Stuif's Adventures

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Groningen (26-27)-9-08
Its has become a tradition, when I am back in the Netherlands, to visit my brother Ruud in Groningen.
For those, not familiar with Dutch geography, Groningen is the northernmost province of my country. It has a rich historical past and the countryside is dotted with old churches and manor houses.

After coffee and lunch, we started with a visit of the "borg" Verhildersum. A "borg" is the Groningen equivalent of a manor house. This one is relatively small and very old, dating back to the 14th century. Inhabited until 1953 and surrounded by a moat, ornamental gardens and orchards, it now houses a museum.

It was beautiful autumn weather, we walked in the gardens, visited the apple orchard (picking fruits unfortunately not allowed) and had a look at a small workman's house.

On the way back we passed an attractive corn mill, still in working condition. The sails of the mill had a very special design, typical for wind mills in Groningen.

Ruud and Jur have recently finished a major renovation of their house, adding an extra floor, from where you have a nice view of the surroundings.
After a drink there, we went to a Mexican restaurant in town for our dinner.

The next day we decided to visit another borg, Nienoord, in the southern part of the province. Totally different atmosphere from Verhildersum. The original borg was built in 1525, but completely destroyed by fire in 1850. Later rebuilt in neoclassical style. Only the access gate is old.
The owners belonged to the Groningen nobility, wealthy from the peat-cutting industry.

Part of the borg is now a restaurant, popular with wedding parties. On the Nienoord estate is also located the Dutch National Carriage Museum, a fascinating collection of horse-drawn carriages, tilburies, coaches etc. And there is a funny folly, a Seashell Grotto, the interior completely covered with seashells.

On our way back we visited a few churches. Parts of the Reformed Church of Midwolde (the tower and the nave) date back to the 12th century! Note the mixture of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Nearby, in the small village of Lettelbert, another very old church dates back to the early 13th century.
There are more than sixty historical churches in the Groningen province alone, so I will have to come back..;-)

Ruud and Jur's residence

Coffee break wit the family


Main entrance of the borg

Beautiful "sculptured" trees

The moat

Backside of the borg

Garden pavilion

The sculpture garden

Sculpture by Eddy Roos

Rose hips

Fuchsia flowers

Autumn colors

More colors

Access road to the borg

Apple tree

Unusual color

Picking fruits is not allowed!

Wooden bridge

Workman's house

The facade

The kitchen

Living room with "bedstede"

Rustic atmosphere

Grazing horse
1 comment

Corn Mill

Shutter sails. Typical for Groningen

New addition to Ruud's house

Dinner at a Mexican restaurant

Flower with dew drops

Access road to Nienoord

Red Deer in deer park


Entrance gate

The manor house


From another angle

Popular wedding location

Wooden bridge

Coach of Queen Wilhelmina

Horse-drawn tram

The National Carriage Museum

Part of the museum

Final view of Nienoord

Notice the ladybug!

In the Shell Grotto


Friesian cows

The church of Midwolde

Church tower

Lettelbert church

GE map of the region

lightlingmk2 wrote on Oct 1, 2008:

wrote on Oct 2, 2008:
"Are you having a good time?" is a redundant question here.

wrote on Oct 2, 2008:
this place is so so beautiful... I like your country... I WILL FOLLOW U one day... :)

wrote on Oct 2, 2008:
He obviously grazes a lot.

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