(Flemish Leuven) Industrial town in Brabant province, central Belgium; est) 85,600. Manufacturing includes fertilizers and food processing. Its university dates from 1425 and there is a Science City.
During World War I the Germans occupied the town and carried out one of the most notorious atrocities of the war. Shots were heard in the town and in panic the garrison began firing indiscriminately and burning houses. The town was systematically cleared of its population—most were shipped to Germany as laborers, while others were shot—and the town was then systematically looted and burned.