In the narrowest part of the Netherlands lies one of the most beautiful former monasteries of our country.
Henri Broen B.V. aims to transform the former monastery into a hotel with approximately 100 luxurious rooms, including a restaurant and wellness facilities. In the future, tourists from the Netherlands and abroad will be able to enjoy luxurious stays in the hotel. Furthermore, there are plans to build 45 homes in the monastery gardens. These homes will be of three different types and surface areas. In addition to private homes, (social) rental housing will also be offered. Several community facilities, such as a supermarket, will also be opened here. The monastery garden will be renovated and will become open to the public. Furthermore, the Lourdes cave will also be restored.
Welcome to the website of hbroen.nl! This unique former monastery will soon be transformed into a complex with a first class hotel, dozens of private homes in several price categories and multiple neighborhood services, including a supermarket. Koningsbosch will become an attractive place to spend the night, to enjoy recreational activities, and to live, thanks to wellness-facilities and catering establishments that will boost your happiness and health. Henri Broen B.V. will keep you updated during the latest developments. This page also includes more information about the unique location of the narrowest part of the Netherlands and the history of the monastery itself.
The former, spacious monastery will be transformed into a hotel with 100 rooms where you will be able to stay in a luxurious atmosphere. The hotel exudes luxury and hospitality, so your stay will be guaranteed to be a unique experience. You will be able to relax in the sauna and pool, be pampered with a massage, enjoy the health products on offer, and savor the culinary delights of a gastronomic menu in the restaurant. Personal service, sustainability, and health will be important spearheads in the overall concept of the hotel.
Overnight stays will be offered in several price categories: from standard to very luxurious stays. The hotel will be well suited for conferences, business meetings, expositions, weddings, and other activities. Once you walk through the stately halls of the hotel, you will be able to feel the special history of this former monastery. We are aiming to provide our guests with a royal service.
A local supermarket will be available around the corner and there are also many interesting museums, expositions, and other entertainment options in this area of Limburg. The location of the hotel in the narrowest part of the Netherlands offers many perfect opportunities for nice day trips to cities in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands such as Aachen, Mönchengladbach, Sint-Truiden, Hasselt, Maaseik, Maastricht, Sittard, Roermond, Hoensbroek and Venlo.
In the courtyard we think of a very special attractor, the reference image of an “air path” indicates a suggestion of what might come. Main interventions in the monument are two large openings: at the front of the entrance there is an open passage to the courtyard, accessible for everyone. This also on the garden side so there is a public route throughout the complex from the village to the garden. The courtyard will be decorated as a patio with greenery and beautiful lighting.
THE HOUSES IN THE GARDEN
Forty five houses will be built on the lots located behind the Koningsbosch Monastery. These houses will be sustainable and built to last a lifetime. During construction, health and the environment will also be taken into account. These houses will be offered in several price categories on the European market. The site will include luxurious villas as well as homes that will be affordable for people with lower incomes. Future owners will be offered the opportunity to design the interior of their house to accommodate their wishes and needs.
A number of houses will also be made available for social housing, especially to local renters. Most houses will be put up for sale in the German, Belgium, and Dutch market. These will be offered as three different types.
We strive to build energy neutral houses. This means that the houses will be self-sufficient in regards to energy requirements by generating their own green electricity. Housing insulation and energy saving measures will be integrated right from the start. Sustainable living means that these innovative measures will be incorporated into the houses through beautiful design. As a result, the monthly energy costs will be limited to a minimum and the visual esthetics will remain top quality.
The houses that are for sale are suitable for all stages of life. The specific needs for an accessible home one may require depending on one’s age will be taken into account from the start of construction. This will be reflected in the design of the bathroom up to the literal removal of obstacles. These houses will be equipped with all modern amenities enabling you to enjoy your house as long as possible.
The neighborhood facilities close to the houses will increase the pleasure of living in this area. The nearby supermarket (as well as other facilities, including fitness, catering establishments and flexible work spaces) will enable you to do your daily groceries and accommodate other wishes within a short distance.
Managing Director, CEO
Henri Broen has over 30 years’ experience in the Construction management aspects of EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contracts for major investment projects the Oil-, Gas- and Chemical industries with an track record of success and achievement. He has national as well as international, multi-cultural, experience in Europe and the Middle East.
Henri has a hands-on approach in multi-disciplinary management of major construction projects from tender to mechanical completion with well-defined goals and continuous assessment of risks in schedule and costs, achieving fit-for-purpose plant completion to the highest Quality and HSE (Health Safety and Environment) standards.
He was responsible for ensuring the effective and consistent implementation and utilization of construction strategies, practices and processes together with the successful management of all construction related issues, including project staffing, input for proposals, engineering and project execution. Successful participation in value improvement practices. The projects valued several hundred million euros on average.
Henri is a civil engineer, educated in the Netherlands holding degrees in Architectural and Civil Engineering. He studied Economics at the University of Utrecht. During his career he attended numerous work related technical, safety, quality and communication training courses.
Managing Director, CFO
Carsten Mainitz has 15 years of experience in the capital market business. The last eight years he was CEO of a Hamburg based investment research company.
Carsten has worked in numerous corporate finance projects, collaborating with small and medium-sized investment banks and corporate finance boutiques in analyzing, advising and funding international small cap companies through private placements of equity and bond offerings from a range of industries. He has built a large network of institutional investors, private client managers, issuers and media contacts in Europe, especially in German-speaking countries.
Carsten holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Mannheim (Mannheim Business School) and is a Certified International Investment Analyst (CIIA) and a Certified European Financial Analyst (CEFA). He is also the Chairman of the Board of NABAG, a Hamburg Stock Exchange listed investment company.
Managing Director, Concept developer
Tim Reus has over 15 year experience in international hospitality, stretching from Amsterdam and Berlin to South East Asia’s Bangkok and Yangon. Born in the same province as the project, he has an in-depth knowledge about the direct surroundings.
In Tim’s last tenure he was managing 2 hotels and 3 restaurants as Cluster General Manager with over 300 employees. His was in charge of a multi property boutique style operation with a strong focus on sustainability, the first “zero single use plastic” hotel in Yangon was founded by him. He also set up #hospitality4humanity, a charity to support an orphanage in Myanmar.
He has been responsible for various restaurant construction, concept development and hotel renovation projects with a successful outcome. His experience ranges from working at an international brand 400+ room hotels like Sofitel Bangkok to managing a bespoke rooftop lounge, German, Thai, Mexican, French, Burmese Bistro’s and Restaurants to leading boutique hotels and beach resorts. Tim and his family will specially move back to his roots from Asia to lead this hotel project.
Tim holds a Bachelor degree from one of the 3 best hotelschools in the world; Hotelschool The Hague, and multiple certificates like revenue management in hospitality. Together with his team they won multiple awards around the concept design, sustainability and guest satisfaction.
A supermarket will be opened at the edge of the housing area and around the corner of the hotel. This supermarket will sell products that will further strengthen the current product offering of shops in the region. It will also allow the local community and new residents to do their local shopping close by. Healthy food and natural products will be offered at a reasonable price. The supermarket will also be a place to meet people and will be expanded in order to offer more attractive facilities, which villagers and visitors will like to patronize.
At present, Henri Broen B.V. is taking stock of the local requirements in regards to neighborhood facilities. We are considering sports and movement activities for both young and old, flexible work spaces, a postal service point and an ATM. In this way we would like to breathe new life into the Koningsbosch community, by further strengthening the mutual, social contact and contributing to the health and happiness of all current and future residents, including hotel guests. We will keep you informed of further developments on this website.
The history of the landscape in this region is largely due to the influence of the Rhine and the Meuse. In the Pleistocene epoch, the sedimentation of the Rhine River deposited thick layers of sand and gravel. Subsequently, the Meuse has cut in at different stages of the Rhine’s sedimentation resulting in striking terraces throughout the landscape with the current Meuse as the lowest depth point. The transitions between the terraces are pretty steep edges where sometimes 15 meters in height is overcome. The main parts of these steep transitions between the terraces are covered with forest. The convent of “the Sisters of Charity of the Precious Blood” is on the highest terrace.
This piece of Limburg is also known as the narrowest part of the Netherlands. Tthe Netherlands is in-between Germany and Belgium, and only 5 km wide. A unique place with a stretching across borders identity. The cross-pollination of cultures characterizes the genius loci (the kind of place) and connects the small local community with the surrounding world. The best of both worlds, you might say. In these rural surroundings not only abroad but also nearby cities such as Roermond, Sittard, Geleen -and- slightly further situated Maastricht, Heerlen, Aachen, Mönchengladbach, Venlo, Weert and Maaseik. The attraction of Koningsbosch extends to large parts of the Netherlands, but most certainly of Germany and Belgium also.
The monastery, with its large garden is a monumental complex of more than 5 hectares. Some quotes from the monument description of the monastery: “The Monastery of the Sisters of Charity of the Precious Blood” was built in different stages between 1874 and 1912. The oldest part is a small H-shaped building that was enlarged in 1876 with a chapel. It was characterized by an artisan-traditional architectural style with Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque elements and is still recognizable in the eastern part of the south building and the east building.
The garden includes monumental qualities, such as:
• The surrounding monastery wall with an entrance from the Prinsenbaan and from the side court on the west side of the building.
• The Lourdes cave
• The former vegetable garden
• The stroll garden in landscape-style
• The former graveyard
• The former orchard
• There is supposed to be a underground tunnel from the monastery to the cave and an underground basement on the north side of the building.
• The forest parcel with conifers is regarded as redundant and will disappear.
A historical monastery garden lies adjacent to the future hotel. The Lourdes cave located here will be renovated and restored. This former pilgrimage site will be restored to its former glory, doing justice to the unique history of this location. The monastery garden will be open to the public. In addition to this garden, the monastery itself will also be renovated prior to its transformation into a hotel. The status of the monastery as a historical building will be respected.
Koningsbosch belongs to the municipality Echt-Susteren and lies about 14 km from the core. The place name recalls the fact that from the early Middle Ages until 1794 kings had rights in this part of the municipality. The village has about 1,700 residents and the monastery has always had a prominent place in this community. It is clearly the largest building , many people have worked there or know people who have lived there . In other words, the monastery put Koningsbosch on the map . The expectations are that the rezoning will bring the village more life and perhaps also creates jobs.
In 1879 two German schools were founded called “Die Höhere Töchterschule’’ and a German housekeeping school including interns. In 1883 there were 40 students aged 8 to18 years. Afterwards a normal school was started with a teacher education program. In April 1896 this school was recognized as “special nursery.” From 1930 there was a ULO and then secondary school which was called “MAVO” in the 70’s which also included a housekeeping school. In 1961 there was a number of 191 interns which decreased to 11 in 1981. At the end of June 1982 the boarding-school closed its doors and the last sisters left the monastery in 1995 to move to Sittard.
The foundation stone of the complex was laid in 1873. The architect, John Kayser was a pupil of the famous J. Cuypers. The land was donated by a Belgian wine merchant. The foundress of the monastery was a German religious person. In the heyday of the monastic life there were 40 postulants and novices and 70 sisters. Originally there were more German than Dutch sisters, so until 1916 the German language was the “monastery language”. The monastery had a farm, a garden, a bakery, laundry room and an infirmary. Many inhabitants of Koningsbosch have earned their living in the monastery.
An austere Neo-Renaissance style is applied to the north building probably built in one phase about 1896 (called the “Maria wing”). Around 1896-1900 the present chapel (west wing building) and a new entrance building (south building) were build and characterized by a rich neo-Gothic idiom. The last major building phase around 1912 was the expansion of the east building. The character of the monasteries interior of about 1912 has been largely retained. The main structure is characterized by the presence of a cloister along the courtyard. Attached to this hallway there are some staircases on the outside quarters including former classrooms.
The chapel lies within the same axis as the entrance of the main building and has its own, the same style carried cloister closed with bone vaults. The nave of the chapel has a cover with cross vaults on round columns with capitals and sheet separation and transverse arches carried out in (glazed) shaped stone. The eastern rebellion is threefold with an open gallery and a blind triforium behind a sister chapel. In this rich and largely well-preserved interiors from the period 1874-1912 are also important, inter alia, the panel doors with matching frames that are present almost everywhere, several staircases common to all wings respectively wood (early phase) and wrought iron handrails, and feature distinctive arches on columns with leafy capitals.
The use of glazed and partially profiled brick door and window frames in the chapel, the cloister and the entrance building from 1896-1900, ceramic and stone floor tiles in the cloisters and in the service spaces in the basement, the interior finish of the toilets, piano chambers ( north building), the classrooms with large door openings in the wall section (east building) and the wooden alcoves still present in the dormitories in the east and north building.