Episode 24: The Nieuwenhof

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Our focus this week is a building that has been used continuously for centuries, first for the religious Beguines, then for poor orphaned children and now by the Maastricht University College! Yes, this week we’re talking about the Nieuwenhof or ‘New Court’, tune in to find out more.

Above is an 1894 plan of churches and monasteries in this section of Maastricht, from the “Brief history of the Monasteries in Maastricht” by Baron G.Th.L.] von Geusau ( (c) RHCL). On the illustration, ‘C’ marks the Nieuwenhof.

The pictures above are all illustrations by Philippe van Gulpen of the interiors and exterior of the Nieuwenhof. Above left you can see the interior of the Nieuwenhof painted in 1849 ( (c) RHCL). Above right is the interior of the chapel including choir and alter, painted in 1849 ( (c) RHCL). Below is a larger painting of the Nieuwenhof exterior as seen from the north-east, showing the facade on the current Zwingelput (street), the chapel and small garden, painted in 1849 ( (c) RHCL).

Above left is a tombstone from the Nieuwenhof chapel, dated 1616 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons, 2005), and above centre the relief work can be better seen in an illustration of the gravestone by Philippe van Gulpen c. 1840 ( (c) RHCL). The original tombstone was designed by Herman van Griffonroye.

The third picture above (right), shows the religious clothing worn by the nuns who belonged to several orders in Maastricht including those at Sint Andries, Beyart, Nieuwenhof, Sint Catharinadal (Faliezusters), and Calvary, drawn by Gulpen in c. 1840 ( (c) RHCL).

Above are two more modern photographs of the interior of the Nieuwenhof, taken facing the chapel. The first (left) shows the chapel’s stained glass windows ( (c) Wikimedia Commons, 2005) and the second (right) shows a wider view of the chapel’s interior ( (c) Wikimedia Commons, 2005).

For many years the Nieuwenhof was home to certain poor people and poor orphans, both boys and girls, who were raised in the old cloister. The first image above (top left) shows rows of beds for the boys who were 12 to 14 years old – there was a separate room for boys aged 15 or older (1930, (c) RHCL). In the second photograph (top right) Sister Cornelia Groothuizen is teaching some of the Nieuwenhof’s residents in 1962 ( (c) RHCL).

The third photograph (bottom) shows a boys playroom in the Nieuwenhof, featuring a large Christmas tree behind the boys for Christmas 1925 ( (c) RHCL).

The top photograph above shows the interior courtyard of the Nieuwenhof as it stood in April 2013 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons). The second photograph shows the Zwingelput facing side of the Nieuwenhof in 2005 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons).

Above is a video by Maastricht University showing the interior of the Nieuwenhof in its modern life as the University College Maastricht. For more information you can visit their webpage for this building here.

As always, if you have something you have always wanted to know about Maastricht or wanted to ask a local, please contact us through social media or our website and we will do our best to answer your questions in future episodes!