The metamorphosis from church to 4-star hotel
It’s an art to convert a house of worship into a hotel. Martin’s wanted to preserve the past and still meet the expectations of today’s demanding traveller. It is generally acknowledged that Martin’s Patershof has achieved a fine balance between these two – the hotel can receive travellers looking for an out-of-the-ordinary stay in an exclusive historic setting in ideal circumstances.
The history of Martin’s Patershof began around 1231. The Friar Minors, a Franciscan order, were established in Mechelen at that time – and they were to take an active part in the local life for almost 600 years.
But at the end of the 18th century, the Friar Minors (as well as all of the clergy for that matter) were driven out of the city by the French revolutionists. Later, the religious orders – including the Friar Minors – were again permitted to return to Mechelen. They decided to build a new cloister, in neo-Gothic style, in the Heihoekwijk. Their church was constructed under the watchful eye of the Antwerp architect Paul Stoop.
During World War II the church was temporarily requisitioned by the Germans. Afterwards, the Friar Minors carried out various renovations and reconstructions, until, at the end of the 1990s, they decided to sell the buildings. In 1999, the complex was deconsecrated and turned into a residential area with gardens by an estate agent.
In 2006, the Martin’s Hotels Group applied for a building permit in order to transform the former church into a 4-star hotel – this ambitious project is unique in Belgium. In June 2009, Martin’s Patershof opened its doors to welcome travellers from all over the world into an extraordinary setting.
the city of the Good Life
Mechelen has so much to offer culture buffs, heritage enthusiasts and gastronomes. The city has magnificently restored churches and buildings from over a period of more than 800 years. In addition, there are engaging museums and dozens of addresses where epicures are in their element.
This Flemish city is also a splendid playground for young and old, whether you’re travelling with friends, with your family, or just the two of you. Discover the animals in Planckendael Park, or conduct scientific experiments at Technopolis. When the sun is shining, you can live it up on the many golf courses in the region. Or visit the beguinages, walk along the Dijlepad, or enjoy a Summer festival.
In the last few years, Mechelen has also become the meeting place for businesspeople. With the Lamot congress centre and the possibilities that Martin’s Patershof offers its business clients, the city has a complete infrastructure for organising your meetings, seminars and receptions –
all just a stone’s throw from Brussels.