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WALK

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> Activities > Walk

A TOUR IN THE FORMER JEWISH NEIGHBOURHOOD

On Sunday our guides will take you to the old Jewish city of Groningen. In the vicinity of the synagogue there are still many places that are connected to the former Jewish inhabitants of this neighborhood. You will also see various works of art that make you reflect on the Jewish past of this street. Meet the 'Dutch Nightingale' Julia Culp, walk past the youth synagogue and the Jewish retirement home Beth Zekenim and discover what Samson's tire repair kit has to do with the old Jewish neighborhood of Groningen. 

 

This walk takes about an hour and can be combined with your visit to the synagogue. Starts every Sunday at 13.00 and 15.00 in the synagogue. Cost of a guided tour in the former Jewish quarter: €8,00 (13-16 years €1,- and up to 12 years free).

 

The tour in the early Jewish neighborhood of Groningen for groups can also take place at other times by appointment. Feel free to contact us at  info@synagogegroningen.nl

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Verbeeld Verleden: art in the Folkingestraat

In 1997, the municipality of Groningen commissioned five artists to create a work of art in public space, inspired by the Jewish past of the Folkingestraat. That was the completion of the neighborhood renovation. The motto was 'Imagine the past'. An additional requirement was that the art could only be two-dimensional, the municipality did not want sculptures occupying much space in this narrow street.

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Galgal Hamazalot (Joseph Semah)

The artwork of the moons in the middle of the street starts at café-restaurant Huis de Beurs. The first sickle is depicted there. Galgal Hamazalot, Hebrew for zodiac, consists of 11 bronze moons. Halfway through Folkingestraat, near the Confetti shop, the moon forms a circle and is full. Then the moon decreases again to a small crescent at the end of the street at the Zuiderdiep. The work of the Jewish artist Joseph Semah from Amsterdam occupies a fairly inconspicuous place in the street scene. The Hebrew word for "moon" is the same as for "eye." When all the moon shapes would be put together, an eye is created. An eye that has seen everything that has happened in this neighborhood. The full moon acts as a pupil. The work symbolizes the rise and fall of the moon and of the Jewish community. It is also a reference to the Jewish era, which is based on the position of the moon.

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Portaal (Gert Sennema)

On the corner of Zuiderdiep/Folkingestraat we see a closed bronze door with a stone step. The idea for this work of art got the artist Gert Sennema from Groningen when he found a bricked-up window in a blank wall. The history of Folkingestraat is hidden behind this closed door. A history that can be passed over just as unnoticed as this bronze door. The door symbolizes the irreversibility and uniqueness of history.

Het Voorgesneden Paradepaard (Marijke Gémessy)

At the address Folkingestraat 23, the horse butchery of Abraham de Swaan used to be. The ceramic work of art is called The Pre-cut Parade Horse (Het Voorgesneden Paradepaard) . The artwork depicts the back of a horse, divided into the different types of meat. The horse walks into the butcher's shop, as it were. You even see the inspection stamps and a number has been incorporated very subtly that the Jews in the camps had tattooed on their arms. The mirroring effect of the side walls makes the room appear larger. The horse stands on a pedestal, and thus not only Abraham de Swaan, but also the horse is honored. Did you know that horse meat is not kosher? And yet De Swaan was able to keep his butcher's shop right here in the middle of the Jewish neighbourhood.

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Untitled (Allie of Altena)

In the niche at Folkingestraat 20 hangs a photo from 1922. We see the celebration of 250 years of relief in Groningen, edited by Allie van Altena. Also at Folkingestraat 12 we see the same kind of artwork by him. You see people walking, making music and having fun. The little kids are dressed in their Easter best. The street is decorated with fir branches, nowadays we use streamers, balloons and flags. The colorful dots have also been applied by the artist in this photo: life is celebrated! This photo hangs where it was originally taken. 

A third photo hangs since August 31, 2022 bij Folkingestraat 33, on the corner of Folkingedwarsstraat. In this photo we see the musical Bollegraaf family in action on the Queens Birthday in the 1930s. The artwork was already created in 1997 at the same time as the other works, but was lost during a renovation in 2008. For a long time, only two works of art by Allie van Altena were on display, but since 2022, Verbeeld past is complete again!

Ook hier (Peter de Kan)

At Folkingestraat 12 you have a good view of the work of Peter de Kan, entitled Also here (Ook hier). In the alley across the street between numbers 9 and 11, the artwork has been carved into the top right wall, at the height of the balcony. It consists of the word (removed), which refers to the deportations of the Jewish people of Groningen. The Jews were literally removed from their homes at the time, just like these letters. The artist wanted to emphasize the absence of Jewish life and make it tangible. Not by adding something new to the streetscape, but by taking something away. In all its simplicity, this is a powerful visual language. For De Kan, the work is 'presence of absence'. Removing something from that wall leaves a void. A void that he wants to show without filling it, because we do that so often. Then there are those parentheses. The history of the Folkingestraat had almost faded in our collective memory. Because the issue  had shifted to the margins of attention, De Kan wanted to focus on it precisely there, in that margin. That is how he ended up in that alley, in a side street, in a subordinate clause of the language.

Art routes associated with the Second World War.

Groningen has many works of art associated with the Second World War. In this walking tour of approximately 2.6 km, developed by Kunstpunt Groningen, you will pass art in which the traces of the war are still visible, and works that commemorate the many victims who fell during the war years. The tour goes through the center of Groningen, and starts near the Martini Tower.

Synagogue Groningen developed the Art to Remember bicycle tour in 2022. This bike tour starts at the Jewish Monument on the Verlengde Hereweg and ends in Selwerd at the Jewish cemetery. A description is also available free of charge at the synagogue.

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