The Kruisheren ('Crutched Friar') in Maastricht has been many things in its time.
In 1438, it served as a monastery and church for the Order of Crutched Friars. During the French Revolution, it was used as army barracks. Early in the twentieth century, it was converted into the Netherlands' National Agricultural Research Station. In 2005, major renovations were completed by hotelier Camille Oostwegel and the Kruisherenhotel was born.
It's an amazing concept for a hotel. The church and cloisters have been completely converted by designer Henk Vos into a fusion of Gothic and contemporary. The vast space boasts 60 five-star guest rooms, as well as a restaurant in the nave of the church, a glass lift and three modern conference rooms.
Enormous installations by German artist Ingo Maurer are scattered throughout the complex. He also produced a huge glass tank that stands in the courtyard, and guests can enter the hotel through his luminous copper-plated tunnel. It's a whole new way to go to church.