Groningen Province

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Province of the Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands.svg
coat of arms flag
Groningen provincie wapen.svg Flag of Groningen.svg
Zeeland Zuid-Holland Baarle (zu Belgien) Noord-Brabant Groningen Bundesrepublik Deutschland Limburg Friesland Flevoland Drenthe Noord-Holland IJsselmeer Utrecht Overijssel Gelderland Frankreich Belgien NordseeMap: Province of Groningen in the Netherlands
About this picture
Basic data
Capital Groningen
Biggest town Groningen
ISO 3166-2 code NL-GR
anthem Grönnens laid
Royal Commissioner René Paas ( CDA )
Ruling parties GroenLinks , PvdA , ChristenUnie , VVD , CDA , and D66
Residents 583,698 ( 9th of 12 )
Country share 3.4% of the Dutch
Population density 251 inhabitants per km² ( 9th of 12 )
Religion (2015, CBS ) 08% - Protestant
0 6% - Reformed
0 5% - Dutch Reformed
0 5% - Roman Catholic
0 1% - Islam
0 6% - other
69% - none
surface 2,959.68 km²
- country 2,323.94 km² (7th of 12)
- Water 635.74 km²
height up to 14.2 m above sea level NAP
Coordinates 53 ° 15 ′  N , 6 ° 44 ′  E Coordinates: 53 ° 15 ′  N , 6 ° 44 ′  E
Administrative division
Communities 12
- of which cities 3
Topography of Groningen

Topography of Groningen

Groningen ( Low German Grönnen , West Frisian Grinslân ) is the north-easternmost province of the Netherlands . In the east it borders on East Frisia and the Emsland ( Lower Saxony ). In the north lies the North Sea . Neighboring provinces are Drenthe (south) and Friesland (west). The capital is Groningen . In the province of Groningen, the native Lower Saxon dialects ( Gronings ) are spoken in addition to the Dutch language .

The province is also called Stad en Ommelanden (“city and surrounding area”) because historically the city of Groningen (originally Saxon) and the Ommelande (up to the 15th century Frisian ) lived in strife with one another for a long time.


The province of Groningen is bordered in the north by the Wadden Sea , in the east by the German state of Lower Saxony , in the south by the province of Drenthe and in the west by the province of Friesland.


Landscape formation

At the end of the last ice age , around 12,000 years ago, the water level in the North Sea rose rapidly. As a result, the flat landscape of today's province of Groningen was hardly drained and an extensive swamp and bog area formed, which was criss-crossed by many lakes. This area covered many square kilometers and was only crossed by a sandy elevation (the highest point is 30 m above sea level). The Hondsrug stretches for a length of about 60 kilometers from today's Groningen (city) in the direction of Emmen in Drenthe.

First human settlement

This sand ridge was more or less inhabited by people of pre-Indo-European origin since the Neolithic . The barrows are evidence of this. The northernmost was found in Delfzijl under a thick layer of clay.

In the early Iron Age from 600 to 400 BC The lower lying clay areas had to be settled as well, as the space on the sand ridge was slowly becoming scarce. Since the end of the Bronze Age , more and more ginger people had immigrated to the area. This tribe of the West Germans originally came from southern Scandinavia. The name Ingwäonen is derived from the name of the god Yngvi , whose descendants the Frisians consider themselves to be. Inguz is another name for the Germanic god Freyr . Other Ingwäonen tribes were, for example, the Saxons .

However, up to approx. 400–200 BC B.C. not be spoken of as a separate Frisian ethnic group, as there was no homogeneous culture between Texel ( Noord-Holland ) and Weser ( Engern ). In what is now Groningen, the Frisian ethnic group merged with the Falen , who originally came from the Ems region . They belonged to the Chauken . Significant cultural changes took place during this period. This may have had to do with the renewed rise in sea levels , which was initiated by the beginning of a new warm period. In order to prevent the regular flooding of their homesteads, the Frisians began to build earth walls - so-called wierden or warden (in German: terps ). Since the sea level rose several times and this rise was mostly associated with storm surges , there were several Wierdenbau periods that coincide with the rise in sea level. There are three different periods: The first around 500 BC. BC, the second 200 BC. Until 50 BC And the third in 250 AD, the rise in sea levels and the storm surges that took place at the same time were so vehement that almost all Frisians left the clay areas and did not return until 400 AD.

Roman time

Julius Caesar had Celtic Gaul (now France and Belgium ) between 58 and 50 BC. Conquered and the borders of Rome thereby shifted to the Rhine. Only when Emperor Augustus 28 BC BC wanted to expand the borders to the Elbe, the Frisians came under the influence of the Romans. The Groningen area was only briefly under Roman rule . Drusus acted in 12 BC. BC concluded an armistice with the Frisians and levied a regular tax in the form of cowhide. Since the taxes were getting higher and higher and the Romans even brought women and children into slavery, the Frisians rebelled against the occupation. In the subsequent punitive action, the Romans suffered a defeat and then withdrew from the area.

Migration period

During the migration of peoples from the 4th to the 7th century, large Germanic states were formed for the first time, in which Jutes , Saxony , Angles and also the Frisians lived.

Around 400 the Frisians began building their Frisian empire . They expanded their trade and were at the height of their power around the 7th century . Their sphere of influence extended from northern Belgium to southern Denmark. A Greater Friesland ( Magna Frisia ) was created, which existed until 719. In contrast to the neighboring Franconian Empire , Friesland was still "pagan"; the use of writing decreased as a result. One of the few written evidence of the history of Friesland in the 5th and 6th centuries is the reference by Gregory of Tours to the likely Frisian King Hygelac , who was approx. 526 died.


In 688 the missionary Wigbert began to Christianize the Frisians . 734 the Frisians suffered a defeat in the battle of the Boorne against Karl Martell . But only Charlemagne , with the victory over the Saxons, was able to unite the entire area of ​​today's Netherlands, including the later Groningen, under Carolingian rule. With that, the conversion to Christianity was considered complete. However, only counts and their vassals were baptized. Most of the farmers and artisans were still pagan and should remain so for some time. In addition to the Christian faith, a feudal system was also established. However, less clearly than in other European countries. Serfdom was very rare. The Carolingian period was a time of prosperity, also for the Frisians. Their trade benefited enormously from the fact that they always maintained close contacts with Frisian communities in England and Sweden .

After the death of Charlemagne, the influence of the central power decreased. The "Danes" (which mostly meant the Vikings ) invaded the country several times.

Holy Roman Empire

In 843, Groningen became part of the Holy Roman Empire under Lothar II . It was around this time that the original name "Villa Cruoninga" was first mentioned in writing. It is mentioned for the first time in connection with a hamlet 1040. This was roughly in today's city center. The jurisdiction was in the hands of the counts until 1217.

In the 11th century, the Frisians began building dykes one and a half meters high across the northern coast . Roads four meters wide ran under the protection of the dikes so that two carts could pass each other. A sophisticated system for maintaining and checking the dams was established early on. The Frisians inhabited an area from the Rhine-Maas Delta to the Weser in Germany and were in an area without political supremacy. Only Groningen and the neighboring areas (Go and Wold - Gorecht ) were under the rule of the Bishop of Utrecht , so they were actually part of Drenthe. During the reign of Bishop Hartbert , the citizens of Groningen rose. The bishop put down the uprising. The citizens had to undertake not to wall Groningen - a promise they did not keep. Bishop Hartbert awarded the most lucrative offices to his family. His older brother Ludolf became head of the city of Groningen (“prefectus”), his younger brother Leffart got the castle at Coevorden in the south-east of Drenthe and thus control of the only way through the moor from Drenthe to Germany. ( Vancouver is named after Coevorden).

High Middle Ages

In April 1227, under the rule of Bishop Otto II von Lippe, an armed conflict broke out in the city of Groningen between the episcopal governor Egbert and the Gelkingen family (who were rich and influential). Rudolf, the administrator of the castle in Coevorden, took the side of the Gelkingen family; together they besieged the governor's “permanent house”. The bishop brokered a truce. Egbert withdrew and built a new "permanent house" south of the city. But Rudolf and his soldiers - the "Drents" - attacked Egbert there too. They drove the governor into the Ommelande , the "surrounding areas", as the Frisian areas around the city were called. In the event of a counter-attack, Egbert was able to seize the city of Groningen again, but was besieged there by the Gelkingen family, Rudolf and the Drents. To Egbert shock , Bishop Otto moved his troops toward Groningen. But in the moor of Ane, in the south of Drenthe, his armed forces got caught in an ambush laid by Rudolf . The bishop and hundreds of knights were killed. The conflict lasted until 1258.

Formation of self-administration

Groningen had developed into an important trading center with self-administration and jurisdiction. In order to secure its trade relations, the city of Groningen concluded contracts with the representatives of the districts of the Ommelande ( Hunsingo , Fivelgo , Westerkwartier ). As a result, the jurisdiction gradually passed to the Hoofdmannenkamer (" Hauptssenkammer "), the forerunner of the provincial court.

The increasing importance (and also dependence) of the surrounding areas on the city led to persistent conflicts and dissatisfaction among the citizens. So the city had z. B. stipulated the stacking right . This stacking right stipulated that all goods, such as B. Grain and beer, could only be traded in the city. In order to master these conflicts, advisory bodies were founded in the 15th century, made up of representatives from the city and the surrounding area. These consultations took place with the participation of representatives of the “Chamber of Chiefs” and were held in Brussels with the assistance of the central government. In 1536, Charles V brought Groningen and Drenthe under the Burgundian-Dutch rule, shortly before Gelderland and Friesland. In doing so, he contributed to the formation of a Dutch state, as uniform structures were used early on.

Independence of the Netherlands

The Ommelanden
Groningen and Ommelande, after 1681

During the Eighty Years' War , in 1594, the city of Groningen and the surrounding areas as the seventh province to the had Republic of the United Netherlands connect . The leadership of the province was in the hands of the so-called "states". This body, consisting of representatives of the three estates: the nobility , the church and the (wealthy) citizens , met once or several times a year as required. The day-to-day business was left to eight deputies . The stadhouder (governor) presided over the council of deputies . He also acted as a representative of the central authority.

The province consisted of six districts in the 16th century: Hunsingo, Fivelgo, Westerkwartier, Gorecht , the Oldambten and Westerwolde . There were numerous monasteries that cared for the poor .

French period

During the so-called French era , the Batavian Republic, which was under French influence, emerged in 1795 from the territory of the Republic of the United Netherlands . In the administrative structure that was newly established in 1798 based on the French model, eight départements were created whose areas no longer corresponded to the previous provinces. In the Batavian "Département Ems" parts of the provinces of Groningen and Friesland as well as the Drenthe landscape were combined. In 1806 the Kingdom of Holland followed , which was ruled by Napoleon's brother Louis Bonaparte , and which was incorporated into the French Empire in 1810 . The province of Groningen now became part of the West-Ems department . After Napoleon's defeat in the Battle of Leipzig (1813), the Kingdom of the United Netherlands was established in 1815 from what is now the Netherlands and Belgium . When the provinces were reorganized, the province of Groningen was restored to its original territorial status .

19th century

The administration of the province was overseen by the king's commissioner, who was still the governor at the time. The provincial government (five members from 1825) administered the province together with parliament. The parliament was formed from 36 members who came equally from the nobility, landowners and the citizens of the city of Groningen. Access to parliament was therefore still dependent on corresponding assets. The provincial parliament was called Provinciale Staten , the provincial government College van Gedeputeerde Staten .

From 1850, the provincial law regulated the rights and obligations of the provinces. The Hague , seat of the Dutch government, lost an enormous amount of influence as a result. Like other provinces, Groningen was allowed to set up its own budget, levy its own taxes and pass laws. The provincial parliament has now been directly elected. However, only those who had their own assets and were male were allowed to vote. Of 188,000 citizens, only 7,671 were eligible to vote. The main task of the province was water management and road construction.


(in %)
GB h
Otherwise. j
Gains and losses
compared to 2015
 % p
GB h
Otherwise. j
Template: election chart / maintenance / notes
h Groninger concern
j PVV 5.98% (-2.03%), PvhN 4.12% (+1.98%), PvdD 4.08% (+0.32%), 50PLUS 2.21% (+0.23 %), other 0.42% (-3.28%)
4th 6th 4th 4th 
A total of 43 seats

The Provincial Parliament ( Dutch Provinciale Staten ) has its seat in the Provinciehuis in the provincial capital Groningen . According to the population in the province, the parliament has 43 seats.

In the provincial election on March 18, 2015, the parties obtained the following shares of the vote: GroenLinks 12.49% (6 seats), PvdA 11.99% (5 seats), FvD 10.22% (5 seats), ChristenUnie 9.45% ( 4 seats), SP 8.68% (4 seats), VVD 8.46% (4 seats), CDA 8.08% (3 seats), Groninger Belang 7.27% (3 seats), D66 6.55% (3 seats), PVV 5.98% (2 seats), PvhN 4.12% (2 seats), PvdD 4.08% (1 seat), 50PLUS 2.21% (1 seat), other 0.42% . The turnout was 56.07%.

The next provincial election will take place on March 22, 2023.Template: future / in 2 years

At the head of the province is the king's commissioner . Since April 18, 2016, this has been the Christian Democrat René Paas . The college van Gedeputeerde Staten , i.e. the government, has been formed since 2019 by a coalition of green left , social democrats , Calvinists , right- wing liberals , Christian democrats and left-wing liberals .


Location of the municipalities of the province of Groningen on January 1, 2018

As of 2019 there are still twelve municipalities in the province:

  1. Appingedam (11,722)
  2. Delfzijl (24,694)
  3. Groningen (231,037)
  4. Het Hogeland (49,479)
  5. Loppersum (9,599)
  6. Midden-Groningen (60,982)
  7. Oldambt (38,124)
  8. Pekela (12,205)
  9. Stadskanaal (31,809)
  10. Veendam (27,462)
  11. Westerkwartier (61,475)
  12. Westerwolde (25,110)

(Residents on January 31, 2019)


Onshore facility in Bellingwedde

In 2011, the regional gross domestic product per inhabitant, expressed in purchasing power standards , was 181.76% of the EU-28 average . In 2017 the unemployment rate was 7.6%.

The main industries are:

Natural gas production

Gas production in the Netherlands (as of May 2000)

The Groninger gas field , Europe's largest natural gas deposit, was discovered in 1959 under Kolham (municipality of Slochteren ). At a depth between 2700 and 3500 meters there was originally around 2800 billion m³ of natural gas, 75 percent of which has been produced by the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) since 1963. The gas contains 14 percent nitrogen and is one of the gases with a low energy content (so-called L-gas). Not only in the Netherlands, but also in Germany, Belgium and northern France, many boilers, gas stoves and other appliances are set up for this gas quality . 93 percent of the Dutch population consumes Groningen gas alone , which makes it an important factor in the local economy alongside exports.


When an earthquake was first registered at Assen in December 1988 , the Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologische Instituut began seismological monitoring of the region by setting up a network of measuring points. As a result, more than a thousand more earthquakes were registered, but most of them only reached a maximum value of 2.0 on the Richter scale . Nevertheless, these earthquakes, which are classified as very light, are clearly noticeable, as they occur at a shallow depth of a maximum of three kilometers - where natural gas was extracted. This proved the connection between the increase in earthquakes and gas production.

On August 16 in 2012 (community was in an earthquake in Huizinge Loppersum ) the strength of 3.6 measured. Due to the damage that had occurred, which also put the population at risk, the Dutch Supreme Court ordered a temporary production stop. In order to be able to resume the natural gas supply, the NAM, as operator, agreed with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs to throttle further natural gas production, to pay for any damage and to take safety precautions. The Onderzoeksprogramma Groningen , which cost more than 100 million euros, was launched in 2013 .

In 2017, there were a total of 18 tremors in the region - in addition to many weaker ones - with a magnitude of more than 1.5. On January 8, 2018, an earthquake occurred in Zeerijp with a magnitude of 3.4. The competent authority (Staatstoezicht op de Mijnen) thereupon obliged the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij to carry out a short-term analysis of the incident and appropriate measures. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced at the end of the 2017/18 heating season that the production rate in the Groningen field should be reduced from 15 to 25 billion cubic meters / year (forecast for 2018/19) to below twelve billion cubic meters by 2022 at the latest and should be discontinued by around 2030 reduce the risk of earthquakes. It goes beyond the recommendation of the State Mining Authority (SSM), which suggested a reduction to 12 billion m 3 .


Grönnens laid

Van Lauwerzee tot Dollard tou,
van Drenthe tot aan 't Wad,
doar gruit, doar bluit ain wonderlaand,
rondom ain wondre stad.

Ain Pronkjewail in golden raand
is Grönnen, Stad en Ommelaand;
ain Pronkjewail in golden raand
is Stad en Ommelaand!

Doar broest de zee, doar hoelt de wind,
doar soest 't aan diek en wad,
moar rustig waarkt en wuilt het volk,
het volk van Loug en Stad.

Ain Pronkjewail in golden raand
is Grönnen, Stad en Ommelaand;
ain Pronkjewail in golden raand
is Stad en Ommelaand!

Doar woont de dege degelkhaaid,
de wille, vast as stoal,
doar vuilt het haart, wat tonge sprekt,
in direct light toal.

Ain Pronkjewail in golden raand
is Grönnen, Stad en Ommelaand;
ain Pronkjewail in golden raand
is Stad en Ommelaand!

Groninger song

From the Lauwerszee to the Dollart,
from Drente to the mudflats,
a wonderful land flourishes and blooms
around the beautiful city.

A magnificent jewel with a golden edge
is Groningen, city and Ommeland;
A splendid jewel with a golden edge
is Groningen, city and Ommeland!

There the sea
rages , there the wind howls, there it roars on the dyke and mudflats,
but the people,
the people in the village and town , appear calm and create .

A magnificent jewel with a golden edge
is Groningen, city and Ommeland;
A splendid jewel with a golden edge
is Groningen, Stadt and Ommeland

There lives solid solidity,
the will, hard as steel,
there the heart feels what the tongue speaks
with a direct, simple word.

A magnificent jewel with a golden edge
is Groningen, city and Ommeland;
A splendid jewel with a golden edge
is Groningen, city and Ommeland!



  • Wiebe Jannes Formsma, Riektje Annie Luitjens-Dijkveld Stol, Adolf Pathuis: De Ommelander borgen en steenhuizen . Van Gorcum, Assen 1973, ISBN 90-232-1047-6 .
  • Beno Hofman: De Groningse geschiedenis in more than 100 behaved . Van Gennep, Amsterdam 2004, ISBN 90-5515-467-9 .
  • Tony van der Meulen: Oude kerken in Groningen . Bosch en Keuning, Baarn 1979, ISBN 90-246-4321-X .

Web links

Commons : Groningen (Province)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Religieuze betrokkenheid; kerkelijke gezindte; regio. CBS , December 22, 2016, accessed November 19, 2018 (Dutch).
  2. Jan Frans Joseph van den Broek: Groningen, een stad apart . van Gorcum, Assen 2007, p. 288.
  3. ^ Karl Heinrich Ludwig Pölitz : The Constitutions of the European States for the Last 25 Years , Volume 2, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1817, p. 495 ( Google Books )
  4. Provinciale Staten 20 March 2019. In: Kiesraad , accessed May 1, 2019 (Dutch).
  5. Provinciale Staten 18 March 2015. In: Kiesraad , accessed May 1, 2019 (Dutch).
  6. Arjan Meesterburrie: Zes partijen sluiten akkoord over nieuw provinciebestuur Groningen. In: NRC Handelsblad . De Persgroep , May 20, 2019, accessed May 25, 2019 (Dutch).
  7. Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand . In: StatLine . Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (Dutch)
  8. Eurostat yearbook of the regions 2014 : ( Chapter 5: Economy ; PDF, 18 pages, approx. 2.0 MB) and ( Eurostat source data for Chapter 5: Economy ; XLS format, approx. 536 kB), ISBN 978-92 -79-11695-7 , ISSN  1830-9690 (English)
  9. Unemployment rate, by NUTS 2 regions. Retrieved November 5, 2018 .
  10. Jane Whaley: The Groningen Gas Field. GEO ExPro Magazine, 2009 ; accessed on January 9, 2018
  11. Belang van Groningen-Gasveld. ; accessed on January 9, 2018
  12. Aardbevingen door gas winning. ; accessed on January 10, 2018
  13. Seismology: Aardbevingen. ; accessed on January 9, 2018
  14. Groningen natural gas field - 90,000 buildings at risk., November 23, 2015 ; accessed on January 10, 2018
  15. Markzware aardbeving in Groningse Zeerijp., January 8, 2018 ; accessed on January 9, 2018
  16. ( Memento from March 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ( Memento from April 14, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Onderzoeksprogramma Groningen , ; accessed on January 9, 2018
  19. Markzware aardbeving in Groningse Zeerijp., January 8, 2018 ; accessed on January 9, 2018
  20. ENVIRONMENT: Strong earthquake shakes Groningen., January 9, 2018 ; accessed on January 10, 2018
  21. Netherlands cut gas production: government wants to improve security, March 30, 2018, accessed March 31, 2018.
  22. Cabinet: einde aan gaswinning in Groningen, March 29, 2018, accessed March 31, 2018.
  23. Grunnen's Volkslaid. . Retrieved May 6, 2019.