The ‘Doolhof’ estate was probably built during the eighteenth century. The origin of its name remains unknown, although it is used even in the earliest sources.

It was initially the residence of the notary Lambert Raymaeckers and his wife Marie Christine Vroonen. Lambert Raymaeckers was mayor of Klein-Gelmen and Groot-Gelmen. His son Peter Raymaeckers became the next owner of the estate. He played an important part in the process of Belgium's independence as a new Kingdom and in preparing its Constitution. As a result he was honoured in 1846 by being given a knighthood in the Order of Leopold.

In 1874 the Matheï – Van Grootloon family became the new owner of the estate. The family's main activity was fruit-growing and the manufacture of fruit products (for example, fruit syrup). In 1946 Emile Matheï and his wife Lucette de Chaffoy acquired the estate and expanded the fruit business. For a while they employed a considerable number of people, mainly from the village itself. However, their small-scale business encountered more and more difficulties caused by increasing industrialisation and the development of globalisation.

At about the start of the new millennium Emile Matheï and his wife Lucette de Chaffoy died, and in 2005 their sons Michel, Jacques and Jean sold the property to Stefan Odeurs, who was also born in Heers. At this time the Doolhof estate (interior and exterior) was classified as a regional heritage site. The property was initially leased for a year to the Menuet production company (famous for producing the Oscar-nominated Flemish film "Daens") to record the TV series "Katarakt", shown on the Flemish channel Eén in Belgium, and also in the Netherlands. Meanwhile a project for restoring the site was prepared with the Limburg Heritage Department. Work began in 2008 and was completed in 2014.

The estate currently covers seven hectares. It has been restored with great attention to its natural elements and the environment. Many damaged plantations in the park and around the estate have been regenerated, and some entirely new plants have been added, including some species which have become quite rare. Solar panels have been fixed on the south side of the farm buildings, so that the whole site is virtually independent of the public electricity network. In addition, waste water is purified biologically and captured in tanks together with rain-water, so that it can be re-used whenever possible.

__________________________________________________   Stal Doolhof BVBA | Daalstraat 9 | 3870 Heers | T/F (0)11 48 26 47 | M +32(0)475 91 64 10