Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve is unusual in that it contains two urban centres following the creation of the new town of Louvain-la-Neuve. The University came into being after the expulsion of French speakers from the (Flemish) University of Leuven in the 1960s. Some rebellious students took a paving stone from the old Market Square in Leuven and installed it at place Sainte-Barbe. Today, the sacred stone is still in place and remains a powerful symbol of the town.
The new town of Ottignies Louvain-la-Neuve reflects the modern trend of ‘greening’ urban areas. The use of cars is limited or even discouraged: pedestrians and bicycles have priority. The fully pedestrianised centre is a prime example of the town’s green character.
Ottignies Louvain-la-Neuve offers its inhabitants and visitors several green spaces with signposted walks. You can stroll in the woods of Lauzelle, a site classified by the Walloon region since 1994. The lake of Louvain-la-Neuve and the Parc de la Source are relaxing places just a few steps from the centre. Other examples are the remarkable trees, either planted by the university or already in place when the town was created, that will also enhance your visit. The best plan? Follow one of the many themed or playful walking itineraries (art in the city, with QR codes, fauna and flora …) or enjoy the town’s cycling and mountain bike routes.
The town and its surroundings offers other gems to visitors, such as its wealth of statues and cultural attractions. These include the unmissable Hergé Museum and the new L Museum, with both scientific and artistic collections …