History

From Monastery to Learning Hotel

The unusual building of Leerhotel Het Klooster and restaurant Novice is a national monument dating from 1952. The order of the Crusaders established a monastery here, where the fathers provided education and shelter to travellers. Besides the mission - proclaiming the faith - these were the spearheads of this order. The Crosiers had started Roman Catholic education for boys in the Gooi region. In 1947, they moved their school to Amersfoort, where they first taught in temporary buildings.

In 1952, the convent was officially opened and in 1956, the accompanying school buildings were completed. The school of the Kruisheren consisted of a hbs ('higher civil school', later followed by havo and vwo) and a gymnasium. In 1968, this boys' school merged with a girls' lyceum. The upper school of the new merged school was taught in the school buildings of the monastery. The number of pupils grew to 900.

The last wish of the Crusaders

In the 1950s, forty clergymen lived in the monastery. From the mid-1960s onwards, no new Dutch members joined the order. It became increasingly quiet in the cloisters. When finally only four priests lived in the monastery, it became impossible for them to manage the building. In 1999, the last fathers left and the monastery was sold.

It seems a miracle that the special building did not end up in the hands of a large commercial party, but it is thanks to a very special wish of the Crusaders. Not only was the property to be restored to its former glory, but the Kruisheren also wanted to hold worship services in the convent's church every Sunday for as long as the last of the Kruisheer was alive. ROC ASA, the predecessor of MBO Amersfoort, was willing to comply with this wish. Until a few years ago, some fifty parishioners attended Sunday mass here.

Hospitality and education united for seventy years

After the takeover, the predecessor of MBO Amersfoort established its administration and services in the monastery. But there were plans for a much more beautiful and appropriate use for the building. Wouldn't it be very appropriate to restore two former functions of the monastery to their former glory? Providing education and welcoming travellers - that is what the Crusaders did then and what they are doing now.

After a major renovation, the monastery has been a hotel since 2007 with 21 hotel rooms, various conference rooms and a restaurant. This is where we, students from the Hotel School, now receive guests. Under the guidance of our teachers, we gain the practical experience we need for a bright future in the hospitality industry. Read all about our unique concept.

Guided tour of the building

We would be happy to tell you details about the building. Will you be dining with us, staying overnight or having a meeting? Then we would be pleased to give you a guided tour. Here we give you a foretaste.

The building was designed by Jos Schijvens and is situated on a hill. At the end of the cloisters, there are stairs to overcome the differences in height. The monastery is built in a square shape with a monastery garden in the middle. Here, we grow herbs for the restaurant and there is a lovely terrace for our guests.

Adjacent to the north wing of the monastery is a large church, which can be accessed from the monastery. Today, the church hall is a beautiful location for all kinds of events. In the days when the Crusaders still held their Sunday services here, this did lead to some special situations. It sometimes happened that we had to dismantle everything for an event lasting several days on Saturday evening and prepare the church hall for the service, in order to quickly rebuild the equipment for the event on Sunday afternoon.

Separate from the monastery are the guest quarters. They formed the transition between the sacred environment of the monastery and the secular environment of the school. In the southern wing of the monastery, among other things, was the recreation room of the Crusaders. There, they would sit and talk with a glass of wine on Sunday afternoons. In the west wing, they cooked and did their laundry. There was also the refectory, the dining room of the Fathers. Like the recreation room, the refectory is now a hall for meetings and other gatherings.

Two staircases lead to the first floor. Here were the rooms for most of the monks. Nowadays, the sixteen Kruisherenkamers are located here. But spending the night in Leerhotel Het Klooster does not mean living like a monk: the hotel rooms are much more spacious than the original monastery cells. During the renovation, the floor was rearranged so that we can offer comfortable rooms to our guests - the charm of yesteryear with the luxury of today. A nice detail in one of the rooms is a window overlooking the church. This was the infirmary. By opening the shutters, a sick person could attend the service from his room.

During your visit to Leerhotel Het Klooster you will come across many more special monastic elements. Would you like to know something about them? Just ask us!

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