KU Leuven opens study centre in historic Bruges building


A new study and conference centre has opened in Bruges’ historic Hof Bladelin building, co-managed by the University of Leuven

Unique event space

The University of Leuven (KU Leuven) has turned an historic building in the centre of Bruges into a study and conference centre. The new Hof Bladelin Campus, which expands the presence of the university in West Flanders, officially opened last week.

The city palace was built in the 15th century on the order of Pieter Bladelin, one of the city’s most prominent citizens at that time. Bladelin had connections with powerful European circles; among other posts, he was the treasurer of the Order of the Golden Fleece and an advisor to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.

The building contains four monumental paintings by Giulio Romano, the 16th-century Italian artist who finished the frescoes in the Vatican upon Raphael’s death. The paintings are being examined ahead of a restoration, funded by the King Baudouin Foundation.

In 1819, Flemish priest Leon de Foere founded a school of lacemaking in the Hof Bladelin. The non-profit that manages the building is still run by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Seven Woes, now in collaboration with KU Leuven.

Any KU Leuven department can book the new centre for conferences or study days. The spaces are also being rented to external users for cultural events.

Photo: Saiko/KU Leuven