The Martini Tower alarm bell is a medieval tradition from the year 1425
The start of the curfew (21:00) will, from this evening, be announced using special alarm bells rung from the Martini Tower. The ringing is being carried out by members of the Groninger Churchbell Guild. Since the Middle Ages, the alarm bell at the Martini Tower have only been run from in exceptional cases, reports the GIC.
In centuries past, a curfew was literally rung out as a signal for the citizens of a city to withdraw into their homes. The Martini Tower in the city of Groningen still has a ‘Ruimstraat clock’: an alarm that indicates that the streets must be empty, which will now be pressed into use.
The Groninger Churchbell Guild will ring the ‘Ruimstraat clock’ between 20:30 and 20:40 until the end of the curfew period: that time was chosen to give everyone the opportunity to be home on time after the ringing. This special ringing takes place with the consent of the mayor of the city of Groningen.
This “emergency bell” has rarely been rung in recent decades: it was last used in the 2018 climate protests. The ‘Ruimstraat clock’ is the third bell to have this function, after previous bells from 1425 and 1584 were lost. It was cast in Enkhuizen in 1764, 900 kg and has a diameter of 94 cm.