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Aug 11, 2013

A VIP Visit To André Rieu's Castle in Maastricht


Jill's VIP Visit To André's Castle

My VIP visit to Andre's castle, but where do I start? ... It was a beautiful afternoon, hot sunshine and azure blue skies when we left the reception of the Kruisheren Hotel and climbed into two coaches to visit  'De Torentjes' the beautiful PR home of André Rieu! After a short trip through leafy lanes, we arrived with a buzz of great excitement and walked the steep incline to those magical wrought iron gates normally tightly closed to the public!

We were ushered in and Pierre jumped onto a bench and gave us a warm welcome and a short introduction about the castle. He asked us if we had any questions, before leaving us to browse leisurely and soak up the atmosphere whilst moving from room to room; which had much ancient history along with momentous from previous world tours, which really gave you a glimpse in life in the fast lane: 
► The costumes and shoes were delightful and brought the music flooding back with memories of times they were worn and the songs each lady was singing!
► The Dining Room was stunning and you could picture the Christmas Advent Calendar immediately as you recognized objects: the huge table and chairs, and grand fireplace welcoming the guests.
► The Bull was amusing. I think he must have been the one from the show where the bull chased a lady in red!


All around throughout there are beautiful paintings created by his son Marc. Two expressive portraits of André and Marjorie command prime place in a beautiful mirrored room with gilded frames and decoration.
In the cosy lounge I sank into one of the soft leather chairs, almost fearing I wouldn't be able to rise from it again; these Dutch people have such long legs!
In a glass cabinet there are numerous trophies and awards that have been awarded to André and his JSO over the years. They made a formidable show and are displayed with intense pride and humility.

On our visit through the kitchen we were offered a variety of tasty canapes including salmon, cream cheese and others, with a choice of drinks to refresh us, as it was a very hot afternoon.These we enjoyed in the garden sitting on the steps and watching the world go by!

Along the back terrace that leads up to St Peter's Church (in the Christmas at Home DVD), André is still having extensive work done; it is grading down into terraces at the moment, but no doubt his master plan will have something exciting and exquisite to reveal to us in the future.

The outside of the castle has had extensive repair work to the roof and walls, as the stone gradually is eroding. It is a never ending maintenance job!
The Orangery is beautiful with lovely colored glass panels which throw pretty colors in the sunlight. In front there is a channeled pond in which there are some huge (I believe) Koi carps of colorful orange hue swimming lazily in the clear cool water. A three tier waterfall feature adds a lovely trickling sound to the peaceful courtyard. You can imagine André relaxing here away from the hustle and bustle of touring. His own paradise, away from the demands and strains of being famous and everyone wanting a little piece of him.

All too soon our time was over and we made our way back to the coaches and hotel; quiet and thoughtful after our wonderful experience. Later we had our meal and we were entertained by the Maastricht Salon Orchestra. Each table was serenaded by the violinist: a touching experience.


Eventually we were back on the Vrijthof awaiting the start of the concert. I was seated in the front row so had an excellent place.The concert was fantastic. I actually was there for all six concerts in July and found them all fantastic. I can't wait for next year to come again!

We returned to the Kruisheren Hotel and had a lovely gift from André of a Paperweight (limited edition and numbered) within an etching of his head and shoulders visible whichever way round you looked at it. Really lovely! And a note on the door handle wishing a Good Nights sleep and hoping we had enjoyed the day! Very very touching thought! As usual André pays attention to the smallest details!

All in all a once in a life time experience, the only thing that could have made it better was if we could have met and shaken André's hand, or had a photo taken with him or autograph from him ............ Maybe one day!  Jill Baggaley (UK)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...


WOW!!! thank you so very much Jill for sharing your experience .. your photos are fantastic !!!

Dee Demasson

Alice said...

WONDERFUL report and photos, didn't know they have the girls' costume on display, the castle looks so much like a museum, wonder if they only put them out for VIP tour for that special touch. Love how you relate the room to the Christmas Advent Calendar too. Thanks for sharing your experience in great detail :)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely report, Jill and great photos to go with it. A day never to be forgotten.See you in Maastricht next year.XXX

Kathy Prater (NZ)

Margaret said...

Hello Jill, I have just read your account of your trip to Andre's castle. My husband and I were lucky to experience this in July. What great memories we have that you have brought back to us. I also said the occasion would have been made complete if we could have actually met up with Andre. Maybe one day however, we did meet a lot of the members of the orchestra. Roll on next year.

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