The old warehouses by the canal tell the story of the industry of former days. Ships would enter and depart here and the sounds of rattling wheels and stamping horses could be heard all day long. Walking along the quays, you pass no fewer than 28 listed buildings and 11 municipal monuments, making you feel as if you have stepped right into a painting.
Seals would swim along here in the days when the city’s oldest harbour area had a direct connection with the sea. Groningen entrepreneurs did not have the time to wait for the right tide. Instead, they constructed a high quay – the Hoge der A – for loading and unloading at high tide. A low quay was created on the other side of the canal to be used during low tide – de Lage der A–, ensuring that trade could continue uninterrupted.
The trade across the water has almost entirely ceased, but lively industry has remained. Various outdoor cafés brighten the quay when the weather is nice. If it is raining or a bit chilly, go inside to enjoy the view of the ships moored here. The atmosphere is even more charming during the Christmas period when the Hoge der A and Lage der A form the backdrop of the popular WinterWelVaart event. Illuminated ships, a friendly Christmas market, live performances and mulled wine take over the quays.