Churches open on Heritage Day (Open Monumentendag)
On Heritage Day the churches open their doors to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In the Aa-church there will be guided tours of the vaulted ceiling above the nave. In the Remonstrant church visitors can look around in the modern church hall. The former verger’s house, with its period-style rooms, is also open for viewing. And in the church in Leegkerk you can see the unique golden cube that was built there last year during the renovation.
The church takes its name from the river Aa, which was once an important waterway for sailors and merchants. In the 1970’s the last of the three monumental churches in the centre of Groningen became too big for the Reformed community. After an extensive renovation the church became the property of the Aa-church Foundation. It is now a venue for cultural and corporate events.
The Remonstrant church
The Remonstrant church is the perfect example of an old building that was given a new lease of life: the church now houses the offices of the Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken (the foundation for historic churches in Groningen). The church hall and the meeting rooms in the verger’s house are hired out by Bijzondere Locaties Groningen for concerts, meetings and exhibitions. On Sundays the church is still used for worship services by the Remonstrant congregation. In 2005 the church was completely refurbished. The Japanese architect Moriko Kiro designed a modern and airy church hall.
The church in Leegkerk
The medieval church in Leegkerk is located in a rural setting on the western edge of the city of Groningen. In the 1960’s the church was in ruins, but in 1969 it was saved by the Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken. The church was renovated in 2013. It now features a two-storey golden cube that was designed by Jan Verrelst, of AWG Architects Antwerp, who also collaborated on the makeover of the new east facade of the Grote Markt in Groningen. Everyone who is interested is welcome on Heritage Day!