On 25 August 1914, the German army destroyed Leuven city centre.
Leuven was severely damaged during WWI. On 25 August 1914, German troops started the systematic plundering of Leuven and set the town on fire. The reason for this was that they suspected that the people of Leuven were going to attack the German occupiers. Major parts of Leuven were completely destroyed and more than 200 citizens murdered while many others were seriously maltreated and left traumatised for years. After three days of plundering there was not much left of Leuven. Almost all the important monuments had been destroyed, and only the town hall remained undamaged.