This little village is situated to the northwest of Delfzijl is a typical “Terp” or “Wierde” village”. The only interesting building is a Romanesque church, made of bricks. The church has been restored around 1980. The most valuable object is the organ built by Arp Schnitger (Hamburg) in the years 1703-1704 and restored by the Dutch organ builder Reil (1985)
A certain must see when you visit the province of Groningen are the churches.
Sometimes they stand alone on a little hill, a so called 'wierde' in the Groninger language.
Often they are from Roman times.
The best way to discover Groningen is making a city walk. The Tourist Information Centre (Grote Markt 25, opposite the Martinitoren) has a leaflet with two walks for just € 1,50.
These ‘walks’ brought us to the highlights of the city like the Martinitoren and Church and the market squares - lined with old houses and buildings, but also to a lot of hidden gems, which we hadn’t seen otherwise. A couple of the most interesting sights along the route:
-‘Prinsenhoftuin’: a rose and herb garden, dating from 1625.
- ‘Nieuwe Kerk’; this church was built in 1664 and is surrounded by a nice park.
- Academic Buildings: the oldest part of the university, inaugurated in 1909. I think we never have seen so many bicycles together as in front of these university buildings.
- Canals ‘Lage der A’ and ‘Hoge der A’: with former warehouses, most of them are now apartments.
- a very modern urinal.
- ‘Aa-Kerk : dating from the 15th century wit a very remarkable tower.
- Alms- and orphan houses: always hidden behind a gate
- Railway station: a building with ‘jugendstil’ and ‘renaissance’ elements; especially the interior of the main hall is worth a visit.
And many many more …
On our way there was time enough for a cup of coffee, having a lunch or to do some shopping. We passed also a lot of museums and it is no problem at all to spend a whole day in this most northern city of the Netherlands.
The tower of the church - Martinitoren – is with its height of 97 metres the most well known and remarkable landmark of the city. It can be seen from almost everywhere in town and will lead you (together with the signposts) to the main square ‘Grote Markt’.
The church got its name from Sint Martinus or Sint Maarten (Saint Martin) and still some murals of him as well as others can be seen in the choir of the church. These beautiful paintings are dating back to the year of 1545. The ceiling has a warm blue colour.
The nave of the church is really impressive and has one of the biggest baroque organs in northern Europe. The construction of this organ started already in 1480 and was finished in the 19th century. In 1984 the organ was restored.
The church is still used for services, but nowadays also can be rented for different events.
The church can be visited; for opening hours and admisssion fee see their website.
Originally the church had an indoor tower, but after it collapsed a new tower was built (between 1470 and 1550) west of the main church. This tower became the landmark of Groningen. The people of Groningen call it ‘d'Olle Grieze’ (Old Grey One) after the colour of the bricks.
Due to some accidents we couldn’t visit the tower, but I have read it is open again (June 2007) for visitors. Be aware there is no elevator, so you have to climb the stairs to the viewing platforms.
If you want to visit the tower you have to buy your ticket at the Tourist Information Centre, just opposite the street. For opening hours see the website of the Martinikerk or ask the Tourist Information Centre (0900 202 30 50).
The capital of the province and the 7th town in our country is well worth visiting. The entire centre of the city is free of cars, just bicycles and people on footh. There are some nice old buildings tho be seen. But the city is also known for the biggest collection of buildings from the amsterdam school outside of Amsterdam. Groningen is a university city and therefor has lots of pubs and plenty nightlife.
We made a Groningen city page with lots of architecture tips and some info about its history and local customs.
Tulips???? I never knew there were tulips in Groningen! Wow, gorgeous, but I was so surprised!!!! There never used to be tulip fields here when I lived here. And only a few weeks ago, I went all the way to the north of Holland to see some tulip fields.... and they are here too!!! That would have been much easier! Hahaha, oh well, it was a wonderful surprise to see them here :-)
It was wonderful here, such a beautiful spring morning. The flowers waving in the winds, the sun shining brightly, no one around, except some sheep in the pasture next to the windmill. In the distance the nature area, with lots of birds flying around.
Hmmmm, feel the cool breeze on your skin, but also the warmth of the sun, and the smell of all these flowers. The bleating of the sheep, and look at those little lambs, dancing in the pasture. And the song of the birds in the distance...... it was gorgeous.
Another city, alot smaller but at least as old is Bourtange. It still has the ancient walls around it that protects it from enemy troops for ages. Several times a year they play re-enactments of ancient battles. But at other times the fortress is worth visiting too.
In 1580 Prince William of Orange ordered a fortified pentagon to be constructed on a road linking the city of Groningen with Lingen and Westphalia. The Prince hoped to force the surrender of Groningen which had been occupied by the Spanish. In 1593 the citadel was completed. Groningen acknowledged defeat on the 23rd July 1594 and the citadel of Bourtange became part of the borderdefences of the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe.
The citadel was dismantled in the second half of the 19th century, when modern warfare made it useless. In 1964 the municipality of Vlagtwedde restored and reconstructed the citadel, based on the situation as it was in 1742, when the fortress had reached its maximum size.
The fortress can be visited free of charge. There is an entrance price for musea and exhibitions.
The opening times of the musea and the exhibitions are:
From April 1 to October 31: Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 17.00. Saturday and Sunday from 11.00 to 17.00. From November 1 to March 31: Every Saturday and Sunday from 13.30 to 16.30.
Throughout the province Groningen you can find 16 remaining estate houses (borg):
Allersmaborg near Ezinge, dates back to the 14th century but is restored and changed in the 19th century.
Breedenborg near Warffum built in 1587 and demolised in 1850. The owner, a farmer built a modern borg on the site.
Coendersborg in Nuis is built in 1813 on the site of an older borg.
Ekenstein near Appingedam, built in 1648.
Ennemaborg in its present form since the 18th century, is owned by Maya Wildevuur, artist.
Ewsum near Middelstum was built by knight Onno van Ewsum in 1472. The tower still dates from that period, the rest is gone. In 1932 a farm was built on the site it is Amsterdams School architecture.
Fraeylemaborg in Slochteren is an estate dating from the 19th century.
Huis te Wedde was originally built in the 14th century.
Iwema-Steenhuis is the only surviving stonehouse.
Menkemaborg in Uithuizen gives an impression of noble life in the 17th and 18th century.
Nienoord is in Leek. Original borg was built in1525. It burned down and a new one was built in 1885/86 by the family Van Panhuys . The four of them drowned after their carriage got in the water in 1907. The borg now houses a museum.
Piloersema near Den Ham is built in 1633.
Rensumaborg, mentioned since 1555, got its current look in 1700.
Rusthoven near Wirdum has 1686 on its walls.
Verhildersum is a museum, with 19th century rooms.
Welgelegen near Sappemeer was built in 1647.
See a map of the borgen in Groningen .
Loppersum, the little village where I was raised. It is a very old village, dating back to 944. I don't like the village itself so much, but there are some beautiful things to see. The main attraction is the old church in the center of the village.
This picture is of the main street through Loppersum. The view starts of with the 'Schipsloot" and at the end of the street you can see the old church.
If you want to see more pictures of Loppersum and it surroundings, you can take a look at my Loppersum page :
And off I go again. I still have a long journey ahead of me to get home, so I better keep on going. The next village I pass is Westerwijtwerd. I think this is a typical view of this area : the type of houses, the canals and of course the bridge, to get to the village
... it is possible in Groningen. Pub-crawlers, walkers or just ‘stadjers’ who have to go badly, can have a pee against a work of art.
Along the ‘Kleine der A’ an artistic urinal has been designed by the famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. This ‘building’ is made of milk glass, which is decorated with photos of Erwin Olaf.
Of course I couldn’t resist this opportunity ...
This church is together with the ‘Martinikerk’ the second medieval church in Groningen. Although its tower with 76 metres isn’t as high as the ‘Martinitoren’ it can be seen almost from every place in town. Especially through the remarkable yellow colours of the octagonal wooden uppermost part of the tower.
The church is located close to the ‘Drentsche AA’ – part of the city canals – and the ‘Vismarkt’ (Fish Market). On market day’s booths of flowers vendors are put down more or less against the walls of the church.
Der Aa-kerk isn’t used for services since a couple of years. It is now owned by a foundation and they rent the building for all kind of (cultural) activities. Therefore the church can only be visited during expositions, special occasions or with a guided tour by appointment (email@example.com) The tower can not be visited at all.
The first little Roman chapel on this spot was already built in 13th century and was enlarged in the 15th century to a Gothic cross basilica. The church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St Nicholas, patron saint of sailors and traders; located close to the harbour and the River Aa quite logical.
The first four centuries the church was Roman Catholic, but after the Reformation in the Netherlands it changed into a Protestant church. But in the seventies of the last century the church was closed for services and after a radically restoration the church is owned by a foundation.
Groningen has a famous university and with about 22.500 students it is a real ‘student city’. Unlike many other universities the buildings are dispersed from the historic city centre to the outskirts.
The main building of the University of Groningen - the Academiegebouw (Academic Building) - however can be found in the city centre. In its attractive auditorium official ceremonies take place: orations, defences of doctoral theses and the inauguration of the new academic year.
The present building was inaugurated in 1909 and is still on the same site as the first university of Groningen, which dates back to 1614 and was founded in the buildings of a monastery.
Just opposite the beautiful Academiegebouw is the more or less ‘ugly’ modern library of the university. With these two important buildings (and some others nearby) you can imagine the coming and going of students. And being in the Netherlands and in a historical city centre most of them use a bike. I think we have never seen so many bikes together as in front of the Academiegebouw.
It is possible to take a look inside of the ‘Academiegebouw’ with its beautiful auditorium.
Better first contact the university (firstname.lastname@example.org) or ask the caretaker service in the building.
Coming from the ‘Academiegebouw’ just around the corner (turn to the right) you will find ‘De Harmonie’. In front of this former association building stands the statue/bust of Aletta Jacobs.
Aletta Jacobs was a very special Dutch woman, born in 1854: she was the first woman at the H.B.S. (a kind of Dutch High School), the first woman to study at the university (of Groningen), the first lady doctor in the Netherlands and the first woman who took her doctoral degree in 1879.
The ‘Harmonie’ nowadays is also part of the university of Groningen.