Groningen: Living in style ….

Our last destination in the Netherlands before we will be back to Germany was Menkemaborg, a manor house in the North of Groningen which is presented as if the occupants of the 18th century just had left.


Menkemaborg is an originally 14th-century, brick-built house, which was dramatically altered around 1700 but has since been barely changed. The Alberda family, the 18th-century occupants, commissioned artists to decorate the interior with impressive chimney-pieces carved with baroque ornaments, and paintings of mythological scenes.

The “borg” was privately owned until 1902. The last heirs donated it to the Groninger Museum, which restored it in 1927 and opened it to the public. The province of Groningen once had 200 borgs, only 16 survived.

Reception room

Study used to teach the children of the house

A four-poster bed, draped with yellow silk damask from China, has also been preserved.

Cosy kitchen with very low ceiling 

Dinning room

Gentlemen’s room

The gardens were reconstructed after the surviving garden design dating from around 1705, and are marked by a clear layout with symmetrical patterns of clipped box enclosing beds of 18th-century flowering and ornamental plants. A particularly pretty part is the walled pleasure garden with its trellised arches and arbours. There is also a kitchen garden where vegetables and potherbs are grown and an orchard with ancient strains of apple trees and a pear-tree pergola. The flowering rose tunnel was a delight at this time of the year.

Flower of the Day

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