The Martini tower will officially unveil several new features – including an intimate cinema and a special yoga class – during a special celebration from the 21st through the 23rd of June.
Since a crowdfunding campaign by Marketing Groningen raised more than 56,000 euros last year, several sections of the tower have been transformed to make the iconic spire more of a tourist destination. One of the main features of the “Martini tower Reborn” project include a tiny cinema with room for a handful of people at 45 meters up the tower.
During the festive opening weekend, the Groninger Internet Courant writes that the festivities will kick off at d’Olle Grieze at 4:15 p.m. on Friday the 21st with a special performance of the “Grönnens Laid”, the anthem of the province and is sung in the Gronings dialect. The song will be played by the carillon player, Auke de Boer, and several choirs on the Grote Markt.
Various climbing tours of the tower will be available throughout the weekend, starting with a sunset climb between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The number of climbers is capped, so be sure to reserve a spot if you are interested. On Saturday, a sold out tour for anyone named Maarten, Mart, Martin, Marta, Maarten, Tini or Martini will take place, and at 11 a.m., anyone from Groningen who has never climbed the tower before can get their cardio in by ascending the tower’s steep steps.
The climbing tours will include a stop by the new cinema, where a 10-minute-long film about the history of the city from the perspective of the tower will be shown. On Saturday the 21st, visitors can do yoga by sunrise behind the clock faces at 6:30 a.m. – registering beforehand is also required – and in the afternoon, Auke de Boer will take requests and play songs submitted on a jukebox on the Grote Markt starting at 3 p.m.
The Martini church has existed at its current location in some form since the 13th century, and the church tower itself has gone through several periods of transformation: it has twice been struck by lightning, and it was set on fire once by barrels of pitch. The current tower design was completed in the 17th century, and the tower has had a lightning rod since 1838.
The tower is an especially popular tourist destination: according to Marketing Groningen, the spire attracted 73,000 visitors in 2018. The church regularly hosts special events and concerts in the north, from beer festivals to honorary doctoral degree ceremonies to performances by local choirs and classical musicians. The week after the tower celebrations, on the 29th of June, you can bring your own bed and settle in for a relaxing night as Groningen-based project choir Plenum sings “Only in sleep”, a programme inspired by the night.
The new activities and features in the tower are not the only changes coming to the church this year: by the end of 2019, the historic main entrance to the church will be open to the public.