Omdat de pastoor van de Martinikerk geen geschikt huis had, schonk de bisschop van Utrecht hem in 1325 een bouwterrein. De Groningers bouwden er een priesterhuis.


Nadat Prins Maurits Stad en Lande van Groningen in 1594 weer bij de Nederlanden had gevoegd, werd het pand tot 1602 gebruikt voor Provinciale Statenvergaderingen.


Na een grote verbouwing en uitbreiding, werd het in 1618 ‘t woonhuis van de theologische hoogleraar Franciscus Gomarus.


In 1890 werd het pand betrokken door het gezin van J.A. Feith, die twee jaar later als rijksarchivaris in de voetsporen van zijn vader en grootvader trad.


The parish priest of the Martini Church did not have a suitable house, so in 1325, the bishop of Utrecht donated a construction site to the priest. There, the inhabitants of Groningen built a priest’s house, which was replaced by a parish in the 15th century. Traces of this parish can still be found in the back part of the building today.

After Prince Maurice had re-annexed the Province of Groningen to the Netherlands in 1594, the building was used for the free Provincial Assembly of the estates of Holland until 1602. In 1618, following major reconstruction and expansion, the building became the house of theology professor Franciscus Gomarus. Gomarus became nationally known as a combatant of Armenius’ Remonstration (his followers known as Gomarists), and as the translator of the straightforward reformed doctrine. His name lives on through the small gate in the back of the garden, which is called the „little Gomarus gate”.

The next extensive conversion was carried out by Hendrik Trip. This commissioner of the Province of Groningen had acquired his wealth in the Dutch East Indies. In 1729 he put his money to use by having a new facade built with sandstone sculptures under the window ledges, and by having the interior designed in a late Louis XIV style.

The building obtained its present form from Mr.Quintus and his wife Van Boneval Faure. In 1864, the childless couple created the atmosphere of the Alps by having a Swiss chalet built in their garden. Five years after that, they further extended their house by heightening the facade, and by having two carriage houses built on either side of the building. In 1890, the family of J.A. Feith took up residence in the building. Two years later, J.A. Feith followed his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and became keeper of the provincial records. After the registrar passed away due to a heart attack, the inheritors sold the house to the municipality in 1916. After that, the Feithhuis was used amongst others as a boatman’s office (boatmen and loading companies met here to arrange shipments), labour office, conservatory of music and student housing. The state of the building deteriorated until 1994, when it was substantially redeveloped. With respect to the olden days, the architect’s office Karelse van Meer gave a more contemporary form to the new city café and restaurant.

Text by: Beno Hofman