History Mother Goose

In 2014, we opened our doors in the former Ubica buildings, situated on the Ganzenmarkt. The building of Mother Goose is soaked in history, which we absolutely adore! It was once a city castle and was later taken over by squatters before it was turned into a hotel.

City Castle

In the Middle Ages, from about 1100 onwards prominent residents of the city were given permission by the bishop of Utrecht, to construct houses of stone, something quite special in those days. They often had a huge castle built with which they would show off and a smaller house next to it, because this was easier to heat during the winter. You could well regard these houses as the Dutch version of the Italian ‘pallazi’. Huize Compostel was one such building.


Structural components of the original city castle

Because of the flat roof and even walls, it was relatively easy to determine the age of the building by the stones of the 19th-century façad. A fire in the summer of 1989 changed all that. When the building was cleaned out, the plaster was also removed from the walls. This is when the house revealed its true character, and it turned out that the house was one of a group of so-called city castles. The building still has structural components of the original city castle: the fireplace on the first floor, a wooden spiral staircase, an oak tree hatch and several other elements.

Ubica buildings

Mother Goose Hotel is located in the former Ubica buildings. Two adjoining buildings at the Ganzenmarkt right in the city centre of Utrecht with a rich history.

From the 16th until the 20th century, the Ubica buildings were used as a family residence. Later on it was occupied by a chemist, a bookstore, a printer’s, a plumbing company, a bakery, a furniture maker and a mattress factory. The Ubica buildings, as they are called by most media, owe their name to the mattress factory that was located here between 1931 and 1990.

In the late 1980s, the Ubica mattress factory left the building and squatters took over the vacant premises.

Photo: Utrechts Archief, Fotodients GAU

Home to squatters

The squatters patched the buildings up with the limited means they had and made them suitable for habitation by 10 to 15 squatters. The building was used for various purposes over the years, including concerts, a vegan restaurant, an internet workplace, an info shop, art exhibitions, and a place where people could hire carrier bicycles.

In 2002, the squatters painted the façade black and white, with a yellow spine-like mural in the middle. Many people were appalled and the council said that the mural, opposite the city hall, was not in line with any ‘reasonable standards of aesthetic quality’. In May 2013, after a ruling by the court of Arnhem that the Ubica building had to be evacuated, the squatters started to revolt and several of them were arrested.

Time for Mother Goose to nestle

After the evacuation, the buildings were declared uninhabitable and the lower floors were boarded up. The current proprietors purchased the building in 2012, with the intention of turning it into a hotel and grand café. Ever since, Mother Goose Hotel has had its home there and is now one of Utrecht's most adored boutique hotels. 

Exclusive benefits for direct bookings Why book directly with us? x

Book your stay at Mother Goose via our website and enjoy our exclusive extra's. When you book directly with us you will receive a 5% discount, plus we'll welcome you with a glass of bubbles upon arrival.

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