Today I’m rounding up my series about Groningen city.
The past weeks I showed you where to eat, drink, shop and sleep in this charming city.
In this last post about Groningen I’m letting you in on a well-kept secret and I’m pointing out some interesting art in the streets of Groningen.
Groningen Hofjes and street art
Hofjes aka hidden courtyards
I live in Haarlem, a city known for -amongst other things- it’s many hofjes. Hofjes literally means: small gardens.
But in Holland it refers to a very specific historical phenomena. In the old days, centuries ago, one way with which rich people could acquire fame, respect, remembrance and a place in heaven, was to build a hofje. A charity project and a legacy.
A cluster of houses, built in a U-shape or square, with a garden in the centre.
The houses were often quite small, but very cute, and a -lockable- gate and door kept the Hofje both a hidden place and a surprisingly peaceful oasis smack in the middle of a bustling city.
Hofjes were initially meant for specific ‘types’ of people: sick people, elderly folks, widows, etc. Nowadays many are still only available for rent for (single) women.
I lived in one for a month once, here in Haarlem. I expected to love it, but felt too cramped in the tiny house. So no, it’s not for me, but I love visiting them and enjoying their unique history and charm.
Hofjes in Groningen
This long intro brings us to Groningen, which is a Hofjes-city as well, but not many people know about that. I lived in Groningen for years and even I was not fully aware of how many hofjes the city has.
Or check out this Hofjes-walk.
Street art and art in the streets of Groningen
To be honest, I did not see a whole lot of street art in Groningen.
Now I have to admit that I did not put much effort in finding it, so probably there IS street art in specific places.
Check out e.g. the Ebbingekwartier.
Or find more info via this link: Street art Groningen on FaceBook
I DID see some interesting art in the streets like:
- Urinal, by Rem Koolhaas and Erwin Olaf
Art at Waagcomplex: two sculptures by Janet Mullarney.
And there is a lot more art in the streets of Groningen; around 400 sculptures or other artworks. Amazing, isn’t it?!
Check out this video (unfortunately it is in Dutch, but still..):
Well, this concludes our exploration of Groningen city. Let’s expand our view to Groningen province now.
Are you familiar with Groningen and did you miss something in my series? Please let me know in the comments.
Oh, and when in Groningen, don’t forget to use my CityGuide Groningen to prepare yourself and to get around. It contains all the interesting and cool places in town. Super handy!