Conference venue

The conference venue

The 2nd ESHD conference will take place in Belgium, in the city of Leuven, about 30 kilometers from the Capital of Europe, Brussels. All sessions will be held at the Faculty Club, which is located at the Groot Begijnhof number 14. As the name might already have given away, it is a former convent or ‘Beguinage’ that has been very well preserved. It was a very large one, hence the name ‘Grand Beguinage’.

For more information on directions to the location, see also their website:


A bit of history on the Groot Begijnhof or Grand Beguinage

The Groot Begijnhof was, it is thought, founded around 1232 as a community for the religious order of the Begijnen, female Catholic worshippers. The oldest parts were originally built in loam with thatch and were renovated or replaced by stone versions in the 16th and 17th centuries – the buildings that are preserved until today.

By 1962, the Beguinage had fallen into a dramatic state of decay, and the city could not afford to renovate it. Out of two alternatives, to tear all the buildings down or sell them, the town of Leuven opted for the latter. The lucky buyer became the KU Leuven, and renovation of the site was finally completed in 1990. In 1998 the Grand Beguinage was officially included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Beguinage is now used to house lucky (international) students, PhD candidates and visiting professors – as well as the conference center ‘The Faculty Club’.

The Faculty Club

The Faculty Club is spread across two adjacent buildings, which we will both use: the ‘Infirmerie’ building or former hospital, and the ‘Convent of Chièvres’.

You can download pdf maps of the buildings here:

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