Near the Martini Tower is a high wall, and behind it is what may be the most tranquil place in Groningen city centre. Surrounded by the walls of the leafy and flowery Prinsentuin, you can easily imagine yourself in an entirely different world. Wander among the plants, read a book on a bench or enjoy a cup of tea at the tearoom.
The walled in garden lies behind the Prinsenhof hotel. Since the late 16th century, this is where the Princes of Nassau would stay if they were in the neighbourhood. Stadtholder William Frederick and his wife Albertine Agnes had the garden laid out in the 17th century. It does not quite look exactly as it did in those days. Over the years the garden became dilapidated, and it was not before the 20th century that the current garden was designed using old drawings. The rose garden, herb garden and magnificent foliage corridors provide a wonderful idea of how the princes would spend an afternoon in the sun.
Although the Prinsentuin garden is walled in, it is open to the public during the day. In the summer, the tearoom serves lovely refreshments. You certainly wouldn’t be the first or last to sit down on a bench and lose track of the time. This may also account for the Prinsentuin being the backdrop of the Dichters in de Prinsentuin (Poets in the Prinsentuin) event. During this festival, famous and less well-known poets from the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking Belgium recite from their own work.