Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A Snapshot of Leuven

Belgium's “Oxford” - dreamy spires
Whose town hall everyone admires
Huge reliquary in pure white stone
With a myriad statues of its own.

City of students, jazz and beer
'Stella Artois' everywhere
Proud ancient colleges survive;
Founded in 1425.

200 buildings, some brand new
Down narrow streets come into view
Low Countries' learning at its height
Six centuries of Catholic might!

Renaissance and Rococo styles
Much rebuilt since wartime trials
The city has a joyful air
The Oud Markt rocks – long bars are there!

Once Latin was the favoured tongue
A trilingual college soon begun
Which also taught in Hebrew, Greek
Languages many then could speak.

Now Flemish Brabant reigns supreme
Leuven, the capital, has come clean
Dutch has chased French speakers out
But guess what, folks – English has clout!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Floodlit Leuven town hall 15th century

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