Groep Bouwen in Lier


Groep Bouwen is still working from its home base of Lier, a romantic city of 30,000 inhabitants, located on the banks of the Nete. Traditionally, the Lierenaars (i.e. those who live in Lier) are called "sheep´s heads".

According to legend, the sheep´s heads moniker developed back in the 14th century. Jan II, the Duke of Brabant and Limburg, wished to thank the Lierenaars for their support in the battle against the Mechelaars (i.e. those living in nearby Mechelen). The city was given a choice between two rewards: either a university or a cattle market.

The Lierenaars unhesitatingly went for the staple right on livestock – a choice that certainly didn’t do Lier any harm, because per region only a single city was granted such a right. The cattle market - which until then had been established in Wespelaar – was promptly moved at the Duke´s order to Lier. Duke Jan supposedly observed all of this and sighed: "O, those sheep´s heads".

The university, the reward that Lier passed on, ultimately went to Leuven - thereby giving the latter, in 1425, the very first university in the Low Countries.