Leuven (French: Louvain) is a city and municipality in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. It is the capital of this province and also the capital of the administrative and judicial district of Leuven. Leuven has an area of ​​5,751 ha and has a population of over 102,000 inhabitants (March 2020).

Leuven is located on the Dijle and is known as the seat of the Catholic University of Leuven , the oldest university in the Low Countries , the multinational Anheuser-Busch InBev (historic Brewery Artois , later also called Interbrew and InBev), the Boerenbond and the university hospital Gasthuisberg . Several KU Leuven spin-offs, such as IMEC or Materialize , are also located in the city. Saint Peter is the patron saint of Leuven.

The toponym Leuven is first found in the Annales Vedastini in the year 884 as Luuanium (Luvanium). Also, Regino Prüm indicate in its world chronicle in loco qui dicitur Lovön when he discusses the events 884 and 886. The current spelling came into use from the sixteenth century.

There are several theories as to the origin of the name: one claims that the name rises to the prehistoric language spoken in the region before Germanization (second century BC). In line with Caesar, this language may be called 'Belgian'. In 'Belgian', settlement names were usually derived from personal names using the suffix -iom . Leuven is a good example of this. The name ascends to Lubaniom, which is derived from the personal name Lubanios which means "the beloved". This in turn is derived from the Indo-European root leubh- , "to love".

Other, older explanations, such as that the name would derive from the Levaci mentioned by Julius Caesar or from the name of the legendary Scottish prince Lupus, who is said to have founded the city, are no longer considered a possibility. Some authors sought an explanation in the Leuven slogan Altyd Praise God . In Leuven, according to this view, during Antiquity, a Marempel would have stood. On the other hand, according to the nineteenth-century view of Edward Van Even , Leuven came from two Germanic words: lo (forest) and ven (peat). For example, Leuven would mean 'swamp in the forest', which immediately describes the place where the city was established. Maurits Gysselingfinally suggested that the name comes from the primordial Germanic , where lubanja- means 'the beloved'.