wikipedia
Leuven Town Hall - Wikipedia

Sender: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Leuven (Flemish Brabant / Belgium), on 29.07.2014

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