This huge 16th-century church commands the northeast corner of Grote Markt. The iconic church and its tower, Martinitoren, are among the few remnants of the Golden Age to survive fierce fighting late in WWII before Groningen's liberation on 17 April 1945. The large square on which it stands, framed with historic houses, was used until 1837 as a graveyard.

Particularly worthy of admiration is No 25 with an ornately carved gable, the former parsonage of the Sint Walburg church that once stood on the north side.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Groningen attractions

1. Martinitoren

0.02 MILES

A climb up 251 steep and spiralling stone steps to the summit of this elegant, 96m-tall medieval tower (1482) rewards with grand views – and worrisome…

2. Forum Cultural Centre

0.03 MILES

Groningen's landmark cultural centre - home to the city's tourist office, library, five cinemas, exhibition spaces, the Nederlands Stripmuseum and a…

3. Nieuwe Markt

0.04 MILES

This dynamic city's most ambitious redevelopment project to date, the gleaming 'New Market' square is slated to become an A-lister hub for alfresco…

4. Grote Markt

0.07 MILES

The main square holds some gems, of which the Town Hall, dating from 1810, is the most dazzling. The string of cafes along the south side are perpetually…

5. Town Hall


The Town Hall is an eye-catching building on the Grote Markt. It was built in 1810.

6. Prinsentuin

0.14 MILES

Take a breather at the serene gardens of Prinsenhof, a 15th-century mansion-turned–luxury hotel with peaceful Renaissance-style gardens fragranced with…

7. Academiegebouw

0.21 MILES

The stunning, Dutch Renaissance Academiegebouw is the main building of the university, with a breathtaking, richly decorated exterior from 1909.

8. Aa-kerk

0.34 MILES

Located in the old harbour area, Aa-kerk was once a seaman's church dating to 1226. No longer a church, it is used as a concert and reception hall today.