You are here - History of the Glaspaleis

You are here - History of the Glaspaleis

  • What architecture
  • When Oct 13, 2019 to Oct 03, 2022 (Europe/Amsterdam / UTC200)
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Take an insight into the impressive architecture and rich history of an extraoridanary building in the heart of Heerlen.

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Down the years, the department store - desgined by architect Frits Peutz - has taken on different guises and various functions which paralleled developments in Heerlen.

You are here, a semi-permanent presentation about the history of the Glaspaleis. The presentation tells the story about the Glaspaleis, about the architecture and about the various interpretations and purposes over the years. On the basis of photos, texts, records and objects, the visitor gains insight into the history of the iconic building.


The exhibition is a co-production between SCHUNCK and Rijckheyt, center for regional history, and can be visited on video for a longer period in the hall of the Glaspaleis. Photographs, documents and original objects from all different periods of the existence of the Glaspaleis will be on display. Complemented with video and sound clips.

“We think it is very important to tell the story of the Glaspaleis that lives in the memory of so many people in the city and is a recognizable landmark for many. Previous exhibitions such as ‘Ik verzamel‘ (Marc Volger, 2014) or ‘The Post-Industrials’ (also a co-production with Rijckheyt, 2017-2018) led to many positive reactions from visitors who recognised a piece of the common history of their city. Many of our visitors also indicate a great interest in the story and construction of this striking building. That is why we are now setting up a place where this history gets the spotlight.”, Says Patricia van den Ende, senior curator at SCHUNCK: “There are so many stories inside these glass walls. Not only from the Schunck department store where the first elevator of Heerlen could be found, but also from lesser-known periods such as the short time that artists and anti-squat residents used the building as a studio and home. We would like to record, preserve these stories and give them back to the city and its visitors.”


The exhibition design is in the hands of Paulien Berendsen of Studio Parade, who previously realized exhibitions for the Dutch Design Awards, the Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Cuypershuis in Roermond. For the setup, she was inspired by the concept of “showcase” – which is inextricably linked to the original function of the Glaspaleis as a department store – and brings the story in various display cabinets in a playful way. The visitor can ‘discover’ the story by opening various drawers of those elements of the story that he or she wants to know more about.

practical information

The exhibition can be visited continuously:

Mon-Sat: 9.00 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.

sun: 11.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

The exhibition was made possible in co-production with Rijckheyt | Centrum voor regionale geschiedenis