General information about Groningen
Groningen City is the capital of the Province of Groningen, in the northeast of the Netherlands. The city is the largest urban center in the area (>200.0000 people)
Groningen is an attractive city with a level of facilities that can only be found in major cities. Institutions such as the University, the University Medical Centre and the Groninger Museum, make Groningen the regional centre for more than half a million people. The center of Groningen has been preserved and its attraction lies in a contrast between historical and modern Groningen. Founded in the 11th century, it has one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and a historic city centre, lively nightlife and a wealth of fascinating museums covering various topics from science to art.
Groningen's main attractions are the 13th century Martinikerk and the Renaissance Goudkantoor at the Grote Markt. Cars are banned from the picturesque historic centre. Part of this area was destroyed during WWII; however, many of the medieval and 16th and 17th century structures survived. The University of Groningen was founded in 1614 and its student population keeps the city vibrant. It is easy to feel 'at home' in Groningen.
The city's landmark is the Martini tower which has overlooked the city for over 750 years. Visitors can climb this fourth-highest tower of the Netherlands up to the third gallery to get a spectacular view across the city. Adjoining the tower is the Martini church, the largest in Groningen. It originates from approximately 1230 AD and contains frescos from the 13th century and one of the largest Baroque organs in northwest Europe. Two other main attractions are the beautifully designed central squares: Grote Markt and Vismarkt.
Art pervades the city, even in the central train station. The Groningen Museum, designed by the Italian architect Alessando Mendini, is opposite the train station and houses a permanent collection of 17th-century works (including Rubens' Adoration of the Magi), Hague School paintings, ceramics, modern art, archeological artifacts as well as works by Groningen's expressionists De Ploeg group. Surrounded by water, the museum looks like a sea-going vessel.