Groningen has its very own holiday: Bommen Berend (Bombing Berend). This day is all about commemorating the battle of Groningen in 1672 when commander-in-chief Carl von Rabenhaupt defended the city against the invasion of the bishop of Münster (Bombing Berend).
Over 20,000 of his soldiers besieged the city from the south, in the area where currently the Rabenhauptstraat and the Kempkensberg are located. The invasion lasted for weeks and cost the lives of about 4,600 soldiers from the Münster-Cologne army and about 100 residents. Groningen was liberated on 28 August, and Bommen Berend is still celebrated every year on this date.
The green copper ball in this monument symbolises a cannonball and the rusty surface of the tablet refers to the passing of time. The brass letters read the following: ‘Groningen Constant, Behoudt van ’t Landt’ (Groningen perseverant, retaining of the land). This sentence was on one of the emergency coins that were minted during the siege of Groningen.
The division in the tablet symbolises the city and its environs. Large parts of the Ommelanden – the Groningen countryside – were flooded to defend the city.