Bourtange Groningen

Travel back into time through east Groningen where the Bourtange fortress has stood still in time and where the ancient cannon booms as it did in the year 1742. Take a ride with the old locomotive on the Museumspoorlijn (Museum Railway Line) and visit the Ter Apel monastery to see how the Crutched Friars lived.


Past and Present

The sixteen lime trees at the W. Lodewijkstraat 33 have witnessed history as they have been standing in the Bourtange fortress for 350 years. Thanks to its careful reconstruction, everyone can see what took place in the neighbourhood of these trees. It looks almost like it did in the year 1742. The construction of the fortress was initiated in 1580, but reached its full magnitude in 1742.


The pentagonal shape of the fortress was designed as the ancient and original plan prescribed. Using old drawings and maps, the image from the history books came to life in the entire vicinity, not in the least because cannons are fired on a regular basis. This used to happen a lot; situated on a sand ridge used by traffic between Germany and the
city of Groningen, Bourtange was a strategic location. The rest of the area consisted mainly of impassable marshes. Bourtange has other interesting places of interest in addition to the cannon: there are the officer houses, soldier barracks, the gunpowder storage, a sinister instrument of torture, etc. There are regular events and guided tours, and visitors can spend the night in a box bed in one of the soldier or captain lodging houses. There is a honeymoon suite for newlyweds who just have said ‘I do’ in the Nieuwe Kruithuis in Bourtange, for instance.

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