Drenthe (Netherlands)

2017-04-11 09:39:03 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Drenthe is one of the three northern provinces of the Netherlands and is excellently located between the large centres of economic importance in the West-Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltics. With its beautiful landscape, dynamic economy and excellent working and recreational facilities, Drenthe is a great place to live!

The Province of Drenthe co-operates closely with the two other northern provinces, Groningen and Fryslân, in the Northern Netherlands Provinces (Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland, SNN).

The province is involved, both at home and abroad, in various different partnerships with governmental organizations that focus on stimulating economic activities. The House of the Dutch Provinces represents the interests of Drenthe in Brussels.


The name Drenthe is said to stem from *thrija-hantja meaning "three lands".

Drenthe has been populated by people since prehistory. Artifacts from the Wolstonian Stage (150,000 years ago) are among the oldest found in the Netherlands. In fact, it was one of the most densely populated areas of the Netherlands until the Bronze Age. The most tangible evidence of this are the dolmens (hunebedden) built around 3500 BC. 53 of the 54 dolmens in the Netherlands can be found in Drenthe, concentrated in the northeast of the province.

Drenthe was first mentioned in a document from 820, it was called Pago Treanth (Drenthe district). In archives from Het Utrechts Archief, from 1024 to 1025, the "county Drenthe" is mentioned, when Emperor Henry II gave it to Bishop Adalbold II of Utrecht.

After long being subject to the Utrecht diocese, Bishop Henry of Wittelsbach in 1528 ceded Drenthe to Emperor Charles V of Habsburg, who incorporated it into the Habsburg Netherlands. When the Republic of the Seven United Provinces was declared in 1581, Drenthe became part of it, although it never gained provincial status due to its poverty; the province was so poor it was exempt from paying federal taxes and as a consequence was denied representation in the States General. The successor Batavian Republic granted it provincial status on 1 January 1796.

Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, the Dutch government built a camp near the town of Hooghalen to accommodate German (Jewish) refugees. During the Second World War, the German occupiers used the camp (which they named KZ Westerbork) as a Durchgangslager (transit camp). Many Dutch Jews, Sinti, Roma, resistance combatants and political adversaries were imprisoned before being transferred to concentration and extermination camps in Germany and Poland. Anne Frank was deported on the last train leaving the Westerbork transit camp on 3 September 1944.

In the 1970s, there were four hostage crises where South Moluccan terrorists demanded an independent Republic of South Maluku. They held hostages in hijacked trains in 1975 and 1977, in a primary school in 1977, and in the province hall in 1978.


The province (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics or NUTS level 2) is divided into three COROP regions (NUTS level 3): North Drenthe, Southeast Drenthe, and Southwest Drenthe. The COROP regions are used for statistical purposes.

The Netherlands has been subject to a large amount of municipal mergers during the last decades. Drenthe is no exception; the largest concurrent merger happened in 1998, when 32 municipalities were amalgamated into 10 larger municipalities. As of 2014 Drenthe consists of 12 municipalities; Emmen is the largest municipality in terms of both population and area, Westerveld is the least populous and Meppel covers the smallest area.

The municipalities Assen, Noordenveld, and Tynaarlo are part of the interprovincial Groningen-Assen Region and the municipalities Aa en Hunze, Assen, Borger-Odoorn, Coevorden, Emmen, Midden-Drenthe, Noordenveld, and Westerveld are part of the international Ems Dollart Region (EDR).

Business Climate

Besides trade, the major economic mainstays of this vital and dynamic region are formed by industry and the service industries. Drenthe has a relatively large number of small and medium sized enterprises. Creative and innovative entrepreneurs enjoy economic success in the fields of bio-based fibre and medical instrument production, plastics industry, agribusiness, and tourism. Cluster development is encouraged. There are growing business clusters relating to smart industry and the ‘green’ chemical industry, for example.

Drenthe has a broad range of high-quality business parks, high-profile locations and industrial estates with excellent facilities, locations along waterways and office complexes. They are all easily accessed, both logistically and digitally, and available at very attractive land prices.


The States of Drenthe have 41 seats, and is headed by the King's Commissioner, currently Jacques Tichelaar. While the provincial council is elected by the people of Drenthe, the Commissioner is appointed by the King and the cabinet of the Netherlands. With 12 seats, the social democratic PvdA is the largest party in the council. The daily affairs of the province are taken care of by the Gedeputeerde Staten, which are also headed by the Commissioner; its members (gedeputeerden) can be compared with ministers.


With its splendid cultural landscape and beautiful nature, Drenthe has a lot to offer. There are prehistoric remains, including megalithic monuments, the first Unesco Global Geopark in the Netherlands and no less than three National Parks. And then of course, there are top attractions such as the motorbike races at the TT Circuit in Assen, Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen, Plopsa Indoor Coevorden, the Drents Museum in Assen and the Gevangenismuseum (Prison Museum) in Veenhuizen. Drenthe also offers plenty of possibilities for those seeking active recreation as there are many hiking, horse-riding and cycling routes, and golf courses.

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