The oldest church in Arnhem is located in the center of Arnhem. And no, that’s not the Church of Eusebius. Sint Walburgiskerk dates from 1375 and has had a new function since 2018: a hotel! Hostess Sonja van der Bij gives a tour, do you see?
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Walburgiskerk is a Gothic church and was consecrated around the year 1375. After this, the building functioned as a church for several hundred years, with a long stop after the battle of Arnhem in 1944. The church burned down completely and had to be rebuilt.
In 2018, investor Theo de Rijk bought the building. He realized hotel rooms in the distinctive towers of the building. The church hall is used for exhibitions and other cultural events. Sonja runs the Walburgis homes. She was involved in the design of hotel rooms from an early age. “I worked for Dudok for over 17 years, and Theo often went there for lunch. We had a chat and he told us about his plans for Walburgiskerk. He asked if it would not be for me. “
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Sonja quickly gets excited. “I spent hours on the internet looking for information for the theme rooms. I have always been interested in Arnhem’s history, but I have learned a lot through my work. ”
The first space that Sonja shows is the Lodewijk Napoleon space. “The big emperor’s little brother. Many people do not know how important he has been to Arnhem. Without him we would not have beautiful canals in the city now, he decided that there should be public gardens.”
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Sonja proudly displays the master bedroom of the French room. The copper bathtub and the spacious bed give the large space a royal atmosphere. The decoration has been matched down to the smallest detail. “Architects are in charge of the interior design, but I spent many hours decorating the rooms myself. Incredibly fun to make. ”
Walburgis residences has six hotel rooms, each with their own theme. Sonja: “We have found that out ourselves. We want to show that Arnhem has a rich history and a lot to offer. It fits in well with the chosen themes. ”
In addition to the Lodewijk Napoleon Grand Suite, you can sleep in a Roman Fort Suite, a Helene Kröller-Müller, a Rietveld Kröller-Müller Suite, a Battle of Arnhem Penthouse and a Burgers’ Zoo Penthouse. You will not encounter any animals in the latter. “The mangrove theme and lots of greenery have been chosen here.”
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Modern in old jacket
Sonja got help for the rooms in Burgers’ Zoo and Kröller-Müller. “We approached both the zoo and Kröller Müller, and they were both very excited. They have been here several times. ” In the Rietveld room, the contrast between old and new is striking. “Modern art in a very old jacket.”
The history of the building is reflected in every possible little detail. From leftover wall brackets to the old doors used for the bathrooms. “We think history is important. And although Arnhem is much more than the well-known battle of Arnhem, we are of course also aware of that. ”
Roof terrace with a great view
Sonja goes up the last staircase of the building. “Unfortunately, the elevator does not get here, but it is more than worth the short climb.” An impressive mural can be seen in the Battle of Arnhem Suite. The modern kitchen has a back wall with planes on. The most special thing about this room is perhaps not the themed decor. A narrow staircase leads to a private roof terrace. With breathtaking views of Arnhem and the surrounding area.
“In fact, this room is always full, not least because of the roof terrace.” Sonja still has nothing to complain about the attention. “Since the opening in October, the reservations have poured in. It’s a nice reward for the hard work. We may well be excited about what we have lined up here, I think it’s great that the visitors are so excited. That’s what you’re doing for. “
Do you, like Arnhemmer, want to take a look into Sint-Walburgiskerk? Come to the tour that Sonja gives during Open Monument Day. Or stay overnight in your own city, the rooms vary in prices, from 175 euros to 245 euros per night. You can see more about the history of the church in this cool video
Call for inside the viewers
Indebuurt Arnhem is always looking for new insiders. Do you know a special building or a special house that you would like to see inside? Or do you live in a beautiful, cozy, unique, cool house that you are proud of? Let us know! Send an email to [email protected] and who knows, maybe we’ll visit you!