town netherlands century church
GRONINGEN, a town of the Netherlands, in the province of the same name, is situated on the Hunse at the influx of the Aa, 451 miles in an eastward direction from Harlingen. The central and more ancient part of the town is still surrounded by the old ditch, and communication is maintained with the outer portions by eighteen bridges. In the centre of the old town lies a group of open places, of which the greatest, the Breedemarkt, is one of the most spacious in the Netherlands. Five of the principal streets bear the name of as many ancient families - the Boterings, the Ebbings, the Gelkings, the Huddings, and the Folkings. Among the public buildings of Groningen the town-house (Radhuis) is one of the finest. It was built between 1793 and 1810 according to the plans of Jacob Otten Husley, and was extended in 1873. The administrative offices of the province of Groningen also occupy a fine building, which received a splendid front in 1870-1871. The provincial court of justice, transformed in the middle of the 18th century ; the corn exchange, dating from 1825 ; and the weigh-house, completed in 1874; the so-called Ommelanderhuis, or house formerly devoted to the administration of the surrounding district ; the civil and military prison ; and the arsenal, are also all worthy of mention. There are twelve churches in Groningen, including two for the Roman Catholics, and five for the Reformed Church of the Netherlands, as well as a Jewish synagogue. St Martin's, the Aa Church, and the New Church (all Reformed) are the principal. Of these the first is a Gothic building founded in 1253, and the last dates from the 17th century. The university of Groningen was founded in 1614, and its buildings were erected in 1847-1850. According to the Annales Academici (Leyden, 1877), the number of the students in 1874 was only 173, the strongest faculty being that of the physical sciences with 57. It has a library, an observatory, botanical gardens, an antiquarian museum, and a hospital among its auxiliary establishments. A fine deaf and dumb institution, founded by Henri Daniel Guyot, a gymnasium, a normal college, a school of navigation, a school of design, and a musical school are among the secondary educational establishments. A. society pro excolendo jure patris has been in existence since 1761 ; an academy of fine arts was formed in 1830 by the incorporation of two older societies of similar character ; and the same year saw the formal establishment of the society for the advancement of natural numerous goldsmiths and silversmiths. In 1840 the town and the suburbs comprised a population of 31,782. In 1870 the number of people in the commune, including 1248 on shipboard, was 37,894, and four years later it had increased to 39,284.
Mention is made of the Villa Cruoninga in a deed of gift from Henry III. to the church of Utrecht in 1040. In 1110 the town was surrounded with walls, but the bishop of Utrecht caused them to be dismantled in 1112, and it was not till 1255 that the defences began to be restored. The compass of the town, which at this time was about 13,000 feet, received considerable extension in 1469, when the walls were strengthened with six massive towers, and a ditch was dug. A further increase of defensive capabilities was effected in the course of the Gueldres war of 1514-36, and again under William Louis of Nassau between 1608 and 1624. The early history of Groningen consists mainly of struggles with the bishops of Utrecht. In the course of the 13th century there is evidence that the commercial activity of its population was finding outlet in various directions, and in the 14th it attained to no small political influence as the chief city of Friesland. Maximilian I. assigned Groningen to Albert of Saxony, but the citizens preferred to accept the protection of the bishop of Utrecht ; and when Albert's son George attempted in 1505 to seize the town, they recognized the lordship of Edzart of East Frisia. On George's renewal of hostilities they transferred their allegiance to Duke Charles of Guelderland, and his position was sanctioned in 1515 by the emperor Charles V. In the course of the great wars of the 16th century the city had an eventful history, passing from hand to hand, and suffering all the miseries of siege and military occupation ; but at length, in 1594, it was finally secured for the United Netherlands by Prince Maurice of Nassau. The dissensions between the citizens proper and the inhabitants of the " Ommelanden " continued, however, in spite of the decree of the states in 1597, which was intended to set them at rest. In 1672 the town was besieged by the bishop of Mfinster, but it was successfully defended, and in 1698 its fortifications were improved under Coehorn's direction. The French republicans planted. their tree of liberty in the Great Market on February 14, 1795, and they continued in authority till 16th November 1814. The fortifications of the city were doomed to destruction by the law of 18th April 1874. Among the numerous men of mark who have been natives of Groningen it is enough to mention J. D. Bernoulli the mathematician, Surenhusius and Schultens the Orientalists, and Hemsterhuis the philologist.
See Oadlteden, en Gestichten van 07'0714119'CM apt het Latijn vertaald, door H. V. R., Leyden, 1724; ICronyk, van Groningen tattle Oneme&mien tot op de:en Jaare 1743, Groningen, 1743; E. J. D. Lorgion, Ges]tieclkunclige Besehnjving der Stud Groningen, Groningen, 1852-57; Album der Stad Groningen, Groningen, 1860 ; Wynne, Handel en Ontwikkeling von Stud en Provincie Groningen, Groningen, 1865 ; Theodor Wenzelberker, in Ersch and Gruber 's Encyclopedic, sub voee, 1872 ; Witkamp, Aardrijkskundig IVoordenboek, 1877.