Estate houses

Groningen's nobility

'Borgs' are luxurious mansion houses located in the countryside, originally owned by noblemen and the truly well heeled.  At one point Groningen had around 100 of these country houses. There are now only sixteen left, two of which are in Waddenland.

Borg Verhildersum

Verhildersum can be found in the village of Leens: a 'Borg' and country estate.First records of Verhildersum date back to 1398. During this period it was a stone house, featuring a defendable accommodation tower. From the sixteenth century onwards it developed to become a dwelling.

The estate narrates the story of how nobility lived together with farmers and workers during the 19th century. This Borg is sited right in the middle of this wonderful estate. Various families have lived here down through the centuries and all have stamped their indelible mark on the Borg, both internally and externally. The last inhabitants left in 1953. The rooms were then reinstated to provide an insight into how life was lived in a mansion during the 19th century.

Both the Borg and the garden are open for visitors. There are some superb sculptures by the artist Eddy Roos to be found in the garden.Adjacent to the Borg you will find Het Schathuys, a grand café and restaurant with views to the Borg. Regional markets are held on the Borg's grounds every third Saturday of the month.


The 15th century Allersmaborg is located to the northeast of Ezinge. This Borg is protected by a wide moat and drawbridge, as well as windbreak trees. The house has three wings. The south wing is the oldest part of the Borg and built above a cellar. The north wing was added in the 16th century, with the east wing being completed in 1720. This part features a second floor constructed in 1817. The Borg also has an 18th century dovecote.

The Borg was still functioning as a home up until 2004. The current owner is Stichting Groninger Borgen, which has placed the Borg in the secure hands of the University of Groningen for safekeeping. These days it is used as a venue for business meetings. The Borg's grounds are open to visitors.

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