Amongst the recent transformations in Groningen’s Grote Markt, a familiar symbol has reemerged in a new guise, the Groninger Internet Courant reports. Once composed of cobblestones, the star emblem, an iconic presence in the square, has taken on a different appearance.
Modern take on tradition
Once made of paving stones, this star, more than a mere architectural element, carried historical significance. Originating from an older wind rose design by city architect Jan Bouma in 1926, it served as a nod to Groningen’s past as a Hanseatic city. However, as part of the Grote Markt’s revitalization, this star has now returned, albeit in an elevated form, fashioned from metallic plates rather than traditional cobblestones.
The municipality’s redesign initiative positioned the star amid newly planted trees on the square’s eastern side. Contrary to its former ground-level existence, the rejuvenated star now stands elevated, offering visitors a seating area and children a space to frolic. This contemporary iteration aims not only to preserve tradition but also to cultivate a new landmark within the Grote Markt.
The hope is that this modernized wind rose will become a magnet for locals and tourists alike, providing a cool respite on scorching summer days.
Notably, the original cobblestones that once formed the star’s shape have been preserved. They will find a new home along the Grote Markt’s perimeter, close to the forthcoming water feature and public seating areas.