Local Heart, Global Soul

July 23, 2019

Groningen, The Province And The Capital…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our next stop whilst traveling along the line of decorated fiberglass “klompen” (clogs) in Garderen’s Sand Sculpture exhibition, is Groningen. Wikipedia tells me: “Groningen is the name of this province as well as it’s capital city in the north-eastern corner of the Netherlands.

As the largest city in the north of the Netherlands, Groningen is an old city of more than 950 years.

It was the regional power in this area of the country, a semi-independent city-state and member of the German Hanseatic League.

Groningen is a university city, with an estimated 31,000 students at the University of Groningen, and an estimated 29,000 at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

The city was founded at the northernmost point of the Hondsrug area.

The oldest document referring to Groningen’s existence dates from 1040.

However, the city already existed long before then: the oldest archaeological traces found are believed to stem from the years 3950–3720 BC, although the first major settlement in Groningen has been traced back to the 3rd century AD.

In the 13th century, when Groningen was an important trade centre, its inhabitants built a city wall to underline its authority.

The city had a strong influence on the surrounding lands and made its dialect a common tongue.

The most influential period of the city was the end of the 15th century, when the nearby province of Friesland was administered from Groningen. During these years, the Martinitoren, then 127 metres (417 feet) tall, was built; it loomed over the city. The city’s independence ended in 1536, when it chose to accept Emperor Charles V, the Habsburg ruler of the other Netherlands, as its overlord.In 1594, Groningen, until then held by Spain, was captured by a Dutch and English force led by Maurice of Nassau. Soon afterwards the city and the province joined the Republic of the Seven United Provinces.

In 1614, the University of Groningen was founded, initially only for religious education.The city did not escape the devastation of World War II. In particular, the main square, the Grote Markt, was largely destroyed in April 1945 in the Battle of Groningen. However, the Martinitoren, its church, the Goudkantoor, and the city hall were not damaged. The battle lasted several days.”

Wikipedia / Groningen / Province / City / The Netherlands

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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