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The School Church

The church with its age-old vault paintings, the tower with the spectacular exhibition Feest! In Oost en West (‘Feast! In West and East’), the churchyard revealing the ancient contours of the church, the welcoming reception building which also houses the Atelier AvecPlezier... together they form the School Church in Garmerwolde.

The School Church is a concept of Groninger Kerken (Groningen Historic Churches Foundation), which owns and administers almost 100 churches in the Province of Groningen. The Foundation aims to preserve these listed buildings and promote interest in them. The School Church is the focal point of its educational activities.

The School Church offers programmes for primary and secondary schools within a safe, positive and professional framework. During weekends the School Church is open for culture buffs, tourists and passers-by.

The Church of Garmerwolde

Garmerwolde’s medieval church is one of the finest late Romanesque churches of Stad en Ommeland (the city of Groningen and the surrounding region). The church, originally a Roman cruciform church, and its detached tower date from the 13th century. Inside you will see exceptional vault paintings made around 1520. When the church got into Protestant hands in 1594, almost everything reminiscent of Roman Catholic worship was removed. The paintings disappeared under layers of limewash and it was not until the late forties, during restoration works, that they re-emerged in all their splendour. Amongst other things, the vaults display representations of the Christmas and Easter feasts. Read more about the history on the website of the Garmerwolde church.

IMG 9235 Foto Christiaan Velvis SOGK

Feast! In West and East

Feast! In West and East is a permanent exhibition in the 13th century tower of Garmerwolde. An Escher-inspired staircase has been built in the tower, with stairs going up and down. From the top of the tower there is a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside and the outskirts of the city. Inside the tower, and accompanied by an audio tour, there are eight interactive and imagination-boosting presentations of Christian and Islamic feasts. They appeal to all your senses in a playful manner and are a source of reflection. This spectacular exhibition is open every weekend.

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The reception building in the green grounds of the church is home to OSO . Every weekend, OSO offers a lovely cup of coffee, sweets, drinks and a fresh, home-made lunch of regional produce. Pamper your taste buds in OSO! For further information and options go to the website of OSO.

Logo OSO


The medieval church and its grounds are always open and admission is free. On weekends you can buy a ticket for the exhibition Feast! In West and East in the tower, or visit OSO.

Garmerwolde is situated just east of the city of Groningen. It is a 20 minutes’ ride from Grote Markt, in the city centre, to the Schoolkerk.

Exhibition Feast! In West and East
€ 3,- (including an audiotour in Dutch for the church and the tower)

Would you like to visit the School Church with a group speaking English or another language? Then please contact us via and together we will see what we can do for you.

Toren Feest In Oost en West - Peter de Kan

Educational programme Feast! In West and East

Feast! In West and East is a teaching programme for schools, focusing on the interactive exhibition in the tower. Here pupils are introduced to traditions and forms of celebration around the world, particularly of Christianity and Islam, and are invited to discuss them. Exploring the century-old tower you will come across representations of various feasts, which will challenge you to reflect on yourself and others. Adult guidance is required in the case of school parties.

Come celebrate in the School Church with your (senior) school class! The programme includes a guide and audio tours, teaching material for the classroom and transport to the School Church.

The programmes of the School Church match the requirements of educational curricula. In this sense they can be part of lessons on history and philosophy of life, but also of cultural education, social studies or civics.

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Teaching method

The School Church offers challenging and totally interactive programmes. We feel it is important that your pupils can make their voices heard, to appeal to their empathy and imagination. When visiting the School Church the group process is facilitated by applying the ‘I ASK’ teaching method. This programme has been developed by the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. On the basis of I ASK, we use the thoughts of the visitor, the pupil, for material to work with. This way we can establish a true dialogue.

The School Church is a place where history, culture and philosophy of life are central. Here history is visible in all its aspects – right across the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the present. The exhibition tower adds a layer of topicality, with contemporary depictions of celebrations in terms of design and exciting architecture. This way the School Church leaves scope for reflection and dialogue.

In such a rich learning environment, new questions will arise. What was it like in the old days, what is it like today? How do we look at life, and each other? What is important for you, and for the other? How do we shape the future together?

The programmes of the School Church match the requirements of educational curricula. In this sense they can be part of lessons on history and philosophy of life, but also of cultural education, social studies or civics.

In the coming years, the School Church will offer more programmes for schools, with a variety of themes.