Hotel Montanus

Our story

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Our origin

Jo Dezutter and Kathleen Delva met in 1989. After graduating from the hotel school Ter Groene Poorte in Bruges in 1991, Jo opened restaurant Den Heerd in Damme with his wife Kathleen in 1994.

When the adjacent property came on the market in 2002, they saw the perfect opportunity to expand their business with a hotel. However, the plans they submitted were turned down. Nevertheless, Jo and Kathleen continued to pursue their dream of running a hotel and started looking for a suitable location. After a few months, they came across 'Hotel Montanus' in the centre of Bruges, and it was love at first sight.

Origin of Hotel Montanus

The transition to Hotel Montanus began in March 2008 when the papers were signed and a new adventure began.

Jo stayed in Damme to run the restaurant, while Kathleen ran the hotel in Bruges. But the constant travelling back and forth between Damme and Bruges, combined with parking problems, made things difficult for both them and their customers. So it was with a heavy heart that they decided to leave Damme in 2012 and move the restaurant next to the hotel in Bruges.


Hotel & restaurant

They retained the name 'Montanus' and 'Den Heerd', and the merger of the two businesses turned out to be a great move. Their loyal clientele from Damme followed them to Bruges, and the restaurant turned out to be an added value for hotel guests, who can now easily park their cars in the hotel's private car park.

The name Montanus

The name Montanus is derived from the Bruges physician Thomas Van den Berghe, or 'Montanus' in Latin. Born in Diksmuide (7 June 1617 - Bruges 8 April 1685) Thomas Van den Berghe was a physician in Bruges and published a book on the characteristics of the plague when it swept around in the late 17th century. Montanus enjoyed great authority in the medical world of his time. He was chairman of the examination board and founded the medical professional society called 'Confraternitas S. Lucae medici' in 1665. He was also active as a physician expert.

The building

We also stay with the history of the building itself in the medical world. In the 16th century, the surgeon Jan Pelsers lived here between 1566 and 1575. City of Bruges had appointed him as a combatant against the plague, a so-called "red master". Recognisable at the time by his red clothing and beak-shaped mask, paid for by the city and followed by his aides who themselves wore special clothing with a red plague stick in their hands. Jan Pelsers survived 3 plague epidemics and in 1569 published his book "Van de Peste: Een Generale Methodus om te cureren die contagieuse Zieckte der pestilentiaele cortse." After his death, his wife sold the building.

The stately main building was then occupied by the noble family de Schieter-de Lophem and was built in a 19th-century empire style. In 1913, the building was divided into house number 76, Hotel Christophe, and number 78, the private residence of the late mayor Frank Van Acker (1929 -1992). In 1998, the dividing walls were demolished and the building was returned to its original form.