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My 2008 trip to Holland

Visiting the City of GRONINGEN

Arrival platform at the railway station in Groningen

The history of Groningen goes a long way back. The first written mention of Groningen was jotted down in 1040, but the oldest archeological findings even date back to the third century BC. During the Dark Ages, the city of Groningen gradually gained more and more power. In the 13th century, a city wall was built, and Groningen joined the Hanseatic League (the most powerful trade organisation of that time). A large area surrounding Groningen was in direct control of the city. In the 15th century, Groningen arrived at the peak of its power. The famous “Martinitoren” (Martini Tower), that still dominates Groningen’s skyline today, dates back from this period. The city of Groningen got its own university in 1614, in that time mainly meant for the education for preachers (we’ve come a long way). Also in the 17th century, Groningen expanded, and built a new city wall. This brings us to the most famous date in Groningen’s history: 1672. In that year, the city was fruitlessly besieged by the bishop of Münster, Bernhard von Galen. But Groningen stood tall, and after one month, the bishop was obliged to cease his besiege. The people of Groningen are still so proud of this heroic day in their history, that they celebrate the relieve of the city (“Groning’s ontzet”, also called “Bommend Berend”) each year on the 28th of August. That day, the people of Groningen will celebrate their freedom with festivities and fireworks.
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