Alluring Voer - Leuven (route)
The river De Voer takes you on a trip along princely castles, a thousand-year-old church with an imperial secret, ducal hunting grounds, and a royal museum of Africa. A surprisingly green tour with noble allure.
Starting point and parking lot:
- Depart on your bicycle from VisitLeuven (junction 10) in the centre of the city: Naamsestraat 3, 3000 Leuven
You can easily reach Leuven by train. From the train station you can follow the Bondgenotelaan to the Grote Markt. If you want to arrive by car you can park in different parkings in the city, or even beter outside the ring around Leuven. Like for example at the Heverlee Science Park (junction 74) and depart on your bicycle to junction 75. Please note, you can only park here during the weekend.
How do you cycle the route? This route is not signposted, so it is best to download the gpx file for your GPS. You can also simply print out the route.
Length: 47 km
Altimeters: 320 meters
Highlights of the route
Today, the Arenberg Castle is bursting with creativity. Leuven University has accommodated the exact sciences campus here and engineering students conduct their research here. The stronghold of the Lords of Heverlee was already present on the site of this magnificent castle back in the 12th century. It was given its current form in the 16th century.
The oldest walls of this charming church date back to the year 900. According to legend, the tomb of Saint Verona, a ninth-century German empress, lies beneath the Verona Chapel. But according to the villagers, the name of the chapel comes from the old name Vroeienberg, which meant ‘mountain of the Lord’.
The round towers, the stepped gables,and the beautifully wooded surroundings give this castle a fairy-tale aura. There used to be a rugged castle here, but it was replaced by the castle in 1626. This spacious manor has been in the hands of the noble de Liedekerke family since 1775.
King Leopold II had the Africa Museum built as a showcase for ‘his’ colony of Congo. The famous Belgian architect Stéphane Beel, who also designed the M Leuven municipal museum, drew up the impressive plans for the renovation. The museum reopened its doors in December 2018.
In the twelfth century, the Duke of Brabant, Henry I, walked through the woods of his hunting grounds, and Leopold II went on to landscape a neoclassical French garden here. You can. stroll along the banks of the Warande Park’s ponds or in the centuries-old Warande Woods. Be sure to visit the beautiful Tervuren city centre and stop by the Warandepoort Visitor Centre, which is open seven days a week during the tourist season.
Once upon a time, there was a medieval castle surrounded by a wall with watchtowers and wide moats. A new castle was built there in 1820, which was completely destroyed by a fire 20 years later. The current neoclassical castle arose from the ashes like a phoenix. A memorial plaque for Felix Sohie is located at the entrance; he was the first to cultivate grapes under glass here in 1862.
Also take a look in the VisitLeuven brochure!