The origin of Assen goes back 750 years. In 1259 Cistercian nuns moved from the moors of Coevorden to higher ground in the deserted area of Assen to rebuild their Monastery. Parts of the old walls are still intact; nowadays the building accommodates the Drents Museum. Around the building a small village took root with farmers and traditional industries.
Lodewijk Napoleon gave Assen its city rights in 1809. From the Napoleonic period, Assen expanded gradually. The city was known as the northern The Hague and became the governmental centre of Drenthe. It still is the fastest growing city of the North Netherlands.
The next twenty years Assen will grow rapidly from 67.000 to 80.000 inhabitants in 2030. More people means more houses and businesses. South of the city arises a new business park. Government is working hard and investing heavily to guarantee accessibility now and in future. Roads are doubled, an extra train station will be created. At the same time the green character in and around the city must be preserved. And there will be more room for leisure and recreation.