Vaeshartelt has a rich history. The country estate has hosted hunts for kings, welcomed important military figures and housed wealthy families. One of the most illustrious residents of Vaeshartelt Castle was the controversial Petrus Regout, the first Dutch industrialist. The country estate is thought to date back to the tenth century, when queen Gerberga of Saxony bestowed her possessions in Meerssen to the Abbey in Reims. Her property included a forested estate.


The estate has served many uses throughout the centuries: farmstead, luxury castle, patrician residence, office, hotel, forest, training and conference centre, and park with exotic vegetation. It was a beautiful place in all its incarnations, in a stunning landscape a stone’s throw away from Maastricht, the city for bon vivants.


A buitenplaats is a monumental house that forms an estate together with outbuildings, annexes, and the surrounding garden or park. A buitenplaats speaks to the imagination: the sheer size, architecture, the nature and the grandeur of the past.

Between 1600 and 1900, wealthy city folk built buitenplaatsen in rural areas all over the Netherlands, especially in the middle of the country and in the west. It allowed them to escape the polluted and unhealthy cities that were ravaged by epidemics. The same was true for Vaeshartelt Castle, later to become a buitenplaats.

These self-created oases were perfect for the art of enjoyment and relaxation. Residents immersed themselves in literature, poetry, music, garden architecture and the arts.



Servaes van Mulcken geschiedenis vaeshartelt


Catharina van Mulcken inherited the estate in 1399. At this time, it was a fortified farmstead with 80 hectares of farmland, including many orchards. She used it as a dowry for her second marriage to Pierre van Cortenbach in 1415. This respectable family continued to run the estate until the seventeenth century.


When Willem van Cortenbach passed away in 1639, the estate was transferred to the Nassau family, because Anna Margaretha, the last Cortenbach descendant and Willem’s heir, had married Philips van Nassau in 1630. In 1668, after Philips’ death and her widowing, Anna Margaretha was married again, this time to Johan Gerard van Oostrum.

Philips van Nassau
Rudolf Sturler Vaeshartelt


Swiss regiment colonel Rudolf Sturler took ownership of the property in 1735. Sturler had instructed his architect to demolish the fortified farmstead and build a seventeenth-century style manor in its place. The current interior still includes the Louis XV style staircase; very fashionable at the time.


The Maastricht industrialist Petrus Regout enters the timeline, leaving what will turn out to be a significant mark on the history of Vaeshartelt Castle. He bought the estate in 1841 on behalf of King Willem II, who expressed a wish for a buitenplaats near Maastricht. King Willem II only spent two weeks at Vaeshartelt at two separate occasions between 1841 and 1848, but even so the north wing of the buitenplaats has been referred to as ‘the little palace’ ever since.

Koning Willem geschiedenis Vaeshartelt
Petrus Ragout geschiedenis van vaeshartelt


In 1851, the Maastricht industrialist Petrus Regout bought Vaeshartelt from king Willem II for only four thousand guilders more than what the king paid for it ten years earlier. This ‘bargain’ was transformed into a stately residence by the fabulously wealthy Regout, a home to enjoy the finer things in life. Some of the work he commissioned included the amazing smoking room (fumoir) and an English landscaped park, with tree-lined avenues, courtyard gardens, ponds and vistas – still in perfect condition today. Vaeshartelt Castle would remain the property of the Regout family for more than a century.

Link to: OvernachtenLink to: Park