31 december 2017

A new face

One hundred portraits in spatial pixels from residents in the city of Groningen form one new "average" face (if there is one..;): this artwork from the wall of a municipal building in Groningen city was revealed in 2014 and is called "Groninger Universalis". It was created by Lambert Kamps (he also made the folly of the former church tower that I showed you recenty) and Tjeerd Veenhoven.

Have a sparkling New Year's Eve!

30 december 2017


View from earlier this month on some farms near Hoornsedijk, just south of Groningen city. The great white heron is a bird that can be seen regularly here.
I'm linking to Saturday's Critters and Weekend Reflections.

29 december 2017

Dark skies

Photo taken earlier this week while driving towards Stadskanaal. A few minutes later it started to rain. For more skies around the globe please visit Skywatch Friday.

28 december 2017

Baking bread

On Boxing Day at the Veenpark open-air museum these men were baking bread the traditional way. In the old days, instead of inside a farm kitchen the ovens in which bread was baked were outside in a separate building. They were mostly very basic and built of bricks, with a small half round masonry oven.

We bought a freshly-baked raisin bread to take home. Delicious with some butter!

27 december 2017

Family bench

In front of the folly -see also yesterday's post- was a two-storey bench..

26 december 2017

Folly by Lambert Kamps

The Fraeylemaborg estate is also the location of the project "New Follies on Fraeylema and Slochteren heritage". This one called "Façade" makes you think of a mini castle, like a decor of a fairytale maybe. At the back is a container that is used as an exhibition space, which was closed however when we were there. The folly was created by Lambert Kamps (1974), a Dutch artist and designer based in Groningen.

The folly was in fact made from parts of the demolished church tower of Zuidhorn. The tower was vertically cut in 2 parts and then folded open. In that way it now creates a façade in front of the container. If you are interested click HERE to Kamps' site, when you scroll down a bit there are photos showing the original church and the creating process of the folly.

23 december 2017

Borg reflection

The Fraeylemaborg in Slochteren seen from the back. It's my contribute to this week's Weekend Reflections.

Happy weekend and a merry Christmas!

22 december 2017

Blue skies

This photo was taken more or less from the same spot as yesterday's photo, I just turned 90° :)
Wide farmlands like these are a common view in the province of Groningen. The lined trees on the left guide the road in the direction of the village of Noordbroek.
With the many grey days we are having lately, last Sunday was one of the rare days with a clear sky and sun! One to enjoy :)  I'm linking to Skywatch Friday.

21 december 2017

Fraeylemaborg estate

The Fraeylemaborg estate is an area of about 20 hectares. At the end of the 18th century it was restructured into a romantic park in English style, with winding paths and ponds. Nowadays it is a close forest with walking paths. One central view from the borg until the end of the estate remained though. This photo was taken from that point at the edge of the estate, maybe a bit difficult to see but the white in the middle is the borg.

20 december 2017


The bridge that crosses the moat and leads to the Fraeylemaborg was nicely decorated for Christmas. During the Middle Ages, these borgen (manors, castles) in this region of the Netherlands were the only buildings -next to churches- that used durable stone and masonry, and they became centers of power and wealth.

The name 'Fraeylema' was mentioned in the archives of 1504; the building originates from the 16th century and has had several owners since then. At the end of the 18th century it was rebuilt in the shape it has today. Since the 1970s the Fraeylemaborg is a historic house museum.

18 december 2017

Ice skating rink

The Christmas Fair included a small ice skating rink.

Kids enjoyed themselves on the ice while their parents sat for something to drink or eat.
Once more the Fraeylemaborg in the background.

17 december 2017

Fraeylemaborg Christmas Fair

This weekend a Christmas Fair was held on the grounds of the Fraeylemaborg in Slochteren. A "borg" (or castle) is a former stronghold or villa in the province of Groningen, they used to belong to noblemen or prominent citizens. You can see the Fraeylemaborg in the background, I will show you more in the coming week.

With blue skies and about 4°C (39°F) today it was great weather for an outdoor fair.

16 december 2017

15 december 2017

Tidings from far away

Dutch artist Ruud Venekamp (1957) was inspired by the Indonesian landscape when he painted this series of 7 large canvases. The country had impressed him by its light and colours, and the systematically landscaped plantations, which he calls 'tropical architecture'.

Venekamp lives and works in Groningen city. The exhibition "Tidings from far away" from this year was his first in the Groninger Museum.

13 december 2017


It's hard to see on this photo, but there is actually a narrow country road on which this car is driving.

12 december 2017

Snow trail

The snow reveals that an animal passed here on its way towards the end of our garden. A cat maybe?

10 december 2017

The Helper

Polder mill De Helper (The Helper) is located on the east shores of Lake Paterswolde and -until the 1960s- helped to regulate the water level in the nearby Helpman polder. It is not the original location where the mill was built however; when the construction of highway A28 started in 1969 it had to move, so it was demolished and rebuilt here.

The mill is in operation on a voluntary base every now and then.
PS. The Helper mill is also on my header photo, these photos were taken on the same day.

9 december 2017


There were some rainy moments during our hike. These photos were taken near Hoornsedijk, a hamlet south of Groningen city..

..and close to Lake Paterswolde where yesterday's photo was taken.

I'm linking to Weekend Reflections.

8 december 2017

Winter hike

A photo taken during our hike along Lake Paterswolde, earlier this week.

7 december 2017

Groningen CS

View towards Groningen Central Station seen from the Emma viaduct.

6 december 2017

Marking the city boundaries

When you approach Groningen city from the south on highway A28 you see this free-standing 43 meter high electricity pylon with 7 (metal) flames. The object is called 'S01 Gate Tower Clio' and was put here in 1990 when the city of Groningen celebrated its 950th anniversary. The flames stand for the days of the week, and (a bit hard to see on this photo) the numbers 1040 on the front refer to the year 1040 when the city was officially mentioned for the first time.
The pylon is one of ten sculptures belonging to the 'Marking the city boundaries'-project. The pylon links to the natural gas fields near the city, and the name 'Clio' is the muse of history in Greek mythology.
This photo was taken from the backside from a walking trail, on the other side of the trees is highway A28.
If you would like to read more about the project (in Dutch) click HERE.

5 december 2017

Orvelte farms

The small village of Orvelte in the north east of the Netherlands is known for its monumental old farms. The town site is national heritage and you won't find modern new homes or buildings. Orvelte presents itself as a museum village, and throughout the year a number of events are organised -like the Winter Fair I told you about in my last blog posts.

Less than 100 people live in Orvelte. It's a wonderful place to wander around.

4 december 2017

Kitchen ware

The side of a market stall at the Orvelte Winter Fair. To be used in all seasons ;)

3 december 2017

Orvelte winter fair

Two images from the winter fair from last weekend in the village of Orvelte. We were there before the crowds came and had a good chance to look around.

Lots of handmade things to choose from.

2 december 2017

Printing Museum

Meppel has been known for a long period of time for its printing businesses, and has an interesting Printing Museum (Drukkerijmuseum). Here the process is described how the business developed over the years, showing the different techniques of hand-setting and printing, offset presses, fonts, characters and such.

The lay-out of a type case. It makes you realise how times have changed!

Happy weekend :)

1 december 2017

Meppel streets

The shopping streets in the centre of Meppel are car-free. In the background is the Maria Church, a reformed church dating from the 15th century.

Happy Friday!

30 november 2017

De Wetering

"De Wetering", as this building at the Church Square in Meppel is called, was built in 1921 as a transformer station, to transport electricity from the power station to the end users. Not what I would have expected at first sight, it must have had a thorough restoration.

Designed in Renaissance Revival style the building nowadays serves as a centre of the Dutch Reformed church. It is listed as a National Heritage building.

29 november 2017

De Vlijt mill

Today's photos were taken from the Steamboat Quay in Meppel  -the boat you see on the right is (yes, once more :) ) the pancake ship. The mill in the background is called "De Vlijt" ("The Dilligence" in English), a smock mill in Meppel. It was rebuilt in 2002 on the octagonal brick base of a tower mill from 1859 that had been taken out of use in 1933.

In Dutch we call this type of mill a 'achtkante stellingmolen'. While googling for some more information I read that the base of the mill is used as living accomodation and office space, so it's not open to the public. The official De Vlijt website (in Dutch) can be found HERE.

28 november 2017

A girl from Staphorst

Near the Steamboat Quay (you can see the pancake ship from yesterday's post in the background), I found this sculpture picturing a girl from Staphorst, a village near Meppel. The sculpture was created in 1967 by Dutch sculptor Theo van der Nahmer (1917-1989) by order of local publisher J.A. Boom, on the occasion of their 125th jubilee. It was a gift to the town of Meppel.

As Van der Nahmer's wife had a close friend from Staphorst, she most likely inspired him for this art work. The people from Staphorst are known for wearing traditional costumes, which can still be seen today.

27 november 2017

Pancake ship

The Liberté was built in 1901 and has been a cargo vessel in the European waters for over 75 years. In 1993 restaurant owner Jan Vrielink bought the ship and brought it to Meppel, where it was transformed into a restaurant ship specialised in pancakes.

It's a real eye-catcher now at the Stoombootkade (Steamboat Quay) in the centre of Meppel.

26 november 2017

Meppel centre

Typical houses that can be found in the centre of Meppel. This is the Grote Kerkstraat.

25 november 2017

Meppel canals

I visited Meppel today, a small city in the south-west of the Province of Drenthe. Meppel developed in the 16th century as a transport and distribution inland harbour. Nowadays there is only one main canal left. I took this photo on my way from the train station to the centre, at the point where the canal is divided in two.

Linking to Weekend Reflections.

24 november 2017


View from the back of our house, taken at 3:40 pm today. I'm linking to Skywatch Friday.