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Discover Benelux |  Travel Feature |  Groningen

DI S COV E R

THE

NE THE R L A NDS

Groningen: Metropolis of the North Despite its size, Groningen is one of the most vibrant cities in the Netherlands, from cosy restaurants to a shopping hub, a lively cultural scene and a long, and impressive history. Close to my heart – as a long time inhabitant of this great place, just a couple of hours from Amsterdam – I set out to show you some of the best this Metropolis of the North has to offer. BY MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

Thanks to its large and distinguished university, Groningen is actually the youngest city  in  the  Netherlands,  with  an  average age of just under 35 years. This is no surprise, as one in five inhabitants is actually a  student.  This  young  population  gives Groningen a very active nightlife – famous for having no closing times – and a vibrant and diverse cultural and music scene. To start off my two-day journey, I take the train  into  Groningen.  Welcomed  by  the magnificent station building built in 1895, I marvel at the intricate details on the ceiling of the main hall. Although it looks like marble, many are actually crafted out of paper mache.  With  the  combination  of  renais-

20 |  Issue 14 |  February 2015

sance and gothic architecture, the station is one of the most beautiful in the country.

with world famous artists, from paintings to installations, interactive art and sculptures.

The Groninger Museum

Inside  I  walk  down  the  colourful  mosaic, winding staircase to visit The Secret of Dresden – from Rembrandt to Canaletto.  On display until the end of May, it is a beautiful collection of renaissance paintings amassed by the Prince-Electors of Saxony in the 18th century, at the time some of the wealthiest rulers  in  Europe.  The  exhibition  includes lush  landscapes  by  Philips  Wouwerman, animated views of Venice by Canaletto and some refined portraits by Rembrandt. 

I move on to the Groninger Museum, just across the road. Completed in 1994 in a striking postmodernist style, the building itself is a work of art. The asymmetrical museum by architect Alessandro Mendini sits like  an  island  in  the  middle  of  the  canal, connected  by  a  through  bridge.  When  it opened  it  got  mixed  reactions  (many thought  it  was  god-awful),  but  everyone agreed the bridge, joining the city centre to the station, was rather useful. A very ambitious museum since its opening, it often displays prominent international exhibitions

I continue on to the museum’s permanent collection  that  includes  a  brief  history  of

Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Benelux, Issue 14, February 2015  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.

Discover Benelux, Issue 14, February 2015  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.