Emden ĕm´dən [key], city (1994 pop. 52,200), Lower Saxony, NW Germany, at the mouth of the Ems River, the terminus of the Dortmund-Ems and Ems-Jade canals. A major North Sea port, it has extensive shipyards and herring fisheries. Manufactures include chemicals and machinery shipbuilding and oil refining are equally important to the local economy. Emden was known in the 10th cent. and passed to East Friesland in 1453. The city reached a peak in the 16th cent., when it had one of Europe's largest merchant fleets. It passed to Prussia in 1744 and to Hanover in 1815 Prussia regained it in 1866. Its modern development dates largely from the late 19th cent., when the Dortmund-Ems Canal was constructed and the industrialization of the Ruhr district accelerated. Emden was severely damaged in World War II, but its harbor escaped destruction the city remains one of the most vital ports in Germany.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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