Antoine, Duke of Lorraine
Antoine, known as the Good, was Duke of Lorraine from 1508 until his death in 1544. Antoine was born at the son of René II, Duke of Lorraine and Philippa of Guelders, he was raised at the court of King Louis XII together with his brother Claude, made friends with the Duke of Angoulême, the future King Francis I. In 1509 he entrusted the reins of the Duchy to his mother and Hugues des Hazards, bishop of Toul, followed Louis XII in his campaign in northern Italy, where he took part in the Battle of Agnadello of that year. After Louis' death, he went again to Italy under Francis I, participating in the battle of Marignano. However, called back home by problems in Lorraine, he was absent at the decisive battle of Pavia, in which Francis was taken prisoner and his brother François, comte de Lambesc, was killed. In Lorraine, Antoine had to face the spreading of Protestant Reformation, against which he published an edict on 26 December 1523; the situation worsened the following year, when a rebellion, known as German Peasants' War, broke out in Alsace.
The insurrectionists captured Saverne and tried to conquer Saint-Dié, while the peasants of Bitscherland rose in May 1525. Antoine launched an expedition which reconquered Saverne on 17 May and crushed a peasant army on 20 May near Sélestat, he subsequently promulgated other edicts against the Protestants. Antoine was able to enlarge his duchy through acquisitions. Starting from 1525, he preferred to remain neutral in the wars which ensued between Francis I and Emperor Charles V. With the Treaty of Nuremberg, he obtained by Charles V the independence of the Duchy of Lorraine In 1538, he claimed the titles of Duke of Guelders and Count of Zutphen upon the death of Charles of Egmond, but was unable to gain possession of them. By 1539, Antoine suffered from gout and asked his niece, Mary of Guise, to send him a Scottish hackney horse which he hoped to find easier to ride with his condition. On 26 June 1515, he married Renée of Bourbon, daughter of Gilbert de Bourbon, Count of Montpensier by Clara Gonzaga.
He had six children: Francis I, Duke of Lorraine Nicholas, Duke of Mercœur Jean Antoine, d. young Anna, married firstly René of Châlon, Prince of Orange and secondly Philip II, Duke of Aerschot Elisabeth, d. young Dukes of Lorraine family tree Bogdan, Henry. La Lorraine des ducs. Tempus. Carroll, Stuart. Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and the Making of Europe. Oxford University Press. Wood, Marguerite, ed.. Balcarres Papers. Vol.1. SHS
Joanna of Castile
Joanna, known as Joanna the Mad, was Queen of Castile from 1504, of Aragon from 1516. Modern Spain evolved from the union of these two crowns. Joanna was married by arrangement to Philip the Handsome, Archduke of the House of Habsburg, on 20 October 1496. Following the deaths of her brother, Prince of Asturias, in 1497, her elder sister Isabella in 1498, her nephew Miguel in 1500, Joanna became the heir presumptive to the crowns of Castile and Aragon; when her mother Queen Isabella I of Castile died in 1504, Joanna became Queen of Castile, while her father, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, proclaimed himself'Governor and Administrator of Castile'. In 1506 Archduke Philip became King of Castile jure uxoris, initiating the rule of the Habsburgs in Spain, died that same year. Despite being the ruling Queen of Castile, she had little effect on national policy during her reign as she was declared insane and imprisoned in Tordesillas under the orders of her father, who ruled as regent until his death in 1516, when she inherited his kingdom as well.
From 1516, when her son Charles I ruled as king, she was nominally co-monarch but remained imprisoned until her death. Joanna was born in the city of the capital of the Kingdom of Castile, she was the third child and second daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon of the royal House of Trastámara. She had a fair complexion, blue eyes and her hair colour was between strawberry-blonde and auburn, like her mother and sister Catherine, her siblings were Queen of Portugal. Joanna was an excellent student, she was educated and formally trained for a significant marriage that, as a royal family alliance, would extend the kingdom's power and security as well as its influence and peaceful relations with other ruling powers. As an infanta she was not expected to be heiress to the throne of either Castile or Aragon, although through deaths she inherited both, her academic education consisted of canon and civil law and heraldry, history, mathematics, reading and writing. She read an impressive list of authors of classical literature that included the Christian poets Juvencus and Prudentius, Church fathers Saint Ambrose, Saint Augustine, Saint Gregory, Saint Jerome, the Roman statesman Seneca.
In the Castilian court her main tutors were the Dominican priest Andrés de Miranda, the respected educator Beatriz Galindo, a member of the queen's court, her mother the queen. Joanna's royal education included court etiquette, drawing, equestrian skills, good manners and the needle arts of embroidery and sewing, she excelled in all of the Iberian Romance languages: Castilian, Galician-Portuguese, Catalan and became fluent in French and Latin. She learned outdoor pursuits such as hunting. Praise was given to her for being a talented musician. By 1495 Joanna showed signs of religious skepticism and little devotion to worship and Catholic rites; this alarmed her mother Queen Isabella, who had established the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, Joanna was afraid of her. Indeed, letters of Mosen Luis Ferrer, gentleman of the bed chamber of Ferdinand, refer to the coercive punishment known as "La cuerda", which Juana was subjected to; this involved being suspended by a rope with weights attached to the feet, endangering life and limb.
In the background was the'Holy' Inquisition. Two thousand men and women were burned, a still greater number condemned to perpetual imprisonment, while immense numbers fled to France and other countries; the Queen declared. Deviance by a child of the Catholic Monarchs would not be much less heresy. Sub-Prior Friar Tomas de Matienzo and Friar Andreas complained of her refusal to confess - or to write to him or her mother - and accused her of corruption by Parisian'drunkard' priests. In 1496, Joanna, at the age of seventeen, was betrothed to the eighteen year old Philip of Flanders, in the Low Countries. Philip's parents were Duchess Mary of Burgundy; the marriage was one of a set of family alliances between the Habsburgs and the Trastámaras designed to strengthen both against growing French power. Joanna entered a proxy marriage at the Palacio de los Vivero in the city of Castile. In August 1496 Joanna left from the port of Laredo in northern Spain on the Atlantic's Bay of Biscay. Except for 1506, when she saw her younger sister Catherine, Princess Dowager of Wales, she would not see her siblings again.
Joanna began her journey to Flanders in the Low Countries, which consisted of parts of the present day Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany, on 22 August 1496. The formal marriage took place on 20 October 1496 in Lier, north of present-day Brussels. Between 1498 and 1507, she gave birth to six children, two boys and four girls, all of whom grew up to be either emperors or queens; the death of Joanna's brother John, the stillbirth of John's daughter and the deaths of Joanna's older sister Isabella and Isabella's son Miguel made Joanna heiress to the Spanish kingdoms. Her remaining siblings were Maria and Catherine, younger than Joanna by three and six years, respectively. In 1502, the Castilian Cortes of Toro recognised Joanna as heiress to the Castilian throne and Philip as her consort, she was named Princess of Asturias, the title trad
Lleida is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of Lleida. Geographically, it is located in the Catalan Central Depression, it is the capital city of the Segrià comarca, as well as the largest city in the province. It had 137,387 inhabitants as of 2010, including the contiguous municipalities of Sucs. Lleida is one of the oldest towns in Catalonia, with recorded settlements dating back to the Bronze Age period; until the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the area served as a settlement for an Iberian people, the Ilergetes. The town became a municipality, named Ilerda, under the reign of Augustus, it was reconquered in 1149, after being ruled by the Moors for many centuries, who had conquered the town in the 8th century. In 1297, the University of Lleida was founded. During the following centuries, the town was damaged by several wars such as the Reapers' War in the 17th century and the Spanish Civil War in the 20th century. Since the city has been in a constant urban and demographic growth.
In ancient times the city, named Iltrida and Ilerda, was the chief city of the Ilergetes, an Iberian tribe. Indíbil, king of the Ilergetes, Mandoni, king of the Ausetanes, defended it against the Carthaginian and Roman invasions. Under the Romans, the city was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis, was a place of considerable importance as well as geographically, it stood upon an eminence, on the right bank of the river Sicoris, the principal tributary of the Ebre, some distance above its confluence with the Cinga. Its situation induced the legates of Pompey in Spain to make it the key of their defense against Caesar, in the first year of the Civil War. Afranius and Marcus Petreius threw themselves into the place with five legions; the resources exhibited by the great general, in a contest where the formation of the district and the elements of nature seemed in league with his enemies, have been extolled. It ended by the capitulation of Afranius and Petreius, who were conquered as much by Caesar's generosity as by his strategy.
In consequence of the battle, the Latin phrase Ilerdam videas is said to have been used by people who wanted to cast bad luck on someone else. Under the Roman empire, Ilerda was a flourishing city, a municipium, it minted its own coins. It had a fine stone bridge over the Sicoris. In the time of Ausonius the city had fallen into decay, it was part of Visigothic and Muslim Hispania until it was conquered from the Moors by Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1149. It used to be the seat of a major university, the oldest in the Crown of Aragon, until 1717, when it was moved by Philip V to the nearby town of Cervera; the University of Lleida is nowadays active again since 1991. During the Reapers' War, Lleida was occupied by the rebel forces. In 1644 the city was conquered by the Spanish under D. Felipe da Silva. Lleida served as a key defense point for Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, fell to the Insurgents, whose air forces bombed it extensively, in 1937 and 1938; the November 2, 1937 Legion Condor attacks against Lleida became infamous since they were aimed to the school known as Liceu Escolar de Lleida.
48 children and several teachers died in it that day, 300 people were killed on the November 2 bombings altogether, the town would be bombed and sieged again in 1938, when it was conquered by Franco's forces. After some decades without any kind of population growth, it met a massive migration of Andalusians who helped the town undergo a relative demographic growth. Nowadays it is home to immigrants of 146 different nationalities. During 2007 Lleida was the year's Capital of Catalan Culture. Lleida has a temperate semi-arid climate. Winters are foggy though cooler than places on the coast while summers are hot and dry. Frosts are common during winter although snowfall can fall, averaging 1 or 2 days. Precipitation is low, with an annual average of 369 millimetres with a peak in April and May and another peak in September and October. Lleida is divided in the following districts by the Observatori Socioeconòmic de Lleida: Lleida is served by the RENFE, Spanish state railway's Madrid-Barcelona high-speed rail line, serving Barcelona, Calatayud and Madrid.
Lleida has a new airport opened in January 2010, a minor airfield located in Alfès. The town is the western terminus of the Eix Transversal Lleida-Girona, a railway covering the same distance is under planning. Lleida's only passenger railway station is Lleida Pirineus, it is served by both Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya train lines. In the future a Rodalies Lleida commuter network will connect the town with its adjacent area and the main towns of its province, improving the existing network with more train frequency and newly built infrastructure. A second railway station is Pla de la Vilanoveta in an industrial area, only used by freight trains. A future railway museum will be located in its facilities. Since 2008 the bulk of public transpo
Saint-Denis is a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 9.4 km from the centre of Paris. Saint-Denis is a subprefecture of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, being the seat of the arrondissement of Saint-Denis. Saint-Denis is home to the royal necropolis of the Basilica of Saint-Denis and was the location of the associated abbey, it is home to France's national football and rugby stadium, the Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Saint-Denis is a industrial suburb changing its economic base. Inhabitants of Saint-Denis are called Dionysiens; until the 3rd century, Saint-Denis was a small settlement called Catolacus or Catulliacum meaning "estate of Catullius", a Gallo-Roman landowner. About 250 AD, the first bishop of Paris, Saint Denis, was martyred on Montmartre hill and buried in Catolacus. Shortly after 250 his grave became a shrine and a pilgrimage centre, with the building of the Abbey of Saint Denis, the settlement was renamed Saint-Denis. In 1793, during the French Revolution, Saint-Denis was renamed Franciade in a gesture of rejection of religion.
In 1803, under the Consulate of Napoléon Bonaparte, the city reverted to its former name of Saint-Denis. During its history, Saint-Denis has been associated with the French royal house. Starting from Dagobert I every French king was buried in the Basilica. However, Saint-Denis is older than that. In the 2nd century, there was a Gallo-Roman village named Catolacus on the location that Saint-Denis occupies today. Saint Denis, the first bishop of Paris and patron saint of France, was martyred in about 250 and buried in the cemetery of Catolacus. Denis' tomb became a place of worship. Around 475, Sainte Geneviève had a small chapel erected on Denis' tomb, which by had become a popular destination for pilgrims, it was this chapel that Dagobert I had turned into a royal monastery. Dagobert granted many privileges to the monastery: independence from the bishop of Paris, the right to hold a market, most he was buried in Saint-Denis. During the Middle Ages, because of the privileges granted by Dagobert, Saint-Denis grew to become important.
Merchants from all over Europe came to visit its market. In 1140, Abbot Suger, counselor to the King, granted further privileges to the citizens of Saint-Denis, he started the work of enlarging the Basilica of Saint Denis that still exists today cited as the first example of high early Gothic Architecture. The new church was consecrated in 1144. Saint-Denis suffered in the Hundred Years' War. During the French Wars of Religion, the Battle of Saint-Denis was fought between Catholics and Protestants on 10 November 1567; the Protestants were defeated. In 1590, the city surrendered to Henry IV, who converted to Catholicism in 1593 in the abbey of Saint-Denis. King Louis XIV started several industries in Saint-Denis: weaving and spinning mills and dyehouses, his successor, Louis XV, whose daughter was a nun in the Carmelite convent, took a lively interest in the city: he added a chapel to the convent and renovated the buildings of the royal abbey. During the French Revolution, not only was the city renamed "Franciade" from 1793 to 1803, but the royal necropolis was looted and destroyed.
The remains were thrown together. The last king to be interred in Saint-Denis was Louis XVIII. After France became a republic and an empire, Saint-Denis lost its association with royalty. On 1 January 1860, the city of Paris was enlarged by annexing neighbouring communes. On that occasion, the commune of La Chapelle-Saint-Denis was disbanded and divided between the city of Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen, Aubervilliers. Saint-Denis received the north-western part of La Chapelle-Saint-Denis. During the 19th century, Saint-Denis became industrialised. Transport was much improved: in 1824 the Canal Saint-Denis was constructed, linking the Canal de l'Ourcq in the northeast of Paris to the River Seine at the level of L'Île-Saint-Denis, in 1843 the first railway reached Saint-Denis. By the end of the century, there were 80 factories in Saint-Denis; the presence of so many industries gave rise to an important socialist movement. In 1892, Saint-Denis elected its first socialist administration, by the 1920s, the city had acquired the nickname of la ville rouge, the red city.
Until Jacques Doriot in 1934, all mayors of Saint-Denis were members of the Communist Party. During the Second World War, after the defeat of France, Saint-Denis was occupied by the Germans on 13 June 1940. There were several acts of sabotage and strikes, most notably on 14 April 1942 at the Hotchkiss factory. After an insurgency which started on 18 August 1944, Saint-Denis was liberated by General Leclerc on 27 August 1944. After the war, the economic crisis of the 1970s and 1980s hit the city, dependent on its heavy industry. During the 1990s, the city started to grow again; the 1998 FIFA World Cup provided an enormous impulse. The stadium is used by rugby teams for friendly matches; the Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Top 14 final match
Eleanor of Portugal, Holy Roman Empress
Eleanor of Portugal was Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. A Portuguese infanta, daughter of King Edward of Portugal and his wife Eleanor of Aragon, she was the consort of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III and the mother of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. Eleanor was born in Torres Vedras on 18 September 1434, one of the nine children of King Edward of Portugal and Eleanor of Aragon, she was the third eldest daughter, but her two older sisters died when they were young, leaving Eleanor as the eldest surviving daughter. When her father died five days before her fourth birthday, Eleanor's brother Afonso V succeeded him as king with her mother as regent; the following March, her mother gave birth to another daughter, who would become the notorious wife of Henry IV of Castile. In 1440, Eleanor's mother was forced to go into exile in Castile after losing litigation against her brother-in-law Peter, Duke of Coimbra, for the regency of the young King Afonso, she left Eleanor behind. Eleanor's marriage partner was suggested by her aunt Isabella of Portugal, Duchess of Burgundy.
Arrangements were made by Eleanor's maternal uncle Alfonso V, King of Aragon and Naples, who, in 1448, sent artists from his court to paint Eleanor. Eleanor was suggested as a marriage partner for Louis, Dauphin of France, the eldest son of King Charles VII, but she herself preferred to marry Frederick, because a match with him would give her the title of empress instead of queen; the practical negotiations were made in Naples and completed in 1451. During the sea travel, the fleet escorting Eleanor to Italy was tormented by pirates and storms, there were rumours that she had been lost at sea. Eleanor and Frederick met in Sienna: Frederick was said to have paled when he saw her out of excitement for her beauty, but out of worry that she would have troubles giving birth because of her slender and frail appearance; the marriage took place in Rome. Upon her coronation, she was given the name Helena, but she never used this name; the festivities was hosted by the king of Naples. Eleanor and Frederick were never happy.
She was an ambitious and willful woman who participated in intrigues, whereas the emperor was a sober and uninspiring man. Her interest in dancing and hunting was not shared by Frederick, their relationship was affected by their differences. Frederick sent Eleanor's vast Portuguese entourage home after the wedding because of the cost, she suffered from homesickness. During a period of siege in Vienna, when people were forced to eat rats and dogs, she was known for trying to cheer people up. In historical writings, there is a sense that Eleanor was taken from a splendid and luxurious court in Portugal to a cultural wasteland in Vienna because of her spouse's strict economic sense. On 16 March 1452 in Rome, she married the German King Frederick III, the two were crowned Holy Roman Emperor and Empress three days on 19 March 1452, by Pope Nicholas V at St. Peter's Basilica, her dowry was used by her husband to cement his power. Frederick III was the last Holy Roman Emperor to be crowned in Rome. With Frederick III she had five children: Archduke Christopher Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor Archduchess Helena Archduchess Kunigunde, married Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria Archduke John Eleanor died in Wiener Neustadt on 3 September 1467 and is buried in the Neukloster, the Cistercian monastery of that same city, where her tombstone may be seen.
Sigrid-Maria Größing, AEIOU - Glück und Unglück im österreichischen Kaiserhaus, Verlag Amalthea, ISBN 978-3-85002-633-8
Mary of Burgundy
Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, reigned over many of the territories of the Duchy of Burgundy, now in France and the Low Countries, from 1477 until her death. As the only child of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, his wife Isabella of Bourbon, she inherited the duchy upon the death of her father in the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477. Owing to the great prosperity of many of her territories, Mary was referred to as Mary the Rich. Mary of Burgundy was born in Brussels at the ducal castle of Coudenberg, to Charles the Bold known as the Count of Charolais, his wife Isabella of Bourbon, her birth, according to the court chronicler Georges Chastellain, was attended by a clap of thunder ringing from the otherwise clear twilight sky. Her godfather was Dauphin of France, in exile in Burgundy at that time. Reactions to the child were mixed: the baby's grandfather, Duke Philip the Good, was unimpressed, "chose not to attend the as it was only for a girl", whereas her grandmother Isabella of Portugal was delighted at the birth of a granddaughter.
Her illegitimate aunt Anne was assigned as her governess. Philip the Good died in 1467 and Mary's father assumed control of the duchy of Burgundy. Since her father had no living sons at the time of his accession, Mary became his heir presumptive, her father controlled a vast and wealthy domain made up of the Duchy of Burgundy, the Free County of Burgundy, the majority of the Low Countries. As a result, her hand in marriage was eagerly sought by a number of princes; the first proposal was received by her father when she was only five years old, in this case to marry the future King Ferdinand II of Aragon. She was approached by Charles, Duke of Berry, the younger brother of King Louis XI of France, intensely annoyed and attempted to prevent the necessary papal dispensation for consanguinity; as soon as Louis succeeded in producing a male heir who survived infancy, the future King Charles VIII of France, Louis wanted him to be the one to marry Mary though he was thirteen years younger than Mary was.
Nicholas I, Duke of Lorraine, was a few years older than Mary and controlled a duchy that lay alongside Burgundian territory, but his plan to combine his domain with hers was ended by his death in battle in 1473. Mary assumed the rule of her father's domains upon his defeat in battle and death on 5 January 1477. King Louis XI of France seized the opportunity to attempt to take possession of the Duchy of Burgundy proper and the regions of Franche-Comté, Picardy and Artois; the king was anxious that Mary should marry his son Charles and thus secure the inheritance of the Low Countries for his heirs, by force of arms if necessary. Burgundy, fearing French military power, sent an embassy to France to negotiate a marriage between Mary and the six-year-old Dauphin, but returned home without a betrothal. Mary was compelled to sign a charter of rights known as the Great Privilege in Ghent on 10 February 1477 on the occasion of her formal recognition as her father's heir. Under this agreement, the provinces and towns of Flanders, Brabant and Holland recovered all the local and communal rights, abolished by the decrees of the dukes of Burgundy in their efforts to create a centralized state on the French model out of their disparate holdings in the Low Countries.
In particular, the Parliament of Mechelen was abolished and replaced with the pre-existing authority of the Parliament of Paris, considered an amenable counterweight to the encroaching centralization undertaken by both Charles the Bold and Philip the Good. The duchess had to undertake not to declare war, make peace, or raise taxes without the consent of these provinces and towns and only to employ native residents in official posts; such was the hatred of the people for the old regime that in spite of the duchess's tears and entreaties, two of her father's most influential councilors, the Chancellor Hugonet and the Sire d'Humbercourt, were executed in Ghent after it was discovered that they were in correspondence with the king of France. Mary soon made her choice among the many suitors for her hand by selecting Archduke Maximilian of Austria, the future Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, who became her co-ruler; the marriage took place at Ghent on 19 August 1477. Mary's marriage into the House of Habsburg initiated two centuries of contention between France and the Habsburgs, a struggle that climaxed with the War of the Spanish Succession in the years 1701–1714.
In the Netherlands, affairs now went more smoothly. In 1482, a falcon hunt in the woods near Wijnendale Castle was organised by Adolph of Cleves, Lord of Ravenstein, who lived in the castle. Mary loved riding and was hunting with Maximilian and knights of the Court when her horse tripped, threw her in a ditch, landed on top of her, breaking her back, she died several weeks on 27 March, from internal injuries, having made a detailed will. She was buried in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges on April 3, 1482, her 2-year-old daughter, Margaret of Austria, was sent in vain to France, to marry the Dauphin, in an attempt to please Louis XI and persuade him not to invade the territories owned by Mary. Louis was swift to re-engage hostilities with Maximilian and forced him to agree to the Treaty of Arras of 1482, by which Franche-Comté and Artois passed for a time to French rule, only to be
Leuven or Louvain is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. It is located about 25 kilometres east of Brussels; the municipality itself comprises the historic city and the former neighbouring municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal. It is the eighth largest city in Belgium and the fourth in Flanders with more than 100,244 inhabitants. Leuven is home to the KU Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence; the related university hospital of UZ Leuven is one of the largest hospitals in Europe. The city is known for being the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer and one of the five largest consumer-goods companies in the world; the earliest mention of Leuven dates from 891, when a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia. According to a legend, the city's red and white arms depict the blood-stained shores of the river Dyle after this battle to Austria’s Flag.
Situated beside this river, near to the stronghold of the Dukes of Brabant, Leuven became the most important centre of trade in the duchy between the 11th and 14th centuries. A token of its former importance as a centre of cloth manufacture is shown in that ordinary linen cloth was known, in late-14th-century and 15th-century texts, as lewyn. In the 15th century, a new golden era began with the founding of what is now the largest and oldest university in the Low Countries, the Catholic University of Leuven, in 1425. In the 18th century, the brewery Den Horen flourished. In 1708, Sebastien Artois became the master brewer at Den Horen, gave his name to the brewery in 1717, now part of AB InBev, whose flagship beer, Stella Artois, is brewed in Leuven and sold in many countries. Leuven occupied by foreign armies. In the 20th century, both world wars inflicted major damage upon the city. Upon Germany's entry into World War I, the town was damaged by rampaging soldiers. In all, about 300 civilians lost their lives.
The university library was destroyed on 25 August 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. 230,000 volumes were lost in the destruction, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts, a collection of 750 medieval manuscripts, more than 1,000 incunabula. The destruction of the library shocked the world, with the Daily Chronicle describing it as war not only against civilians but against "posterity to the utmost generation." It was rebuilt after the war, much of the collection was replaced. Great Britain and the United States were major providers of material for the replenishment of the collection; the new library building was financed by the National Committee of the United States for the Restoration of the University of Louvain and built to the design of architect Whitney Warren. Richard Harding Davis, a war correspondent for the New York Tribune, was in Leuven and wrote a column titled "The Germans Were Like Men After an Orgy" in which he described the organized civilian murders and vandalism committed by the occupying troops.
In World War II, after the start of the German offensive, Leuven formed part of the British Expeditionary Force's front line and was defended by units of the 3rd Division and Belgian troops. From 14 to 16 May 1940, the German Army Group B assaulted the city with heavy air and artillery support; the British withdrew their forces to the River Senne on the night of 16 May and the town was occupied the next day. The new university library building was set on fire by shelling, on 16 May, nearly a million books were lost. Given the presence of the KU Leuven, Europe's most innovative university according to Reuters, much of the local economy is concentrated on spin-offs from academic research. In addition, the Leuven-based research centre, IMEC, is a world class research centre in the field of nano-electronics and digital technologies; as a result, dozens of companies in high technological fields such as biotech, additive manufacturing and IT, are located near these research institutes on the Arenberg Science Park and Haasrode Research-Park.
Quite a few international companies such as Siemens, Nitto Denko, JSR Corporation or Commscope have important research oriented branches, in Leuven. The academic hospital Gasthuisberg is another advanced research institute, it is one of Europe's most advanced hospitals. As a result, large numbers of private service providers are active in the medical and legal fields; because it is the capital of the region of Flemish Brabant, many governmental institutions are located in Leuven, as well as the regional headquarters of transport corporations such as De Lijn. As one of Flanders Art-Cities, with a large range of cafés, cultural institutions and shopping neighbourhoods, Leuven attracts a fair share of tourists. Leuven is the worldwide headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest beer company in the world and is considered one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods companies in the world. InBev's Stella Artois brewery and main offices dominate the entire north-eastern part of the town, between the railway station and the canal to Mechelen.
As of 1 November 2016, the population of Leuven was 100,244. The arrondissement of Leuven