The Martinikerk tower is the 8th highest in the Netherlands at 94 metres. The church was built in the 15th century, but in 1547 it was struck by lightning, heavily damaging church and tower. The tower was again damaged by French troops in 1672. It was once more struck by lightning in 1717 and in 1783 became the first building in the Netherlands to be protected from lightning by a lightning rod.

It was restored 1919–1930 by W. te Riele and N. de Wolf, and restored again after it was heavily damaged when retreating German troops blew up the tower in April 1945.



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Founded: 15th century
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands


3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

richard tanke (3 years ago)
Preek van de leek
Tonny Deegens (3 years ago)
Tijdens de kerstmarkt is het in de kerk verschrikkelijk koud. Niet te doen voor de standhouders en het bezoek. Ik hoop dat de kerkgangers op zondagochtend er warmer bijzitten.
Taco Wannee (4 years ago)
Mooie herbouwde toren. Mooie uitzichten bij helder weer. Het zijn best veel treden, die je al wentelend op moet. Maar de beloning is fantastisch.
Wilhelmina Sanders (4 years ago)
Indrukwekkende geschiedenis van deze kerk met een grote verwoesting in de laatste oorlogsdagen Nu weer te zien als vanouds. Grote lichte kerk met alleen tekstborden tegen de pilaren en een fresco uit de middeleeuwen. Prachtig orgel dat op donderdagen in de zomer t.m. 13september om 20 u. wordt bespeeld
Denny Franzkowiak (6 years ago)
Nice architecture
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.