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Relief of Groningen at the UG

18 August 2023
Painting of the Siege

In honour of the Relief of Groningen, the UG opens her doors from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday 26 August. Come and take a look in the Academy Building and join us for a flash lecture about the Relief of Groningen. What do we celebrate? Who do we remember? What happened during the siege of Groningen? Come visit us and learn more about the Relief of Groningen and how the city was defended against “Bommen Berend” in 1672.

Disaster Year

In the Netherlands, the year 1672 is known as the Disaster Year (Dutch: “het Rampjaar”). The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands was about to be overrun by England, France and the bishops of Cologne and Münster. The attempt of “Bommen Berend” from Münster (the name people from Groningen gave to bishop Bernhard von Galen) to raise Groningen city failed, and he withdrew on 28 August 1672. This event, the Relief of Groningen (Dutch: “Groningens Ontzet”) is still annually celebrated in the city!

In the video below, the story of the contribution of UG students and staff to the defence of Groningen.


Come to the Academy Building to attend a flash lecture, take a look at an interactive map of the siege of Groningen, listen to a podcast about the Relief of Groningen, or join a workshop on microhistory. Emerge yourself into the history of the Relief of Groningen while enjoying a nice cup of coffee or tea. You can also buy a bowl of real Groningen mustard soup, a local specialty!

Flash lectures time schedule

Flash lectures are available in English and Dutch.

11.30-11.45 a.m.
Dr Rosanne Baars (English)
What do we celebrate? Relief of Groningen in the context of the disaster year 1672
12. noon -12.15 p.m.
Meggy Lennaerts (Dutch)
Daar waar grenzen vaag zijn: de gevolgen van Bommen Berend voor de grensregio Nieuweschans/Bunderneuland
13 -13.15 p.m.
Boike Teunissen (Dutch)
Traces of the Year of Disaster in Groningen
13.30-13.45 p.m.
Dr Megan Williams (English)
The tale of a student defending Groningen in 1672
14 -14.15 p.m.
Dr Rosanne Baars (Dutch)
Wat vieren we eigenlijk? Het Groningens Ontzet in de context van het rampjaar 1672
14.30-14.45 p.m.
Meggy Lennaerts (English)
There where the borders are vague: the impact of Bommen Berend in the border area Nieuweschans/Bunderneuland
15 -15.15 p.m.
Dr Megan Williams (Dutch)
Het verhaal van een student die Groningen verdedigde in 1672

Guided tours through the Academy Building

Have you always wanted to take a look at the inside of the Academy Building and learn more about the UG? Klaas Wilts will happily take you on a guided tour of the building that is not as old as it seems to be.

The guided tours will start at 11:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. in the main hall of the Academy Building. You do not have to register for attending a tour.

Workshop – How do I write a microhistory?
Dutch only)

Describing large historic events cannot be done in one afternoon. It can take months or years of research before you can start writing. Usually, these large projects start with snippets of historical information which are found by accident. Little pieces of (daily) history from a few archival sources that create a short story when put together. These microhistories can be seen as the pieces of a jigsaw of a bigger story, but are also valuable on their own.

Do you like the history of Groningen and putting puzzles together, but are you not in the mood for doing weeks or months of research and writing extensive articles? Then join the workshop Hoe schrijf ik een microgeschiedenis? Here, we show that it is relatively easy to do a bit of research based on short text fragments and write a short story about it. Everyone can do it! The workshop will be given in Dutch and starts at 2.15 p.m. in the Academybuilding. You can sign up via the button below. Please note that only a limited number of places are available! 

Are you interested in microhistories about the Siege of Groningen? Then take a look at the pop-up exhibition Stories from 1672.

Pop-up exhibition Stories from 1672

Last year, some participants of the Make History Project Open het Stadsbestuur did research on the events of 1672. In this pop-up exhibition, they show archival material that played an important part in their research, which they wrote a microhistory about. Discover what the Groningen Cavalry was doing in 1672 or which role the bridge of Ruischerbrug played in the defense of the city.

Online exhibition and UB blogs

Last year, for the 350th anniversary of Groningens Ontzet, an online exhibition was put together by UB Groningen consisting of visual material from the Special Collections of the UB. In addition, a series of five blogs highlighting various topics related to the Groningen Relief was published.

Last modified:24 August 2023 1.33 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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