Located in the Northern side of the Netherlands, Groningen is regarded as one of the most important ancient cities. To understand what qualifies Groningen to referred to as an important ancient city, you just need to pay a visit to its down town area, which is dotted with very beautiful, medieval buildings that clearly belong to another age. Like many other cities in this region though, Groningen suffered quite a bit of devastation during the Second World War. It, however, seems to have managed to preserve quite a bit of its historical heritage, unlike a few other historical cities in the Netherlands whose historical centers were almost entirely ruined.
Groningen is a fairly large city today, with just under 200,000 people as at 2013: making it the largest city in the Northern region of the Netherlands. At one point, Groningen was host to the tallest building in Europe: that being the Martinitoren (Martini Tower). Groningen has evolved to be a university city, hosting two major universities whose students constitute almost a quarter of the population. Though the classification of Groningen as a university city is a fairly recent thing, it is worth noting that one of the universities in it is certainly not a new institution. Here, we are talking about the University of Groningen, which was started in the year 1614, and which is therefore a historical institution in its own right. As is to be expected of any university city, Groningen is a very lively place, full of youthful energy, vibrancy and enthusiasm — with what can only be termed as a remarkable nightlife. At yet another level, Groningen is an important center of arts, crafts and culture. It has obviously invested quite heavily in its hospitality industry, and besides having good hospitality facilities, its people (the natives and the students milling around) are also generally friendly.
Getting around Groningen
You can get around Groningen by water (on the canal), by bike, on foot or by bus.
There are parts of Groningen where vehicles are discouraged, meaning that those are parts of the Groningen city that you will probably have to explore either while riding on a bike, or simply on foot. The Groningen city center is one such place. Still getting from place to place shouldn’t be too hard, even on foot, especially if you are out exploring the major tourist attractions of Groningen as they are quite tightly packed in a compact area.
You can make a visit to the Groningen Central Station, or any of the other places where the relevant companies hire out bikes, and proceed to hire one. The design of the city is such that most places are very easily accessible on bike, while the cost of hiring a bike is very modest. There are, however, very many bikes moving around, so you need to be quite a good cyclist to avoid collisions. Ultimately though, cycling around Groningen, with so many other cyclists on your wings, can make for a panoramic experience that you may never quite get elsewhere.
You can get around Groningen by bus as well, with pretty much every key road having one or another bus line operating there.
Things to see and do in Groningen
In terms of things to see while in Groningen, we have things like the Aa-Kerk (one of those medieval churches that were very influential in their heyday) and the Old Catholic hospital known as Oude RKZ. We also have the displays at the Groninger Museum, the displays at the museum of water transport (Het Noordelijik Scheepvaartmuseum) and the displays at the Universiteitsmuseum.
In terms of things to do while in Groningen, you can go canoeing around the city, go shopping at the Grote Markt, climb what was once Europe’s tallest Building (the Martini Tower) or simply take a guided bicycle tour of Groningen and its environs.
‘Smart’ Mask Brainstormed by Dutch Physicians, Engineers
Physicians and engineers in the Netherlands said they are developing a “smart mask” that uses sensors and data to monitor a wearer's temperature and respiration and warns them when the mask needs replacing.
Though the mask is still in the development stage, researchers at the Holst Center, an independent research and development technology lab in the city of Eindhoven, said in addition to monitoring vital signs, a humidity sensor can indicate if the mask is functioning properly.
The core technology has already been largely developed in a joint research project with multiple partners to commercialize the smart mask. Holst Center researcher Ashok Sridhar said the mask was designed with practical applications to indicate if the wearer is basically healthy.
Sridhar said the mask will also tell wearers how the mask itself is doing. He said people tend to buy masks and wear them longer than they are intended.
“By measuring the humidity of the filter, you can also indicate that the mask cannot be used anymore. And the idea is to replace the mask, so that the effectiveness is retained."
The mask is going through a testing phase, and researchers hope to add further functionality, such as alerting users if they inhale toxic substances.
The mask uses flexible sensors that are printed into the fabric. The researchers said the Holst Center pioneered this printed electronics technology. They are using it to develop a T-shirt that can monitor the wearer’s vital signs during athletic training and report back to the user through a laptop or smartphone.
Coronavirus found in Minks in the Netherlands
The Netherlands also eases Corona Restrictions
The Netherlands has eased corona restrictions two months after the “lockdown”. As of the this week, hairdressers, beauty salons are allowed to reopen again., this is followed by restaurants, cafés and theaters on June 1st, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in The Hague.
Rutte, however, called for continued caution – “We can only reopen the Netherlands if everyone behaves wisely.”
The government presented a gradual easing plan by September 1. From June 1, museums and all schools are to be opened thereafter, however, the relaxation is associated with a new obligation:
From June 1st, face masks must be worn in local public transport and the opening of primary schools from May 11th.
The Netherlands is now in a transition phase to the “one and a half meter society,” said Rutte but he warned that any loosening would be reversed if the virus spreads again as “The virus must remain manageable.”
From July 1st there are also plans to relax tourism with camping sites and holiday parks to open the gates again.
Restaurants, cafés and theaters can then receive up to 100 visitors. Sports with direct physical contact such as football should only be allowed from September 1st but playing golf, swimming or tennis will be allowed again next week.
The measures will be relaxed more quickly than planned. According to the government, this is possible because the number of new infections is declining faster than expected. So far, around 41,000 cases of corona infections have been registered in the Netherlands, 5204 people died and 628 patients are still in intensive care units and at the height of the crisis, there were twice as many in ICU’s reported.
Restrictions on freedom of movement have been in effect since March 13. Citizens should stay at home as much as possible and keep a safety distance of one and a half meters. Cafes, restaurants and schools had been closed. However, business was allowed to remain open. Prime Minister Rutte had called this an “intelligent lockdown”, appealing to the common sense of the citizens.
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