HistoryFrom past till present
1 March 1885: Hotel Schaepkens of St. Fijt opened its doors.
The family name: Schaepkens of St. Fijt, became the hotel name, and it has
not changed ever since.
Looking back on that time, everything was completely different.
The road Nieuweweg to which the hotel is lain, was a sandy road with large oaks
beside the road. The hotel was hidden behind these trees and was only reachable by a
long drive alley which lead to the front door of the hotel.
The hotel itself was constructed partly from stone, partly from wood.
Besides the fact that the major part of the roof was covered with tiles, the ' Schaepskooi '
was provided with sheers roof. This would later be the cause of destruction of the whole building.
A splendid spring day, April 14th 1977 .
The sun was doing its best to heat the ground, pretty soon it would get a little assistance.
Around three o’clock in the afternoon the siren on the Berkelplein, roarred trough Valkenburg.
For the first car that pulled out it was not very clear what was going on, a fire somewhere
on the Nieuweweg.
Later it got know that a part of the old stately hotel Schaepkens van St Fijt was on fire.
The former sheep stable had been transformed to the luxurious bar of the hotel.
Outside, one of the employees was busy burning old paper.
The flames became too high and a zest wind ensured that the sheers roof of the stable
burst into flames.
At arrival of the first fire truck it was already clear that this would get out of hand,
the complete stable bordering the hotel was burning fast.
The week before Easter the hotel would open for holiday season 1977 empoyees were
carrying out several maintenance activities such as painter work and repairing the roofs.
All in all excellent conditions for developing a big fire.
Present painters could bring themselves to safety at the last minute.
All material of the Valkenburg fire department was used under the guidance of
Cdt. Paul Donders. Rapidly it seemed insufficient.
Surrounding departments of Heerlen and Maastricht, both came with 2 trucks but also
this to help was simply insufficient and the hotel complex went up in flames.
It took the fire department more than 24 hours to get the fire under control.
It was of the largest fires which have raged in Valkenburg ever.