Bomb dating from 1672 found in Groningen

Bomb from 1672 found in Groningen, June 2018
Bomb from 1672 found in Groningen, June 2018Photo: @Archeologie050 / Twitter

During excavations in the city of Groningen, a bomb was found that the municipal archeologists believe was fired at the city in 1672. The cast iron mortar grenade weighs over 40 kilograms and was found more than 2 meters deep in the ground, according to broadcaster NOS.

The explosive was found during excavations on the corner of Nieuweweg and Oostersingel. A net of rope and pitch was found around the bomb. Presumably the explosive was fired on the city as a fire bomb, but it never exploded. City archeologist Gert Kortekaas is delighted by the discovery. "You encounter something like this only once", he said to RTV Noord. "This is very rare."

Defense's explosive ordnance disposal team examined the grenade. The iron case turned out to be hollow with an opening closed by a wooden stop. When it was opened, the content smelled of gunpowder. But there was only black water inside. The team disarmed the explosive. As the bomb is no longer dangerous, it does not have to be removed. Instead it will be preserved and later exhibited. 

In 1672 Groningen was besieged by the troops of Bernhard von Galen, a belligerent German bishop. He conquered cities by bombarding them until they surrendered. That earned him the nickname 'Bommen Berend' in the Netherlands, which translates to 'Bombing Bernard".