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UG launches free city walking tour guide as part of Aletta Year

A tour along the first women at the university
03 June 2021
The statue of Jacobs in front of the Harmonie building

From when Aletta Jacobs registered at the UG in 1871 to the professorship of Tine Tammes in 1919: there are countless stories to tell about women at the University of Groningen. The new UG city walking tour guide collates a number of these stories. This allows walkers to follow the footsteps of the first women at the University of Groningen by visiting nine locations. In the context of the Aletta Year, the UG teamed up with historians Sanne Meijer and Iris van den Brand. Together, they made the city walking tour guide, which will be made freely downloadable to the public online as from Saturday 5 June.

‘Such a history cannot be told in Leiden or Utrecht. It is only possible in Groningen, in the more radical North.’ The quote from Groningen professor B.D.H. Tellegen on the propaedeutic examination of Aletta Jacobs symbolizes the role of Groningen as a progressive city at the end of the nineteenth century.


The liberal climate in Groningen at the time made it possible for women to take part in academia for the first time. This partly explains the important history of women at the University of Groningen, which forms the foundation of this city walking tour. The UG welcomed the first female student to graduate from a Dutch university : Aletta Jacobs, among others to follow. Tine Tammes became the first female professor in Groningen and the second in the Netherlands. And Betsy Bakker Nort, who studied at the University of Groningen, was also one of the first female PhD students, graduating with her feminist thesis. At the same time and in the same city of Groningen, the first ever female student association in the Netherlands was formed, later named Magna Pete.

Free city walking tour guide

The city walking tour guide, based in the centre of Groningen, takes walkers to nine locations related to the history of the women who lowered the thresholds and cleared the way for the female students and academics of today.

The tour begins at the Academy Building, continuing on to the bust of Aletta Jacobs and the Faculty of Law to the former Botanical Laboratory, among other locations. The Jantina Tammes Building marks the end of the walk. The walk is 5.5 km and takes around 1.5 hours.

Last modified:17 June 2021 09.59 a.m.
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