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Earlier I wrote that the 18th century theekoepel at Land en Bosch was being restored. The restoration forms part of wider efforts of owner Natuurmonumenten to restore the grandeur of many estates they own in the area. Land en Bosch in particular has long been closed for the public. Since Natuurmonumenten bought it in 2007, they are working to provide (safe) access. Bridges connecting it to the surrounding areas and estates are restored or newly built, paths are opened up again, and the new hiking route should be available anytime.1
The result of the restoration is good, but unremarkable. In monuments, that is often a good thing. The photo’s below show the situation before and after restoration.

Theekoepel in 2008 (left) and in 2012.

The previous restoration took place in 1958. The then owner of the estate could not afford the upkeep of the theekoepel, so in the 1950s it was sold to the council of ‘s-Graveland for ƒ1,-. ‘s-Graveland took care of the restoration and further maintenance. In 2003 the Christengemeenschap bought it back from the council of Wijdemeren (name change) for €35.000,-.2 Natuurmonumenten bought the whole complex in 2007.

The theekoepel was probably built between 1782 and 1788 by Lodewijk Hovy. When he bought Land en Bosch in 1782 it was not mentioned, but it was when he sold the estate to Louis Samuel Meynet in 1788.3

  1. Via. [back]
  2. Via. [back]
  3. Dates taken from this source, who somehow did not put 2 and 2 together. [back]

The restoration of the theekoepel at Land en Bosch has been completed. Photos of before and after presented here.

Land en Bosch was bought by Natuurmonumenten in December 2007, as mentioned in this earlier post. It is part of a large group of estates the organisation owns in ‘s-Graveland. Natuurmonumenten has since then been preparing the estate for public entrance (in parts of the garden). Most of that work has remained unseen, and will be in the near future, till Land en Bosch will be connected to a larger hiking route through the area.

One of the most prominent features of Land en Bosch is the Theekoepel, an 18th century pavilion near the main road. It is not specifically mentioned on their website as part of the plans, but it is currently being restored.

I’m curious to see the result.

A neighbour who states that the new owner ‘undermines its own guiding principles’; a local council (Wijdemeren) who seems to be surprised by plans to start a ‘care hotel’ (zorghotel) in the main house, and hits back hard at an individual who opposes to the plans; a new owner who teams up with a party that presents future events in past tense.

Who said life was quiet in the Wijdemeren community?1
Now there is unrest concerning Jagtlust‘s future, with fears that new owner Natuurmonumenten is trading in its principles against hard cash and an extension of its hiking path in the area. The Wijdemeren council seems to be surprised by both the plans and the protests.

What’s the story? In 2006 Jagtlust was sold to Natuurmonumenten, whose reputation in the area is good. The preservation of both natural and historical values seems to be in good hands with this organisation. The park was to be partially opened for the public, the seller was going to move into the coach house. Everybody seemed to be pleased with this situation.
A week ago plans for the ‘care hotel’ at Jagtlust were made public by Thuiszorg Gooizorg. At the same time (and conveniently mentioned in the online newspaper article), a website was presented, showing how great life at ‘Zorghotel Residentie Jagtlust‘ was going to be -and why not, they are trying to sell something.
Today that same newspaper reports on the protesting neighbour. He says Natuurmonumenten has been felling age-old trees on behalf of a new hiking path (where they could have easily used the existing paths). If true, this would contradict Natuurmonumenten‘s pledge to preserve the historical context of the park, but the organisation stresses that their work is in line with their guiding principles.
The protesting neighbour also suggests that the local council was taken by surprise and points out that the new house of the former owner is flagged as an office area in the zoning plan, which would make living there illegal.

As a response, Wijdemeren wrote a piece on their web newspaper where they say the council has not yet received official requests to amend the current zoning plan, but earlier its mayor and aldermen have advised positively on the plans by Thuiszorg Gooizorg and Natuurmonumenten.2 The piece ends with a rather underhand -but maybe unintentional- characterisation of Jagtlust‘s neighbour as a professional protester who lost in many cases.

So: it seems there is a lot ado about nothing, yet the way in which this conflict is fought out suggests otherwise.

One thing the local press has not picked up (again): the high-pitched protest may have been initiated by the zorghotel website. In the section called ‘Opening’ reference is made to an opening in June 2008, which was followed by an impressive official opening party in August. All texts in this section are in past tense (it is now the beginning of April 2008, so the events take place at least two months from now).

The story on the zorghotel website is obviously fake. It all looks like a playful joke. But the text leaves the impression that the zorghotel is a fait accompli. And that is not a smart move when you have only just begun to request approval for your plans.
Clumsy operating is not recommended for an organisation as highly dependent on trust as a ‘care hotel’.

In the archives: more stories on Jagtlust and Eikenrode.

Edited @ April 4, 2008 to remove a stupid mistake. Also added the image.

  1. Just over a month ago, all resources at the local council were needed to prevent the sudden public sale of Eikenrode in Loosdrecht (which by the way will also house a ‘care hotel’), in which Wijdemeren was and still is an active party. It seems somebody is not paying enough attention over there. See this blog’s archives. [back]
  2. Notulen vergadering burgemeester en wethouders d.d. 25 maart 2008, page 3, point 19. The proposals need to comply with all legal aspects of the monumental status the house and park have, and need the stamp of approval of at least two other organisations before they can be approved by the council. [back]

Natuurmonumenten has added a new estate to the cluster of estates they already own in ‘s Graveland. In the beginning of December Land en Bosch was acquired. After extensive cleaning operations and preparations, this estate will be added to the public rambling path that Natuurmonumenten already has in the area. Natuurmonumenten has its headquarters in the nearby estate of Schaep en Burg.

Land en Bosch used to be a conference centre for over 50 years, until it closed in 2003. According to an early source the sellers (De Christengemeenschap -Foundation Christian Community, who used Land en Bosch for prayers up till September 2007) wanted the estate to be used as a ‘zorghotel’ -a caring center for the chronically ill. The author believes the new owner may have agreed with this use, but Natuurmonumenten itself does not mention anything about the future use of Land en Bosch. The same source mentions an acquisition price of € 5,000,000 against an asking price of € 5,500,000.

The 3,5 hectare park boasts -by the looks of it- its fair share of mature beeches, as well as an 18th Century cabinet, or theekoepel, which was restored in 1958 by the local council. A photo of that theekoepel can be found here. land-en-bosch-ferry-siemensma.jpg

Land en Bosch, photo: Ferry Siemensma.

In recent news: Natuurmonumenten has bought Jagtlust for €6,2 million. Jagtlust is one of the many estates in ‘s Graveland, but less well known because up till now it has been private property. The current owner will be living in the coach house after the sale. The house and coach house will be restricted areas, Natuurmonumenten will open (parts of) the park for public.

The house, with 9.5 hectare of land, has been for sale for over four years. Initially the asking price for the estate was €13.5 million, thus making it the most expensive real estate property brought to the market by a private owner in The Netherlands. In early 2005, the asking price had already been dropped by €4 million. The €6.2 million for which the estate was eventually sold, is brought together by the province (€3 million), the national ministry of agriculture and nature (€800.000) and two anonymus gifts (together €750.000). Natuurmonumenten expects to be able to cover the remaining €1.5 million by letting the main building and coach house.

Not noticed by the local press: Continue Reading »