The charming Huis Aerts was named after Lommel’s first inhabitant and mayor, Jan Jacob Aerts. The building used to serve as an inn with rooms and now houses GlazenHuis‘s Galerij. Are you looking for a mouth-blown souvenir from Lommel? Then this is the place to come!
From 1805 until the beginning of the 20th century, Huis Aerts was an inn with lodging. The colorful Gallery is therefore a delightful clash of authentic elements with original exhibition walls and modern display cabinets.
In addition to the smaller glass souvenirs in the Glass Shop, GlazenHuis presents its larger works of art for sale in the Gallery. This is located in the beautiful setting of the historic House Aerts. The gallery’s exclusive works of art have been created by international ‘artists in residence’ who in recent years breathed life into their creations in the Lommel glass studio. This residency program has since gained a worldwide reputation. The gallery’s offer can therefore be called unique, to say the least.
The Aerts House – also known as the Joosten House, after its last occupant – was founded in 1805 by Jan Jacob Aerts (who was appointed the first mayor of Lommel in 1808) and Maria Elisabeth Van Ham. Because the latter was a descendant of a well-known family of the ‘teuten’, the Aerts house is also sometimes called a ‘teuten’ house. The initials of the builder and his wife and the numbers of the year of construction are incorporated in the wooden skylight of his house. The house served as a tavern, inn and lodging house until the 20th century.
The establishment of the Aerts House should be seen in the light of the specific political and economic conditions that prevailed in Lommel at that time. Lommel was a border village, a transit town which played an important role as a stopping place for postal traffic between Breda and Maastricht, which explains the reason for its existence and the flourishing of taverns and other businesses (e.g. blacksmiths). Originally, Aerts House also had an agricultural function, but this part of the house was demolished in the 1920s.
On an old photograph of the house Aerts was written: “In the Society J Aerts Lommel”. This explains itself as follows: in the years 1840-1852 Lommel had a hunters’ club, the St. Hubertus Guild, whose tribal hall was located in the Aerts inn. Moreover, Peter Jacob Aerts (son of Jan Jacob) was headman of the guild. In the explanatory dictionary of “Architectural Terms” by E.J. Haslingshuis, the term “society” (from the Latin societas: alliance, association) is described as: “building where a social association, a social or political group, or a professional group has reading, drinking, playing and entertainment rooms. Originated from the coffee house since about 1760”.
On March 29, 1974, the house was protected as a monument. It is owned by the city of Lommel.