Location in Drenthe
|o Body||Municipal council|
|o Mayor||Eric van Oosterhout (PvdA)|
|o Total||346.26 km2 (133.69 sq mi)|
|o Land||335.18 km2 (129.41 sq mi)|
|o Water||11.08 km2 (4.28 sq mi)|
|Elevation||23 m (75 ft)|
|o Density||320/km2 (800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Parts of 7700 and 7800 range
|Area code||0524, 0591|
A prime example of a planned city, Emmen arose from several small farming and peat-harvesting communities which have dotted the province of Drenthe since the Middle Ages. Traces of these communities can still be seen in the form of the villages of Westenesch, Noordbarge and Zuidbarge: they have a separate history and layout, but are surrounded by the suburbs and the centre of Emmen.
The expansion of the town did not happen until after the Second World War. Suburbs were built around the old centre of Emmen, starting with Emmermeer directly to the north, and followed to the south-east by Angelslo (for which an old village of the same name was demolished), Emmerhout (famed at the time for being separated from the town by an existing forest) to the east, Bargeres, the Rietlanden and Parc Sandur to the south and south-west. Construction of the last suburb, called Delftlanden, is well underway with a large number of homes already built and people living in the area.
There are few historic landmarks left within the town, but those few include the church on the market square, where a church has been standing since the Middle Ages, the court of law building, dating from the beginning of the twentieth century, and the post office from the same time. In the town's environs an earthwork by Robert Smithson, "Broken Circle/Spiral Hill", may be found.
In 1957 it hosted the 1st Women's Chess Olympiad.
The prime economic booster since the 1980s has been the zoo, the Dierenpark Emmen. Begun in the 1930s, it was almost completely redesigned in the 1970s, and is now co-owned by the municipality of Emmen. It attracts over 1.5 million visitors per year. It was replaced by Wildlands in 2016, when the old zoo closed. Important industries include Teijin Aramid, DSM Engineering Plastics, Wellman and Diolen Industrial Fibers. There are extensive glasshouse complexes for horticulture, especially in the Klazienaveen-Erica area. The municipality offers some 38,000 jobs.
Emmen is the most populous urban area of Drenthe. The municipality of Emmen is one of the largest in the Netherlands, although the area outside the town borders of Emmen is rather rural. The other villages of importance are Emmer-Compascuum, Klazienaveen, Nieuw-Amsterdam and Schoonebeek.
The population centres:
The municipality of Emmen has some 107,000 inhabitants, with 56,000 living in the city of Emmen. Compared to some 3,000 inhabitants in the nineteenth century, this illustrates the rapid growth of Emmen in the past 150 years.
Every year a big cycle racing criterium called Gouden Pijl, where all the big names in bicycle sport come to Emmen for this event. Besides the bicycle race itself the Gouden Pijl also includes cultural events like pop-concerts etc. In 2008 the comeback concert of The Schizo's, the infamous local punk-band from the 1980s, was organised during the Gouden Pijl.
Speedway Emmen hosts regular Stock Car and Banger Racing
Emmen is served by one train connection with Zwolle, which in turn leads to the rest of the country.
In addition, there are regular and frequent bus lines within Emmen and towards Groningen, Hoogeveen and Assen, as well as the surrounding countryside, and Meppen in Germany, departing from Emmen's two bus terminals.
By car, the town is accessible via the N34 from Ommen via Hardenberg and Coevorden towards Emmen, ending at the A28 motorway (Netherlands) towards Groningen near de Punt, the N381 to Drachten, the N391 to Veendam which goes through Emmen (with access to almost every district) and the A37 from Hoogeveen to Meppen in Germany, although this motorway is not directly next to Emmen. From the A37 to Emmen there are three possibilities: at Junction Holsloot (A37 x N34), at Highway-exit Schoonebeek (A37 x N853), and Highway-exit Klazienaveen (A37 x N862). The A37 is also the quickest way towards the Randstad from Emmen. The A37 ends at the German border, where it continues as the B402 or European route E233.
The nearest airport is Groningen Airport Eelde at a distance of 50 kilometers.