our history

built on the foundations of the Volkshogeschool

blooming volkshogeschool oorsprong

"we are blooming".. but what does it actually mean?

At blooming, something is either ‘blooming’ or ‘not blooming.’ But what does this actually mean? Where does it come from? It’s something that’s in our genes. A feeling, a movement, a motivation to do things differently. blooming, to bloom, literally means: to bloom or come into bloom. But also, to pass on, to educate, to refresh, and to inspire. All of these terms have their origins in the history of blooming. All of these aspects are what we still want to convey to our guests today.

The foundation of the blooming culture dates back to 1939 with the establishment of the Volkshogeschool Nederland (Folk High School Netherlands). The purpose of the Volkshogeschool was to emancipate vulnerable groups in society by bringing together people from all walks of life. This was done through courses and training programs. Topics ranged from participation in decision-making to environmental issues to art and culture. Under the leadership of Oscar Guermonprez and with substantial government subsidies, the Volkshogeschool Bergen grew into one of the most popular and largest Volkshogeschool in the Netherlands.

from the archives

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Oscar Guermonprez was a motivator, someone who could encourage taking initiative, someone who connected, inspired, and gave people unlimited space to develop themselves. The culture of the Volkshogeschool was in his DNA. From its inception in 1939 until the 1990s, the Volkshogeschool was a place where students connected with each other. They did this by discussing, studying, exchanging ideas, but also by living together, eating, doing the dishes, and weeding the garden together. The range of courses and workshops offered was diverse. From dance, theater, and painting to political sessions, bookkeeping, educational work, and courses for women in caregiving professions. Students came from all corners of the world. Young men from Suriname to entire families from Turkey. It was a free space where countless new social developments were born.

In the 1990s, new policies made the Volkshogeschool less dependent on government subsidies. This led to the creation of a training bureau where the thoughts and vision of the Volkshogeschool continued to thrive. The goal was still to create cross-connections and bring people from different walks of life together. This formula and vision proved to be popular, and the demand for training increased. The demand for multi-day training with overnight stays also grew. In 2002, the Volkshogeschool was renamed blooming. A conference and congress estate with a hotel.

in 2024

In 2024, the philosophy of the Volkshogeschool is still alive. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) flows through our DNA, we strive to connect and help people grow. blooming is a learning company, places a high value on sustainability, does not emphasize hierarchy, gives back to the community, and continues to invest in a sustainable future. Topics like staff training, guest care, environmentally conscious business practices, attention to art, and valuing our roots are tangible throughout the entire company. Whether it’s a biodegradable toilet paper or a partnership with the Scorlewald Healthcare Facility, we are blooming.

blooming has since expanded to two thriving locations: blooming hotel (Bergen) and blooming landgoed het Hof (Bergen). Inspiration, relaxation, development, and growth are still the core principles of blooming, 71 years after its inception.


This is a disclaimer regarding the historical photo archive of Stichting Blooming Bergen NH (Foundation Blooming Bergen NH) and its predecessors, which is managed by the Regional Archive Alkmaar. The archive contains thousands of photos taken between approximately 1946 and 1995. These include numerous snapshots, amateur photos, and professional photos. Often, despite historical research, it is unknown who took these photos since the whereabouts of the creator’s administration are unknown. It’s possible that it never existed or may have been lost. Nevertheless, the board of Stichting Blooming has decided to publish a small part of this photo collection on the internet or use it for the decoration of its buildings. If you believe you can demonstrably claim any potentially existing copyright, you can contact blooming via welcome@weareblooming.com