Durgerdam is a colourful village with cheerful houses where you can happily and effortlessly surrender to an all-consuming peace. But this is also a village with a colourful history, a port village where there was always something going on, which people visited when looking for some entertainment. This included Prince Hendrik, the husband of Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962), who was always looking for a good time. High on his list of favourite establishments was the Prins Te Paard inn on the Durgerdammerdijk. And it is exactly at this location, in a 17th-century monument, where De Durgerdam, the first-ever Aedes branded hotel, will open in 2023.
- Opening Year
- Spring 2023
- Aedes' Role
- Investor, Developer & Operator
Born after the Saint Elizabeth flood
Durgerdam wasn't officially founded, it just became. That happened after the Saint Elizabeth flood, a major flooding disaster in the year 1421. A new dyke was built on the site where a hamlet called IJdoorn had been washed away. Houses were then built on the dyke and the village Doornickerdam was born. Over time, the name was modified to Durgerdam. The Saint Elizabeth flood was not the only disaster that struck the village. There is no house in Durgerdam that dates before 1687 because of a heavy fire that literally reduced the entire village to ashes.
Sailors, fishermen and bravery
In the 16th century Durgerdam played an important role in overseas trade. By the 18th century, this trade was in decline and fishing becomes the villagers’ main source of income. But the life of a fisherman is hard, as is witnessed by the legendary story of Klaas Bording and his two sons. In the hard winter of 1849, the men can't fish as the water was frozen hard. So, they walk out far from the coast to go ice fishing. However, the ice shelf from which they were fishing broke loose and floated away on the Zuiderzee. It took two weeks before they were rescued in Vollenhove, in Overijssel around 100 kilometres from the village.
From Inn to hotel to café-restaurant
Since 1664 there has been an inn at Durgerdam. From the beginning of the 18th century it was called the Prins te Paard (the Prince on Horseback). A ferry service was established to and from Amsterdam, and the building also served as a ferry terminal. The property functioned as a catering establishment until 2006. The back of the building was then extended to increase its capacity. The property's most recent role, until the beginning of our renovation work in 2018, was that of a café-restaurant under the name of Zuyderziel. And now, the first ever Aedes hotel, De Durgerdam.
This historic building, a National Monument, needed a lot of care and attention. To ensure that the building was disassembled as carefully as possible, we surrounded the whole structure with scaffolding and then wrapped it in protective foil. Each shelf and each stone was then assessed for suitability and then numbered for reuse.
In the subsequent, thorough restoration, the monumental building was constructed to withstand the next 500 years. Inside and out, the building's charm and authenticity were also faithfully restored to create De Durgerdam. There are four guest rooms on the first and second floors and the ground floor is taken up mainly by the restaurant and the reception. The open kitchen in the restaurant creates a pleasant dynamic and there is a magnificent view of the IJmeer lake both from inside and outside on the terrace. In the basement there is reading room to relax in peace,a private dining area and a wine cellar. The surrounding property has been changed from a courtyard into a truly green garden that gives a boost to local biodiversity and in the outbuilding, following a major renovation, another ten more guest rooms were created.
- Spring 2021
Foundation work began
- Summer 2021
Dismantling and renovation of the facade and monumental structure
- Spring 2022
Removal of scaffoldings and garden landscaped by Marnix Tavenier to improve biodiversity
- Summer 2022
Interior design and finishings begin
First Aedes Place to Stay opening
By taking control of the business, Aedes can place sustainability at the heart of a high-end hospitality concept in our very own way. Part of this is the zero-waste philosophy for the entire operation. In practice, this comes down to rejecting everything that does not produce recyclable waste, reducing unnecessary use of resources and products, the structural reuse and recycling of as much as possible, and repairing things rather than replacing them.
This process began with the very first demolition and reconstruction work when we used all the resources available in order to limit and compensate for CO2 emissions. And this continues with, among other things, heat pumps for the heating and cooling of the hotel, solar panels and a completely gas-free heat supply. But we also apply this sustainability mindset to smaller details such as the choice of how the furniture and upholstery is produced.
Our other places to stay
At Aedes Places to Stay, our employees and guests are at the heart of everything we do. They are our muse, our mission and our motivation. In order to best serve them, we are forever perfecting the art of hospitality. We aim to strike a constant balance between old and new, fun and formal, reassuring and unexpected.