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 MANY INCARNATIONS OF VAESHARTELT CASTLE
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.
THE ORIGINS OF THE BUITENPLAATS
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.