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Delfzijl is a city and municipality with a population of 25,651 in the province of Groningen in the northeast of the Netherlands. Delfzijl was a sluice between the Delf and the Ems, which became fortified settlement in the 16th century. The fortifications were removed in the late 19th century. Delfzijl is the fifth largest seaport in the Netherlands.EtymologyThe name Delfzijl means 'sluice of the Delf'. The Delf was a canal connecting the rivers Fivel and Ems, which is now part of the Damsterdiep. The Dutch verb delven means 'to dig' and the Dutch noun zijl means 'water outlet' or 'sluice'.HistoryDelfzijl was established at the location where three sluices were connected. In 1317, a sluice was built in the Delf, a canal which is now part of the Damsterdiep.In 1580, a square sconce and a church were built in Delfzijl. In 1591, the fortification was expanded with six bastions. The fortification and the sluices were damaged during the Christmas Flood of 1717. In 1813–1814, the French held the city, while it was under siege by the Dutch. The fortifications were removed in 1875.
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