A brief history of Café In Den Engel
From as early as 1390 the "Engel" has been penned down as located next to the "Horen" near Saint-Peter's church . AL 7707 f°6, 2-8-1390
Also in 1395 the "Engel" is mentioned in the Charter of the Holy Spirit : near Saint-Peter's church . In 15th century they mostly poured wine. AL 5003, f°15 A° 1436; RAB churcharchive 19,610 A° 1439, den Ingel; AL7771 f°95, 13-9-1484
When the new facade of cityhall was being build, the two stonemasons, one from Leuven and one from Brussels, unwinded “inden Yngel". Because they were working for the city, half of the expenses where covered by the mayor. AL5083 f°83, A° 1455-56.
Young patricians, that held a jousting in 1455, took their lunch "opden Yngel". AL5083 f°61
The "Engel" has also been mentioned in the register of beer taxes in 1512. AL2816
Due to a fire in the residences of Saint-Joris and "Spaegnien" (bakers), the gild lost its quarters. They requested permission from the city to rent a meeting room in the "Yngel", between buildings the "Roose" and the "Horen". This was approved on april 11 1554. AL7447 f°403, 11-4-1554. Apothecary Vekemans bought the "Ingel" in 1589 AL7868 f°430, 15-2-1589. In 1673 it was turn for old mayor Jan t'Santels en his wife Maria Leunckens to own the place. AL8272f°13, 14-7-1673.
In 1674 it was already rented out to "Sangers den jongen, cremer ende causmaker" (market vendor and cheesemaker). AL3295 kohier 1 katern 5, f°1.
On november 6 1786, five houses burned down on the Great Market including the "Yngel". Legend goes that a maid, in order to escape the flames, jumped from the highest storey. Luckely she was caught by several streched cloaks. Gazette of Leuven.
On december third 1798, during the Peasants' War , negotiations took place in ‘In den Engel’ between emissaries of the insurgents and French soldiers. “Two spokemen of the so called brigands entered Leuven through the Diestsepoort to present a letter to the commander, who was stationed In de Engel on the market”. Rumors go that it was about a prisoners exchange. J.B.Hous.
There used to be a large wooden angel on top of In Den Engel, after being destroyed in 1918 the statue was replaced by a stone one, it depict the Archangel Michael sculpted by the famous Egide Rombaux, after wich it went through a restauration by Guido van Vliet in 1986.
The current building has neo-classic look, characterized by orde, rigour ans simplicity.
Uit ‘Mededelingen van de Geschiedenis- en Oudheidkundige kring van Leuven 1973’
Bewerkt en aangevuld door L.Stroobants.