The cathedrals of Eemsdelta

Explore the historic villages of Eemsdelta and their medieval churches. Beacons of silence and tranquillity, for centuries they have proudly towered above the countryside. Some were built on the highest tip of an artificial dwelling hill, making them clearly visible from great distances. Each one has its own story and history and many are open to visitors. Inside, see how the golden sunrays fall through the high church windows. Take some time for contemplation on one of the old wooden benches, or light a candle for a loved one. 

Jacobuskerk - Zeerijp

More than one thousand years ago, Zeerijp featured a tuff church or chapel. In the 13th century, a hall church was founded here, and the current brick version was built a century later. The rich history of all three constructions is still clearly visible. The style of the Jacobuskerk church is characterised by the changeover from a Romanesque architectural style to Gothic. The high vaults, pointed arched windows and distinctive ornamental brickwork clearly show this. All walls are clad with imitation red brick: a typical Groningen touch. 

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Nicolaïkerk - Appingedam

The historic buildings in Appingedam clearly show the importance of this town through the centuries. One of these buildings is the Romanesque-Gothic Nicolaïkerk church, built in the 13th century and devoted to the Virgin Mary. It is assumed that the church was built on the site of another church. One century later, the church was expanded because the development of Appingedam accelerated. The murals that display Saint Nicholas of Myra – the patron saint – date from the mid-15th century. 

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Kerk Marsum - Marsum

For many years, Groningen red bricks were very commonly used in the construction of houses and buildings. They became a common feature throughout the province of Groningen, in the Eemsdelta as well. The little church in Marsum dates back to the 12th century and was also built using these bricks. Located on the remains of an artificial dwelling hill, it’s one of the few relics from after the siege of Delfzijl in the French era. Did you know that this is one of the oldest churches in the province? Talk about historic. 

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Sebastiaankerk - Bierum

With its giant buttress, you simply cannot miss the Sebastiaankerk church from the 13th century, literally and figuratively. Along with the western part of the church, the tower is a ‘reduced west work’, meaning that the tower is an integrated part of the church. The beautiful church was named after Saint Sebastian – a Roman officer who died for his faith. The second vault displays a painting of him. As a result of various renovations, paintings of Christ, Catherine, Mary and more of Sebastian are now revealed. 

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Andreaskerk - Westeremden

In the 12th century, the Andreaskerk church was built as a late-Romanesque cruciform church, the simple but valuable furniture of which shows a beautiful uniformity. The pulpit, choir screen and church warden bench date from the mid-17th century. Petrus van Oeckelen built the beautiful neo-Gothic organ in 1874. There were whispers that a murder was committed in the church about 600 years ago. Today, however, all those who whispered are silenced. 

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