Stairway to heaven
Experience a little slice of heaven in the middle of Roermond
On the Minderbroedersstraat, behind the Minderbroeders church, lies this historical monument (Rijksmonument), of which the cellars with barrel vaults date back to the fourteenth century. It was the domicile of renowned Roermond artists, including Joseph Thissen, the sculptor who designed the original statue of Saint Christopher for the spire on the Roermond cathedral, pre World War 2.
The property has three large rooms on the ground floor, that take one a journey through time in different style periods from roughly 1700 up to the present day. It also contains three bedrooms and two luxury bathrooms on the first floor. On the top floor/attic/loft two contemporary rooms have been realized, that both encompass historical elements. An exceptional architectural component is without a doubt the monumental staircase, which has acquired the designation ‘Rijksmonument’ separately from the house itself.
The location in the centre of Roermond knows all the benefits of urban living. Parking troubles are non-existent due to the spacious private courtyard behind the remote controlled, historical wooden gate. The building has seen various periods of construction since 1350, the surface area measures 270 m2 and the volume amounts 2214 m3.
Through the ancient blue and black varnished door cased in natural stone, one enters the T-shaped foyer (34,0 m2). This space has a floor of pristine, natural stone tiles. Incidentally, the floor tiles in the rear section of the hall are the oldest, dating back to the fifteenth/sixteenth century. This is also where the luxury tiled guest toilet is located, comprising of a freely suspended toilet bowl and a Duravit water fountain. The side hall between the kitchen and the GELAGKAMER offers direct access to the second entrance door opening out on to the courtyard.
When entering the hall, there is a double oak door giving access to the GELAGKAMER (22,7m2). In the olden days this is where the gold and amber liquids from the brewery in the cellar were sampled. During the restauration, the four walls behind the wallpaper unveiled a wonderful oil paint/tempera mural, hidden by a trompe l’oeil paneling. An expert concluded that this probably dates back to around 1750, which was in part based on the traditional attire worn by the people pictured. The electrical wiring was installed In a way that kept the fragile walls from being damaged. The floor of this room was originally tarred black, a visual style aspect that has been continued in the current black varnish. The space possesses a fire place with a cast iron exterior, and the ceiling is decorated with a chandelier which is a design by the apprentice of master Pierre Cuypers.
Whereas the study and dining room embody history, the living room (46,4 m2) makes the leap into the 21st century. The room is accessible through the dining room and through a glass door to the foyer. The floor is made of poured concrete and has been equipped with underfloor heating. A high contemporary façade with patio doors allows entry to the courtyard. In times past, the living room is where Joseph Thissen had his workshop, and is where the Sint Christoffel statue that adorned the Roermond cathedral spire was crafted. This is where he made a mould in wax of his final design, so it could be cast in iron in Germany. Particular details in this space are the wooden ceiling and, in modern contrast with that, an advanced B&O sound system which, through the Beolink system, enables music to be experienced in several living spaces, even reaching outside to the courtyard.
The halfopen kitchen (11,5 m2) has a floor finish of tumbled granite tiles, and contains underfloor heating. The inner door from the hall to the kitchen still has its original glasswork; the doorway to the adjacent dining room is open. The facilities entail a modern cooking island/breakfast bar with a stainless steel wash basin and a Quooker faucet, a 5 burner gas hob, an electric Smeg oven and an AEG dishwasher. The stainless steel extractor hood was custom made, the technical element is in the attic. The short side of the kitchen encompasses a four door wall cabinet with a high gloss black front, which contains storage space as well as the Bosch fridge, which has a separate freezer compartment. Six integrated halogen ceiling spotlights ensure the desired ambience and work lighting.
The adjacent dining room (24,1 m2) has the authentic wooden floor and a ceiling finish with wooden beams. The historical fireplace, belonging to the previous owner’s grandmother, has a symbolic place there, befitting of the rich history of the property. A lovely detail are undoubtedly the inner doors, that have been continued through the rest of the house. They are the work of Joseph Thissen, who has fitted them with ‘flat’ ornamentation on one side, and a distinctive ‘convex’ detailing on the other side.
Staircase as ‘Rijksmonument’
Not only the property itself is a ‘Rijksmonument’, the monumental staircase is as well. She climbs fourteen meters upwards to the top floor, and has been decorated with special details. The most striking is no doubt the replica of the former spire of the cathedral with Sint Christoffel, that functions as a stairpost on the ground floor.
Landing with detailing
The landing (16,6 m2) has brown, oakwood floors and during the restauration the corners of the walls were crafted with a round finish by a master plasterer.
The landing also contains a closet space (1,4m2) by the stairs, and the designer fixtures on the walls symbolize modern torches.
On the front side lies the first bedroom (22,6 m2) with three street facing windows which have windowsills that can be used as seats. The windows have been made with ‘triple-plus’ glass, which ensures that no inner city noise penetrates the room. The second bedroom (10,1 m2) lies on the side of the stairwell, with a view of said stairwell through an authentic window.
Main bedroom with en suite bathroom
The third and main bedroom (48,4 m2) is situated at the rear of the property, and has a low maintenance floor finish of solid and lacquered Belgian oak. The three windows on the courtyard side are new, and have been fitted with thermopane glazing and framed by the original mounting.
Two steps down, through an open doorway lies the main bathroom (19,6 m2). This has the same flooring as the main bedroom and a layout with two detached, ceramic wash basins (Duravit) on wooden frames, designed by Philippe Starck. Also by him is the free-standing bath, devised with a nod to an old fashioned wash tub. All the fixtures are Tara van Dornbracht, a celebrated design by Dieter Sieger from the early nineties. The second part of the bathroom (5,0 m2) contains a freely suspended toilet and bidet (Duravit), as well as a walk-in shower with a rain shower head. All the fixtures are also from the Tara line, and the floor is made up of the same broken black stone as the kitchen, while containing underfloor heating too. The walls have been finished with white ‘metro’ tiles, although they are square instead of rectangular.
The seperate laundry room (8,2 m2) with black wood flooring contains the washing appliances; the ceramic wash basin includes a warm and cold water tap.
The guest bathroom (6,1 m2) also has a tumbled black natural stone floor containing underfloor heating and a design radiator for drying towels. Furthermore, the space encompasses a freely suspended toilet and washbasin (Plus), as well as a walk-in shower with a thermostatic faucet. Practical detail is undoubtedly the laundry chute.
The flight of stairs leads to the top floor, where a carpeted landing (5,2 m2) gives way to two newly realised bedrooms. The first (with 14,6 m2 at a standing height above the 1.50 meter line) is an insulated space and has a large amount of natural light flowing through the Velux roof window. The second (with 33,3 m2 of standing height above the 1.50 meter line) is also carpeted and insulated and has a finished ceiling with built-in halogen spotlights. The original wall has been left intact, as have the roof construction with wooden beams, of which one still carries the slight traces of the city fire of 1554.
Attic storage room
The largest space concerns a non-insulated but panelled storage room (with 43,8 m2 of standing height above the 1.50 meter line), with a lovely view on the original and partly reinforced roof construction. The floor is carpeted and the space accomodates a HR combi boiler (Nefit Topline, 2010), the central vacuum cleaner system and the technique for the mechanical ventilation.
The in total four cellar rooms are built as barrel vaults and date back to the fourteenth century. They have high 'ceilings' and are constructed in marl. The first space gives access to a wine cellar (7 m2) with an ideal climate. There is a constant temperature which stays within the margins of 12 and 14 degrees Celsius. It lies beneath the road surface of the Minderbroedersstraat, and was a perfect shelter during World War 2. The third cellar room houses the water meter and the connection for the underfloor heating. The fourth space is now a sports area. Previously, the final room had been filled with centuries old debris that was removed by the current owners.
An electrically operated wooden gate gives access to a cobbled courtyard with parking space onder the carport (20,4 m2). City noise hardly penetrates and the views of the historical outer walls are magnificent. In yesteryears this was the 'Beghynestrate', which formed the connection to the Minderbroederssingel. It is a wonderful space to relax and unwind. A nice touch is the recoverd tomb stone of the wife of Joseph Thissen, which has received a fitting final resting spot.
- Historical monument that dates back to the fifteenth century, a period when it housed the 'Master of Elsloo', who had his workshop here;
- Three historical rooms on the ground floor, which take you on a journey through time from the 17th to the 20th century;
- Modern living room with a large glass façade and a concrete cast floor with underfloor heating;
- Three bedrooms on the first, and two on the second floor, all furnished with respect to the historical details;
- Two bathrooms on the first floor, of which the main bathroom was equipped with amenities by Philippe Starck and fixtures by Dieter Seger;
- Large and multifunctional attic with the historical roof construction;
- Attractive, cobbled courtyard that is accessed through an electrically operated wooden gate with remote;
- Situated in the centre of Roermond, at walking distance of all inner city facilities.
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