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Drenthe is a province of the Netherlands, located in the north-east of the country. The capital city is Assen. It is bordered by Overijssel in the south, Friesland in the west, Groningen in the north, and Germany in the east.

Province of the Netherlands
Queen's CommissionerRelus ter Beek
 - Total
 - % water
2,756.97 kmē
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
AnthemMijn Drenthe

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Municipalities
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 External links


Throughout history, Drenthe has been a sparsely populated and mostly rural area, which has caused it to be an often undervalued or even ignored part of the Netherlands. Nevertheless, Drenthe has been populated since the prehistory. Most tangible evidence of this are the dolmens (hunebedden), built around 3500 B.C. 52 of the 54 dolmens in the Netherlands can be found in Drenthe, concentrated in the northeast of the province.

After long being subject to the bishops of Utrecht, it came under control of Charles V in the 16th century. When the Republic of the Seven United Provinces was declared, Drenthe became part of it, although it did not gain provincial status until January 1, 1796.

During the Second World War, the German occupiers built a concentration camp near the town of Westerbork, where Dutch Jews were imprisoned before transportation to other camps in Germany and Poland.


The provincial council (Provinciale Staten) has 51 seats, and is headed by the Queen's Commissioner, currently Relus ter Beek. While the provincial council is elected by the inhabitants, the Commissioner is appointed by the Queen and the cabinet of the Netherlands. With 19 seats, the socialist 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.


Due to reorganisations in the 1990s, the number of municipalities in Drenthe has been reduced to twelve. Most municipalities therefore now consist of several towns and villages.


Besides the capital Assen, Emmen and Hoogeveen are the major urban centres of the province. Drenthe, consisting mostly of heathland, has no significant rivers or lakes.


Agriculture is an important employer, although industrial areas are found near the cities. The quietness of the province is also attracting a growing number of tourists.

External links

Drenthe | Flevoland | Friesland | Gelderland | Groningen | Limburg | North Brabant | North Holland | Overijssel | South Holland | Utrecht | Zeeland