Everything got under way in the early Middle Ages when the current Fonteinhof was already home to a fortification. The Fonteinhof is connected to the small Saint Nicholas and Dionysius church in Gotem, which dates back to the 13th century, by way of an age-old lane lined with lime trees. At the time, it fell to the lord of the manor to build the church and assign (and pay) the local priest. This makes it the only place in Limburg where the church gate and the gate to the Fonteinhof are positioned right opposite each other (irrespective of the distance that separates them), which makes it perfect to walk to the church in a suite in the way people used to. The current gate house dates back to 1729 when it was the fief of the mayors of Hasselt. In its heyday, the Fonteinhof covered around 1,500 hectares, a lot of which was ploughed by some 30 shire horses. By the late 19th century, one of the daughters of the Briers family married Knight de Lamine de Bex from Liège who was a qualified engineer. As the new lord of the manor, de Lamine de Bex professionally occupied himself with devising fruit presses, which in 1914 produced the famous Looza fruit juice which saw the light of day at the Fonteinhof in Gotem. The factory was set up on the estate and remained operational until 1936. In the 1980s, the Looza company was sold, which prompted the decline of the Fonteinhof estate.
On 22 September 2003, the Fonteinhof – which had been listed as a monument by that time and was officially situated in farmland recognised for its scenic interest – was purchased by Hilde and Hendrik Reyskens-Vanholst. To the new owners, it was a case of love at first sight. "As we were walking around, scouting the premises for the very first time, we could sense the soul of the Fonteinhof right away. It was as if we had known the estate for years. This was very much our "thing" and there was no way that we were going to be deterred by the scope of the work to be undertaken to restore it to its former glory. We followed our hearts. And there isn't a day that goes by that we aren't thankful that we did! The challenge of breathing new life into the Fonteinhof, giving it a new purpose again whilst preserving its very essence, is one we seized with both hands.
On 7 May 2012, the Reyskens-Vanholst family opened the Fonteinhof to the public. Two years and hundreds of events later, we are keen to invite you to discover the unique ambience of the Fonteinhof and to come and try our very personal level of service.
Hilde, Hendrik, Liselotte and Michiel