I had a craving for anything apple and cake-like. (Which I explained in Dutch to the young baker, who I think found the request amusing...) Anyway, for 2 Euros I walked away with a massive Dutch pastry called Appelflap and an apple tart. At the bottom of the Grote Markt is the Tourist Information building. It's one of those horrible, modern design things that I usually can't stand. On one side of the building are what I would describe as wooden bleachers, where you can sit enjoying the sun and people watching. (I saw plenty of red trousers, but had my hands full of pastry and couldn't snap a photo...)
|Grote Markt food stalls|
You know spring is on the way when the cafes begin setting out small tables and chairs on the pavement. The place suddenly looks like Paris!
|Spring in the Martinikerkhof|
Next to this garden of sorts, is the Provinciehuis (Province House). Groningen is the capital of the Groningen Province, so all the top brass come here to make decisions. What I later read was that Groningen is only Province in the Netherlands to have used the same building since the 1600s! Inside, apparently, are loads of paintings and beautiful architecture. The oldest part of the building was built in the 15th Century and was used as a Latin School.
It is fairly impressive. They even have their own turret! I get to walk past this building everyday to go in to town, and I love walking under the archway. It reminds me of my old town of Cambridge, and on some days has a very Harry Potter look about it.
Such history on just one street! I'm very glad I took an hour out of my morning to have a wander. Pastries aside, I did actually learn something. Only five minutes from my front door is a teeming city full of a history I'm only just discovering.