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Hotelier and municipality disputing ownership of vaulted cellars
Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill
BERGEN OP ZOOM Ė Owning the oldest hotel in the Netherlands may not attract attention as such, but definitely will if it becomes party to a claim going back hundreds of years. That is the controversy in which Frans Hazen is involved. The owner of Hotel De Draak objects to the municipalityís plans to call for proposals to operate a restaurant in the Hotelís adjoining monumental cellars, stating the idea is only agreeable if the municipality will link it with his hotel and allow him to operate in the cellars. Both Hazen and the municipality claim ownership of the underground space with vaulted ceilings below the gateway De Olifant. A former city archivist traced De Olifantís history back to around 1397 and noted that in the year 1517 it was sold to a merchant from Venice who resold it in 1544 to the municipality but without the cellars. Bergen op Zoomís wethouder (a council executive) Ton Linssen calls it a very unique and fascinating case. He wants to resolve the matter, even if it means going to court.