The building at Vrijthof 52 dates from 1931. An inn once stood on the site of the former hotel-restaurant Du Casque. The oldest reports of the inn date back to 1439. As early as the Middle Ages, this was the perfect place to stay the night. Vrijthof was already drawing many thousands of visitors to events such as the Heiligdomsvaart religious procession.
The building that now stands here was designed in 1931 by architect J. Boterenbrood. Commissioned by the Heineken brewery, he probably combined two existing properties The complex runs behind the Dominicain hotel and Café Naovenant, to Helmstraat.
The building was constructed with French limestone. The façade on Vrijthof has four floors, with a cornice, and is asymmetrical. The first floor has a large balcony and the third floor sits back a little. The roof has two dormer windows. On the front are the coats of arms of the Netherlands and Prince Henry. Beneath the bay window on the right is a golden helmet. On an old photo (year unknown), this helmet is clearly copper-coloured.
The façade on Helmstraat has five storeys and a similar appearance. The entrance is on the left on the ground floor, and on the right is the access to a car park. The interior retains some art deco features.
An inn already stood on this spot in the Middle Ages. This is not surprising, as even in those days Vrijthof and the surrounding area was the setting for some big events. One such event was the Heiligdomsvaart religious procession, which started from Sint Servaaskerk. This drew many thousands of visitors and pilgrims to the city. In old documents, this property is mentioned as the De Helm inn. The earliest reference to it is in 1439. At that time, the inn belonged to the Van Otegraven family. The Prince Bishop of Liège probably stayed here when visiting the city.
Until the nineteenth century, the building as it now stands was split in three. Only the left section was an inn, owned by innkeeper Lodewijk Hoeberecht. A rentier and a female merchant also lived here and, later on, a confectioner. The last two buildings were combined around 1900, and were operated by Oscar Kayser. He replaced the old name In den Helm with the more swanky-sounding Du Casque.