Colourful history

From the Teutonic Knights to the French period; from military hospital to squatters bulwark to luxury Hotel. Grand Hotel Karel V is in its fifth life. It all began in 1348, when work was started inside Utrecht’s city walls to build a Monastery for the German Order of the Teutonic Knights.

The building, a compound with a courtyard covering some 10,000 square meters, has a colourful history that speaks of the presence of numerous, illustrious guests. The most prominent of which, without peer, was Charles V, ere time Emperor of almost the whole of Europe and bearer of the hotel’s name. Curious to learn about the historic highlights of the complex? Read more.

Historical highlights
1348: Construction started on a monastery for the German Order of Teutonic Knights: “De Balije van Utrecht”, The German House

1545-1546: Visit of Charles V, erstwhile emperor of almost the whole of Europe, in the company of his sister, Mary of Hungary

1713: The Spanish envoy, Count Osuna, attends peace negotiations for the Treaty of Utrecht in the German House, the “Balije van Utrecht”

1807: The German Order of the Teutonic Knights is bought out by King Louis Napoleon for a price of 50,000 florins. The French rulers want to build a military hospital in Utrecht

1823 and 1830: The German House changes ownership to King William I of Orange. The construction of the Military Hospital is completed over those two years

Till 1990: The complex is in service as a Military Hospital, until confiscated by squatters. Completing the restoration works takes about 3,5 years

1992: Renovation and start of construction of the present day Grand Hotel Karel V

1995: German Order returns to a section of the complex; rest becomes a luxury hotel

1999: Opening of Grand Hotel Karel V

March 2008: New construction and extension of ‘Garden Wing’. The discovery of a Roman burial site and likely remains of the founders of Utrecht leads to renaming the ‘Garden Wing’ to ‘Roman Wing’

October 2016: After rearranging and renovating rooms, restaurant and bistro, Karel 5 Gastro Bistro Events is launched

Interested to know more about our eventful history?

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