The city of Assen, currently with about 62,000 inhabitants, was founded in the 13th century as a small village near a monastery. During the period of the Dutch Republic, Assen became the seat of the government of the province of Drenthe, and with the new constitution of 1814, it became the official capital of this province. As an administrative center, it also houses a court of justice and a record office. The provincial museum has a spectacular collection of prehistoricand archaeological objects and a fine collection of paintings from the turn of the 20th century. Assen is also the seat of the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM, Dutch Oil Company), founded in 1947, now a possession of Shelland ExxonMobil (50 percent each). Since 1925, the city holds an annual international Tourist Trophy (TT) motorcycle race.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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