Churches and Towers

Groningen has innumerable historical churches worth visiting. Services are still held in some, others are now used as a meeting or party venue or have been given a cultural function.

Martini 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, during which visitors can also communicate with the tower via their mobile telephones! 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.

Der Aa church

It may be hard to imagine because the Vismarkt is currently one of the busiest locations in Groningen, but it is believed that during the Middle Ages the Drentse Aa was an inland harbour here, with a wooden church. In 1226, the church received its official name: Kerk van Onze Lieve Vrouwe ter A, currently Der Aa church. Today it is used as a location for receptions, concerts, symposia and exhibitions.


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.

It is impossible to mention all of the churches in the countryside, because Groningen has such a huge wealth of them. The Stichting Groninger Kerken focuses on the maintenance of the mainly mediaeval churches and keeping them open to the public.

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