Der Aa-kerk

Der A-kerk

Der Aa-kerk
Coordinates: 53°13′09″N 6°34′06″E / 53.21917°N 6.56833°E / 53.21917; 6.56833
Location Groningen
Country Netherlands
Dedication Our Lady, Saint Nicholas
Status Church
Designated 1200
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic
Length 76 m (249 ft 4 in)
Width 25 m (82 ft 0 in)
Height 76 m (249 ft 4 in)
Floor area 1,155 m2 (12,430 sq ft)
Dome height (inner) 26 m (85 ft)
Materials Brick

Der Aa-kerk (also: A-kerk) is a church from the Middle Ages in the centre of Groningen, Netherlands.


Originally there was a chapel situated on the site of the current church. This chapel was devoted to Mary and to Saint Nicholas, the patron of the bargees who cast off the vessels at the Westerhaven (Westerharber).

In 1247, the chapel became the parish church and was named Onze Lieve Vrouwe ter Aa (Our Lady at the Aa) - Aa being the nearby river. Groningen had two centers at the time. One of them was around the chapel. Here lived the fishermen and the traders.

Between 1425 and 1465, the chapel was changed into a brick church with a transept.


Images of the Siege of Groningen in 1672 show Der Aa-kerk without the top of the tower. After the war a new wooden tower top was built.

On 23 April 1710, the tower spontaneously collapsed killing two people. In 1711, a new tower was built.


In 1667, an organ was built by Van Hagerbeer. It was destroyed by fire in 1671.[1]

The first Schnitger organ in the church was built by Arp Schnitger in 1697 (see gallery for a sketch). In 1710, the tower of the church collapsed and the organ was destroyed.[2]

The second Schnitger was built in 1702, originally for the Broerkerk in Groningen. In 1815, the organ was transferred to the Aa-kerk.[3]

The Bolsward organ build by Raphael Rodensteen in 1550 was originally for the Martinikerk (Bolsward) in Bolsward. In 1635, the organ was transferred to the Broerkerk in Groningen and in 1877 it was transferred back to the Martinikerk in Bolsward. In 1991, it was transferred again to Groningen and the Aa-kerk.


Dutch Rijksmonument 18423
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