The Franciscan church
The building which houses Martin's Patershof dates from the late 19th century and formed part of the Franciscan monastery. Members of the Franciscan order, the Friars Minor shared their history with that of Mechelen from their arrival in 1231. They were expelled under the French Revolution of the late 18th century, but Belgian independence and the state approval of the return of religious orders saw their re-establishment.
The construction of their new church, a neo-Gothic building, started in the Heihoek area 1867 and was completed in 1873, followed by the completion of the cloisters.
After the Second World War, the building underwent several renovations and renewals until the end of the 1970s, gaining new stained glass windows and mosaics amongst other items.
At the end of the 1990s, the Franciscans left their monastery and put it up for sale. The gardens and part of the cloister were turned into a residential development called 'Patershof'. In 1999, the building was deconsecrated and then sold to a private individual.
Spring 2008 saw the beginnings of the metamorphosis of a heritage site in danger of extinction. Less than 14 months later, Martin's Patershof opened its doors.