The picturesque town of Bredevoort and its surroundings have a rich history, in which Sint Bernardus, the building that now houses De Heerlyckheid, played a very prominent role.
Here is a snippet of some historical factoids about Bredevoort:
The first written mention of a castle or fort at Bredevoort
Bredevoort is granted the right to mint coins
The town receives its charter, truly establishing it as the town of Bredevoort.
During the Eighty Years’ War, Bredevoort is embroiled int he fighting between the Provinces in revolt and the Spanish troups, and is beseiged and conquered several times.
Hendrickje Stoffels, the town’s most well-known inhabitant, is born. She was Rembrandt’s housekeeper and partner. A statue of her can be found at ‘t Zand, across from the hotel.
The Gunpowder Tower disaster, in which one of the castle’s towers is hit by lightning, causing the city’s stores of gunpowder to explode. 40 people die, and Hendrickje Stoffels is prompted by these events to move to Amsterdam, where she meets Rembrandt.
An administrative shift occurs as the Netherlands is invaded by the French; afterwards, De Heerlyckheid was no longer the personal property of the royal family. The sovereign did retain his title of ‘Lord of Bredevoort’.
Jan Satink, lieutenant-colonel in the republican Dutch States Party’s army, commissions the building of Huize Sint Bernardus on the grounds of Bredevoort castle’s outer bailey.
Ownership of the building is transferred to pastor Bernardus Mulders, who intended to found a hospital there. Under the management of the Sisters of St. Francis of Thuine, the St. Bernardus sanatorium is founded.
The building became a nursing home, and the Sisters of St. Francis of Thuine were succeeded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Amersfoort.
The last remaining sisters of St. Joseph leave Bredevoort for good.
Huize Sint Bernardus is renovated and expanded upon by the St Bernardus foundation that ran the nursing home housed therein.
The nursing home is transferred to a new site.
The garden is changed drastically, by cutting down sick trees and planting new ones. Another new addition is a ‘floating’ concrete walkway of over two metres wide, using concrete sections that come up to around 25 centimetres above the level of rest of the garden.
The building is purchased by Jos Betting & Nicole Prinsen, and the renovation process commences.
Boutique Hotel & Brasserie de Heerlyckheid celebrates its grand opening!