Groningen

Groningen

[groh-ning-uhn; Du. khroh-ning-uhn]
Groningen, province (1994 pop. 556,600), c.900 sq mi (2,330 sq km), NE Netherlands, bordering on Germany in the east and the North Sea in the north. Groningen is the capital of the province, which has both an agricultural and industrial economy. There is a fertile coastal strip; the interior consists largely of reclaimed fenland and peat bogs and is drained by numerous canals. Vast reserves of natural gas were discovered there in 1961. In 1536, Charles V, the Hapsburg ruler, added Groningen to his Netherlands possessions. During the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain, the nobles living in the province's countryside signed the Union of Utrecht in 1579. The capital, however, remained loyal to the Hapsburgs until 1594.
Groningen, city (1994 pop. 170,535), capital of Groningen prov., NE Netherlands. It is an important trade and transportation center. Manufactures include clothing, food products, furniture, and machinery. Among its prominent industries are sugar refining, book printing, and tobacco processing. In the 11th cent., Groningen came under the temporal power of the bishops of Utrecht. It soon rose to prominence and in the 12th cent. supplied ships for the Crusades. In 1284 it joined the Hanseatic League and later gained control over the central section of Friesland, which now constitutes Groningen prov. The city remained loyal to the Hapsburgs at the beginning of the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain, but was captured by the Dutch under Maurice of Nassau in 1594. A picturesque city, Groningen has several churches, notably the Martinikerk (15th cent.) and the Nieuwe Kerk (17th cent.), as well as the Groniger Museum of Art and many other museums. It is also the site of the Univ. of Groningen (1614).
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