The Der Aa-kerk (Aa Church) with its striking yellow tower and medieval arches is located on the Vismarkt (Fish Market) in Groningen’s city centre. Its history dates back to the year 800 when it was a small wooden chapel situated close to the river Aa. In the 11th century it was replaced by a stone cruciform church dedicated to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of sailors, and to Mary, Our Lady of the Aa. It is currently in use as a venue for a variety of events, such as concerts, exhibitions, corporate dinners, trade fairs, weddings and other festive occasions.
Another iconic landmark in Groningen is the Martini Church, which is located on the Grote Markt, the main square in the city centre. The tower is 97 metres high and it is open to individual visitors and groups. Its foundation is said to be a mere three metres deep and to have been constructed entirely from cowhides. The tower is affectionately referred to as ‘d’ Olle Grieze’ (Old Grey) by the residents of Groningen, a nickname it owes to its grey colour.
The Foundation is dedicated to preserving this valuable cultural heritage for Groningen. The churches are open to the public and the keys can usually be obtained from the neighbours.