Groningen is a city with a rich history, which is evident from the numerous beautiful buildings. The warehouses, the city hall, the Martini Tower and Martini Church and the main railway station are just a minor selection of Groningen’s historical heritage.
Martini church and tower
The most important Groningen monument is the Martini tower which has overlooked the city for over five hundred years. This fourth highest tower of the Netherlands can be climbed until the third gallery. Afterwards, see the Martini church, the largest church in Groningen. Originating from approximately 1230, it includes frescos from the 13th century, and one of the largest Baroque organs in northwest Europe. Ask about the church’s opening hours prior to your visit.
Main railway station
The Groningen main railway station has more on offer besides getting on or off a train. This is the “cathedral of the winged wheel”’, the entrance gate for the city as well as an extremely important monument. When standing in the main hall, imagine yourself a traveller from the 19th century: admire shelters for various classes, leaded windows, beautifully decorated ceilings, and a very particular six metre-high wrought iron streetlight in the centre.
Prinsenhof and Prinsentuin
During recent years, Radio/TV Noord was accommodated in the Prinsenhof, but they moved a short while ago. Originally used as a monastery, a suitable function for this complex is now being looked for. Behind the Prinsenhof is the Prinsenhoftuin, which includes a rose garden and herb garden, and a footpath covered with foliage (berceau). The garden, surrounded by a wall, is one of the best examples of a Renaissance garden in the Netherlands.
The Prinsenhoftuin garden is opened from early April to half-October from 10 am to sunset. The tearoom is open during fine weather.
Goudkantoor (gold office)
Originally a provincial tax office, this building was built in 1635. With its lavishly decorated façades, it was the last Renaissance style building to be constructed in Groningen. It was given the name of Goudkantoor in the 19th century when the “bureau of security for gold and silver” was located here, and it is now a café/restaurant.
The Groningen synagogue is located in the Folkingestraat, which was the Groningen Jewish quarter until the Second World War. The synagogue was designed by Amsterdam architect Tjeerd Kuiper and Groningen architect IJ. van der Veen. The cruciform building was consecrated in 1906 and has a distinctive Moorish style.