Assen is the capital of the province of Drenthe with round about 67.000 inhabitans.
The history of the capital of Drenthe can be traced back to at least 1258, when a new location had to be found for Marienkamp Abbey, which had originally been built near Coevorden.
The history of the city is connected with the provincial governing board: around 1600 the abbey property was secularised. Marienkamp no longer existed, but the buildings did. Because of the central position of Assen and the fact that the government from what was then called de Landschap Drenthe (the Landscape Drenthe) was searching for a location for the government and civil servants, Assen became the seat for, and thus practically also the capital of Drenthe.
Assen has been an official city since 1809. After Coevorden, then a village of about sixteen hundred people, Assen became the second place in Drenthe with city rights, granted by King Louis Napoleon, who had big plans for the village. A plan to make it a city was set up at the time, but the Kingdom of the Netherlands was incorporated into Napoleon Bonaparte's French Empire and the plans were abandoned.
Berths in "De Vaart" Assen