[key], province, c.900 sq mi (2,330 sq km), NE Netherlands, bordering on
Germany in the east and the North Sea in the north. Groningen is the capital of the
province, which has both an agricultural and industrial economy. There is a
fertile coastal strip; the interior consists largely of reclaimed fenland
and peat bogs and is drained by numerous canals. Vast reserves of natural
gas were discovered there in 1961. In 1536, Charles V, the Hapsburg ruler,
added Groningen to his Netherlands possessions. During the revolt of the
Netherlands against Spain, the nobles living in the province's countryside
signed the Union of Utrecht in 1579. The capital, however, remained loyal to
the Hapsburgs until 1594.
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