Jo Dezutter and Kathleen Delva met in 1989. Jo graduated in 1991 at the hotel school Ter Groene Poorte in Bruges and in 1994 he began Restaurant Den Heerd in Damme together with his wife Kathleen.
In 2002 the house next-door to the restaurant came up for sale and this was the perfect opportunity to expand into a hotel. However, the building plans they submitted were refused. Jo and Kathleen's ambition to have a hotel remained and they began searching for another building. After a few months they discovered ‘Hotel Montanus' in the centre of Bruges - and it was love at first sight.
LAUNCH OF HOTEL MONTANUS
In March 2008 the paperwork was in order and the new adventure could begin. Jo remained in Damme and ran the restaurant, while Kathleen ran the hotel in Bruges. However, commuting between Damme and Bruges became a challenge both for them and for their clients, especially due to the problem of parking. Sadly, in 2012, they decided to leave the town of Damme, moving the restaurant next-door to the hotel in Bruges.
HOTEL AND RESTAURANT
The two names ‘Montanus’ and ‘Den Heerd’ were kept and the two complemented each other beautifully. Loyal clients from Damme kept coming and the restaurant turned out to be a huge bonus for hotel guests. These can now park easily along the street or in one of the two large public car parks located nearby.
THE NAME MONTANUS
A physician from Bruges, Thomas Vanden Berghe, or in Latin 'Montanus', was highly regarded after taking fast action against the plague epidemic in the period 1665-1667.
Jan Pelsers, who developed the property in the Nieuwe Gentweg between the years 1566 and 1575, was taken on as a doctor by the city to tackle the plague. He was a so-called "Roodemeester", meaning Red Master. He died in 1580, and probably of the plague.
His successor, Father Melchior de Messin, gave his red plague stick to the statue of Mary of the Seven Sorrows in the Church of St. Salvator, where it can still be found today, hanging on the hand of the statue.
Originally the noble family de Schieter de Lophem resided in the stately main building, built in 19th century empire style. The building was divided up in 1913. House number 76 became Hotel Christophe and number 78 became the private residence of the late mayor Frank Van Acker (1929 - 1992). In 1998 the dividing walls between the buildings were demolished and the building was restored to its former shape.