Groningen (province): Wikis

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Provincie Groningen
Province of Groningen
Flag of Groningen.svg Coat of arms of Groningen
Flag Coat of arms
Map: Province of Groningen in the Netherlands South Holland North Holland Friesland Groningen Drenthe Flevoland Overijssel Gelderland Utrecht Limburg North Brabant Zeeland
About this image
Capital Groningen
Queen's Commissioner Max van den Berg
Religion (1999) Protestant 29%
Catholic 7%
Area
 • Land
 • Water
 
2,336 km² (8th)
623 km²
Population (2006)
 • Total
 • Density

574,042 (9th)
246/km² (9th)
Anthem Grunnens Laid
ISO NL-GR
Official website www.provinciegroningen.nl

Groningen About this sound pronunciation is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen (districts of Leer and Emsland), in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea. The capital of the province is the city of Groningen.

Contents

Geography

Land use in Groningen is mainly agricultural; it has a large natural gas field near Slochteren.

History

Originally a part of Frisia, Groningen became a part of the Frankish Empire around 785. Charlemagne assigned the Christianization of this new possession to Ludger. In the 11th century, the city of Groningen was a village in Drenthe that belonged to the Bishopric of Utrecht, while most of the province was in the diocese of Münster. During the Middle Ages, central control was remote, and the city of Groningen acted as a city state, exerting a dominating influence on the surrounding Ommelanden. Around 1500, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor gave Groningen and Friesland to Albert, Duke of Saxony, who could however not establish permanent control. In 1514/15 Groningen came to the Duchy of Guelders, and in 1536 to the Habsburg Netherlands. In 1594, Groningen was conquered by the United Netherlands, to which it belonged henceforth.

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Political history

East Groningen was the scene of a particularly fierce class struggle in the 19th and 20th centuries. Perhaps not coincidentally, Groningen boasts the only municipality (Beerta) where the Communist Party of the Netherlands has ever had a mayor (Hanneke Jagersma).

Amsterdam Almelo Almere Amersfoort Arnhem Assen Breda Den Haag Delft Delfzijl Den Bosch Den Helder Dordrecht Enchede Haarlem Hilversum Maastricht Middelburg Zwolle Lelystad Leiden Katwijk Nijmegen Eindhoven Vlissingen Rotterdam Leeuwarden Heerenveen Groningen (city) Emmen Almelo Apeldoorn Alkmaar Zaanstad Tilburg Venlo Heerlen Drenthe Flevoland Friesland Gelderland Groningen Limburg North Brabant North Holland Overijssel South Holland Utrecht Zeeland
Map of the Netherlands, linking to the province articles; red dots mark provincial capitals and black dots other notable cities or towns.

Dialect

Groningen is home to a typical Low Saxon dialect called Gronings (Grönnegs / Grunnegs in Gronings regional language), with local nuances. Nowadays, many inhabitants of the province do not speak the dialect, especially in the city of Groningen where many outsiders have moved.

Municipalities

People from Groningen Province

External links

Coordinates: 53°15′29″N 6°44′16″E / 53.25806°N 6.73778°E / 53.25806; 6.73778


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Groningen is in The Netherlands. Groningen is the northernmost state in the Netherlands. It consist of merely one big city also called Groningen. Outside the city the countryside is very flat. It is not a spectacular region, but it is quite different from the rest of busy the Netherlands.

  • Delfzijl - Small city with busy port and industrial area.
  • Groningen - Vibrant student city. Historical buildings and modern architecture go hand in hand.
  • Appingedam - Small medieval town in the north-east of the province. Can be reached by train from Groningen (trains leave every half hour). The town has very picturesque canals with the famous "hanging kitchens".
  • Bourtange - An old Dutch fort. Very interesting and popular.
  • The Ommelanden - The countryside north and east of Groningen (city). Small little towns, little fishing communities, little castles ("borgen") and windmills. Good area to explore, by car or on bike.
  • Pieterburen - The "zeehondencrèche" or seal hospital looks after sick and weak seals. Apart from being a hospital for seals it offers a small visitor's centre, guided tours and film. During the summer months a special bus connects Groningen with the seal hospital.
  • Uithuizen - Small town (can be reached by train from Groningen, hourly connection). Famous for the Menkemaborg, a small castle with labyrinth and beautiful gardens. The town also has a large museum dedicated to World War II.
  • The Wadden Sea — a UNESCO World Heritage site along the region's coast and including the West Frisian Islands
  • Warffum - Charming village (can be reached by train from Groningen, hourly connection) with an open air museum.

Understand

Groningen is one of the poorest regions in the Netherlands. Agriculture is one of its mainstays. In the past peat was being dug. Many villages have not really grown in the last century giving them a nice charm. If you have a few days to spare, try to explore. Buy fresh fish, eat smoked eels in Bourtange, take a stroll along a large (9 meters tall) statue of Lenin in Tjuchem, which was imported from the former GDR on a whim of an eccentric businessman. The large presence of extremely exploitative landowners in the east of Groningen during the late 19th and early 20th century left a relatively strong communist movement. The area is therefore regarded as the last stronghold of the communist party in the Netherlands.

Apart from agriculture there is an unsightly industrial area near the city of Delfzijl. In 1959 one of the largest natural gas fields in Europe was discovered near the village of Slochteren.

72.187.14.19 11:04, 2 November 2009 (EST)==Talk== Locals talk a Nether-Saxon dialect called Gronings. English is of course widely spoken, as well as German. Especially on markets and fairs, many buyers will be German. Groning is not "poorest" it is a vibrant University City, though surrounded by much agricultural land it is by no means "poor".

Get in

By train

It is easiest to arrive in Groningen by train into the City of Groningen. Groningen city, although on the edge of the province, is a transport hub; lines running to the north of the province join the main rail network here.

Convenient services run the south of the country. Regular services run from Utrecht, Amsterdam and Schiphol, among other locations; some are direct and some require a change at Amersfoort. From Schiphol the journey is typically 2h 30m.

Note when boarding trains to Groningen that they often divide after Zwolle, with the front half going in one direction and the rear half in another. Check with the conductor or look at the destination sign on the outside of the carriage to confirm you're on the correct section for Groningen.

Trains also run from Leeuwarden in Friesland, and to Germany. Bremen can be reached in about 2 hours 40 minutes, with one change.

By bus

Long distance buses to Lelystad are also available. Also regular connections to Emmen and Assen. Public express is a direct bus connection with Oldenburg en Bremen.

By air

There is an airport about 10km outside the city of Groningen, in Eelde. This airport is international but quite small. Other flight connections require a train journey; Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the biggest and best connected airport, but Bremen and Eindhoven are a similar distance away by train (2-3 hours) and are well served by budget airlines. Train tickets for these locations are typically 30 EUR one way as of the time of writing (Feb 2007). Public Express offers regular bus service from Groningen to Bremen Airport for 17 euro one way (as of June 2008). This bus also stops in Oldenburg and Bremen for those who are interested in visiting these cities.

  • Groningen has the least busy roads of the Netherlands. Only at rush-hour (monday - friday from 07.00 to 09.00 and from 16.00 to 18.00) there can be a few small traffic-jams but nothing serious.
  • Outside the city of Groningen, there will not be too much traffic on the road.
  • Parking a car on saturday in the city of Groningen can be difficult although. Park your car at a "Transferium" and travel by bus to the city for a small fee.
  • Almost every town has a gas-station where you can buy petrol, diesel and gas.
  • Car rental is available in Groningen and at the airport through Avis, Herz and Europcar.
  • Road maps are available at the ANWB shop in the Oosterstraat, Groningen. As a member of American Automobile Association, you can get discount at the ANWB shop.

Get around

Best way to get around the province is by car or bike. As the province is quite spread out, take a car if you have not much time to spare. Buses and trains also cross the countryside, but tend to be slow and far in between. Trains all originate in Groningen City and offer regular connections to Delfzijl, Roodeschool and Winschoten. Some buses in the country side require prior reservation ("bel bus"). Another option is the so called "treintaxi", a cab that operates as a mini-bus and connects trainstations with private addresses (even in nearby villages) for just a few euro.

  • "Groningen station", a very beautiful built station.
  • "Groninger Museum", just a few steps to the north from "Groningen Station. Beautiful architecture combined with seasonal expositions.

Do

When in Groningen province why not try:

  • Wadlopen (walking through the mud during low tide). It is a great way to experience the Waddenzee an area of great natural beauty full of seabirds and some seals. For more experienced "wadlopers" there are even trips to the island of Schiermonnikoog.
  • Take a bath or spend a day in the sauna at the Spa of Nieuweschans.
  • Go for a tour along the old fortified houses called "borgen" at Slochteren (Freylemaborg), Leek (Nienoord), Leens (Verhildersum) and Uithuizen (Menkemaborg).
  • Go sailing or swimming at Leek at the "Leekstermeer" or Paterswolde at the "Paterswoldse Meer".
  • Try the Groningen City walk, a guided tour through the inner city of Groningen. Lots of interesting buildings (like the Prinsenhof) and stories.
  • Take the stairs at the Martini Toren. Climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the view.

Eat

Go and get to eat some fresh fish, for instance in Noordpolderzijl or Termunterzijl. Or get yourself a pancake in Eenrum.

There are a lot of fine restaurants scattered across the province:

  • Leens - Verhildersum (expensive, but high quality food, only made from regional products, 1 star Michelin rating)
  • Delfzijl - De Kakebrug
  • Aduard - Onder de Linden (expensive, but very good, 1 star Michelin rating)
  • Muller - Groningen (1 star Michelin rating)
  • Haren - Villa Sasso, Mediterranean cuisine.

Less expensive, but nice:

  • Groningen - Chinese restaurant Ni Hao. Very good chinese cuisine
  • Middelstum - De Valk
  • Eenrum - Abrahams mosterdmakerij
  • Fish restaurants in Delfzijl, Termunterzijl and Lauwersoog. Fresh caught fish from the sea on your plate.
  • Lots and lots of places to eat in the city of Groningen. Thai, Mexican, Subways, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Mongolean, Japanese, French, German, Dutch. Whatever you want to eat, there is a place for it.

Drink

Groningen is famous for its nightlife. Nowhere in the Netherlands will the pubs stay open longer. Especially at the area to the southeast of the "Grote Markt", like the Poelestraat, the Oosterstraat en the Peperstraat, there are a lot of pubs that stay open 'till late. Dutch pubs, student pubs, Irish pubs, bars, coffeeshops, you name it, Groningen has it.

Try café Hooghoudt at the south border of the "Grote Markt". Hooghoudt is a local liquor brand (it produces vodka and traditional dutch liqours like "Jenever") and the café acts as a barrelhouse.

Stay safe

In whole, Groningen is a safe place to stay. There are only a few basic rules to follow:

  • Lock your car and don't leave your cd-player, laptop and navigation equipment in the car.
  • Double lock your rental bike. The Netherlands are famous for their bikes and for bike-theft..
  • Don't buy or sell hard-drugs. Hard drugs are illegal in the Netherlands! Only the possesion of a small portion of soft drugs for personal use is allowed.
  • The center of Groningen-city is observed by cameras with noise-sensitive warning equipment attached. When you are the victim or the witness of a criminal act, the police will normally arrive in a few minutes.
  • Officals cannot be bribed ;-)
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Simple English

Groningen is a province in the Northeast of the Netherlands. At the east is the German region Lower Saxony, in the south is Drenthe, in the west is Fryslân and in the north is the Wadden Sea.

The capital of Groningen is also called Groningen. People from Groningen often call Groningen City "stad" ("city") and the rest of the province "Ommelanden" (which means something like "surrounding lands").

Important source of income are agriculture and natural gas extraction Slochteren.

Noticeable things in Groningen are the dialect, that is related to Low German, and the strong support for the communist party in the Northeastern part of the province.

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