gemeente (municipality), north-central Netherlands, on the Zwarte Water (river). Chartered in 1230, it was a member of the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages and a stronghold until its ramparts were destroyed in 1674 during the Anglo-Dutch Wars. It is now a commercial centre and rail junction at the intersection of the northern and eastern Dutch canal systems. Industries include shipbuilding and transport, graphics, and the manufacture of metal products
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