Groningen is the main municipality as well as the capital city of the eponymous province in the Netherlands. With a population of around 190,000, it is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands. Groningen is a university city, with University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences both having about 25,000 students respectively. The city was founded on the northernmost point of the Hondsrug area. The oldest document referring to Groningen's existence dates from 1040. However, the city already existed long before then: the oldest archaeological traces found are believed to stem from the years 3950-3720 BC, although the first major settlement in Groningen has been traced back to the 3rd century AD. In the 13th century, when Groningen was an important trade centre, its inhabitants built a city wall to underline its authority. The city had a strong influence on the surrounding lands and made its dialect a common tongue. In 1614, the University of Groningen was founded, initially only for religious education. In the same period the city expanded rapidly and a new city wall was built. The city did not escape the devastation of World War II. In particular, the main square, Grote Markt, was largely destroyed in April 1945, at the Battle of Groningen. However, the Martinitoren, its church, the Goudkantoor, and the city hall were not damaged. The battle there lasted several days.
Martini Tower is the highest church steeple in the city of Groningen, The Netherlands. The tower is located at the north-eastern corner of the Main Market Square, is part of the (Martini Church). The tower contains a brick spiral staircase consisting of 260 steps, and the carillon within the tower contains 62 bells. It is considered one of the main tourist attractions of Groningen and offers a view over the city and surrounding area. The front of the tower shows three pictures above the entrance: the blind man Bernlef, Saint Martinus and Rudolf Agricola. All three are men are linked to the history of Groningen. The tower is tilting about 0.6 m, according to reports the tower has a foundation of only three metres deep. The citizens of Groningen call their tower d'Olle Grieze, meaning the old grey one in the local dialect.
photo by lucky
edited by mobydick74
Added by chopchop