Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sleeping inside a church in Mechelen: Martin’s Patershof

During my weekend trip to Mechelen I stayed in a church that was recently been converted into a design hotel—Martin’s Patershof.

In the morning I was awakened by the vibrant colours of the stained - mosaic glass.

As you can see the stained glass is not obvious in the evening.

Because I checked-in in the evening I didn’t get to see the beautiful colours of the stained glass inside my room nor I was even remotely aware of it. However, when I woke up in the morning I had a BIG surprise. The different colours of the stained glass beside my bed reminded me that I am indeed inside a house of worship. It was like—WOW, how nice, I have slept inside a church!

Three more things I really liked about this hotel room:

1) The bed was really nice and I loved the fact that I have lots of pillows. I hoard them; I literally use all of them when I sleep.
2) The smell of the room, the bed, the sheets and the pillows.
3) Free and fast internet.

Here is the history of this Franciscan church as per excerpt from the hotel’s website:

“The building which houses Martin's Patershof dates from the late 19th century and formed part of the Franciscan monastery. Members of the Franciscan order, the Friars Minor shared their history with that of Mechelen from their arrival in 1231. They were expelled under the French Revolution of the late 18th century, but Belgian independence and the state approval of the return of religious orders saw their re-establishment.

The construction of their new church, a neo-Gothic building, started in the Heihoek area 1867 and was completed in 1873, followed by the completion of the cloisters.

After the Second World War, the building underwent several renovations and renewals until the end of the 1970s, gaining new stained glass windows and mosaics amongst other items.

At the end of the 1990s, the Franciscans left their monastery and put it up for sale. The gardens and part of the cloister were turned into a residential development called 'Patershof'. In 1999, the building was deconsecrated and then sold to a private individual.

Spring 2008 saw the beginnings of the metamorphosis of a heritage site in danger of extinction. Less than 14 months later, Martin's Patershof opened its doors.”

Here are the pictures when I arrived in the evening, at the lobby and inside my room...

When I woke up in the morning...

The breakfast area, bar and lounge...

The very ecclesiastical facade of the hotel...

Travel Period: November 2011
Destination: Mechelen (Antwerp), Belgium

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