Ludwig van Beethoven has Belgian roots

The German composer Ludwig van Beethoven's family actually comes from the Belgian city Mechelen. That also explains the prefix of his name 'van'.

Ludwig inherited his musical talent from his grandfather, Lodewijk van Beethoven (1712-1773). As a boy, he had a beautiful voice and sang along in the choirboy school Het Koralen Huis at St. Rumbold's Cathedral in Mechelen. Later he received private church organ lessons. After a short stopover in Leuven, Lodewijk arrived in Li├Ęge in 1732, where he was appointed as a singer in Saint Lambert's Cathedral. A year later he moved to Bonn in Germany.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Lodewijk's son, Johan Van Beethoven, was appointed court musician in Bonn and married Maria-Magdalena Keverich there. His son Ludwig was born in Bonn in 1770 and was only three years old when his grandfather Lodewijk died in 1773. Johan tried to make Ludwig a child prodigy. What he eventually succeeded in, Ludwig van Beethoven became one of the greatest composers of classical music in the world.