The Aa-kerk (also: A-kerk) is a historic former parish church and a dominant feature in the skyline of the city together with the nearby Martinitoren.
Before the construction of the current church, a chapel dedicated to Mary and Saint Nicholas (patron saint of fishermen) stood on this site. The chapel was situated close to the river Aa, where bargees cast off vessels in the western harbor (Westerhaven). The chapel became a parish church in the year 1247 and was named "Chapel of Our Lady at the river Aa" ( Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe ter Aa-kerk). At this time, Groningen consisted of two centers, each surrounding a religious edifice, the Church of Our Lady at the river Aa being one of them. Fishermen and traders inhabited the area around this chapel. The chapel was transformed into a brick gothic church between 1425 and 1495. Both the interior and exterior have been altered many times over the course of history due to the iconoclasm during the Reformation, war damage (Siege of Groningen) and natural phenomena (lightning strike ).
Today it is used as a venue for (organ) concerts, theatre, photo exhibitions (from Noorderlicht), parties and meetings. Church services are no longer held.
Whether you are a music aficionado enjoying a classical concert or an art enthusiast exploring the latest exhibition, the kerk is a vibrant center that brings the community together.
For those planning a visit, the A kerk is conveniently located in the heart of Groningen, making it easily accessible for tourists and locals alike. Check the official website for opening hours, guided tours, and any special events that might coincide with your visit.
Capture the Moment
Don't forget to bring your camera! The Akerk provides a stunning backdrop for photographs, whether you're capturing its majestic exterior against a clear sky or the soft glow of its interior during a candlelit evening service.