Groningen ,.I. A N. E. province of the Netherlands, bordering on the North sea and the estuary of the Ems, Prussia, and the provinces of Drenthe and Friesland; area, 885 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 234,903. The surface is generally level, and in some places marshy. The climate is humid and unhealthy. The soil is very fertile, and is watered by numerous rivers and canals. The productions are corn, potatoes, butter, cheese, coal, flax seed, honey, wool, seeds, fruits, pigs, and cattle, which form the great exports from the province. It is divided into the districts of Groningen, Winschoten, and Appingadam. II. A city, capital of the province, at the junction of the Aa and the Hunse, 92 m. N. E. of Amsterdam; pop. in 1870, 38,258. The streets are traversed by canals, bordered with trees and crossed by 18 bridges. The principal public edifice is the province house, a large Gothic structure completed in 1810. It has a university which was established in 1614, academies of design, of architecture, and of navigation, several learned associations, manufactories of paper, brushes, linen, and woollens, and a considerable trade in corn, butter, cheese, cattle, and wool. About 600 vessels arrive at and leave the port annually.
Canals connect the town with the Dol-lart and the Zuyder Zee. - Groningen appears as a village in the 9th century, when the surrounding territory belonged to Friesland. In the 10th century it was annexed to the German empire, and was subsequently governed by imperial burgraves. Having become a free city, it joined the Hanse league. Maximilian I. bestowed the hereditary governorship of the city and country on the dukes of Saxony. The people revolted, and after a struggle placed themselves under the protection of the duke of Gelderland, who subsequently became a vassal of Charles V. The province joined the league of Utrecht in 1579. The capital was repeatedly besieged during the Dutch war of independence, Maurice of Nassau capturing it in 1594.