The New International Encyclopædia/Groningen (town)

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1217024The New International Encyclopædia — Groningen (town)

GRONINGEN. The most important town in the north of the Netherlands, and capital of the province of the same name, situated at the confluence of the Hunse and the Aa, and at the converging of a number of railway lines and canals, 22 miles west of the Dollart Inlet (Map : Netherlands, E 1). It is a well-built town, crossed by numerous canals and surrounded with promenades and walks laid out on the site of the old fortifications. The market-place (Groote Markt) is one of the largest in Holland. The most prominent buildings are the Gothic Church of Saint Martin, surmounted with a tower 343 feet high; the town hall, built in 1810, and containing a collection of coins; the Government buildings, the theatre, and the prison. The University of Groningen, founded in 1614, is composed of five faculties, and has an attendance of over 400. Attached to it are a library of over 90.000 volumes, an observatory, a botanical garden, a museum of natural history, a hospital, and a number of laboratories. Among the other educational institutions of the town may be mentioned the gymnasium, the academy of architecture and navigation, and the deaf and dumb asylum. The town manufactures sugar, textiles, furniture, mirrors, gold and silver ware, cigars and tobacco, trimmed lumber, ships, machinery, etc. The harbor is accessible to sea-going vessels, and has considerable shipping. The trade of Groningen is chiefly in grain, rape-seed, and animal products. Population, in 1899, 66,537, including about 7000 Roman Catholics and 3000 Jews.

Groningen was granted by the Emperor Henry III, in 1040, when it was known as Villa Cruoninga, to the Bishop of Utrecht. It was fortified in the thirteenth century, and joined the Hanseatic League as early as 1282. In 1594 the city was taken by Maurice of Nassau, and annexed to the United Netherlands. In 1672 the town withstood the attack of the Bishop of Münster.