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{land, century, early}
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About this sound Wageningen is a municipality and a historical town in the central Netherlands, in the province of Gelderland. It is famous for Wageningen University, which specializes in life sciences. The city has 36,224 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2009), of which many thousands are students. The university and associated institutes, now consolidated in Wageningen University and Research Center (WUR), employs about 7400 people. Wageningen also is the central city in Food Valley. Food Valley is the Dutch food & nutrition cluster concentrated around WUR and comprising many institutes, companies and state-of-the-art facilities in the food & nutrition field. Food Valley is regarded as the largest food & nutrition Research & Development cluster in the world. The current mayor of Wageningen is mr. Geert van Rumund.



Wageningen is situated on the north bank of the Lower Rhine, ("Nederrijn" in Dutch) and at the border between the Gelderse valley and the Veluwe, of which the southwest hill is called the Wageningse berg. Wageningen can be reached by car from highways A12, A15 and A50, and from railroad station Ede-Wageningen where a 15 minute bus drive connects to the central bus station in the town center.

Founding of the city

The oldest known settlements in the Wageningen area were located north of today's town centre. They were mentioned as early as 828. During the early Middle Ages a small church was built on the hill east of the town. Several wood farms have been found near the top of the hill. In the twelfth century people settled at what is currently the Bergstraat. Close to Hotel de Wereld a stone floor has been found dating back to this period. After the construction of a dike to protect the city from the acidic water from the moors that then occupied the Gelderse Vallei (the current Hoogstraat), the oldest part of the present city was built to the south. The parts of the city north of the Hoogstraat were built later. Wageningen received city rights in 1263. The city was protected by a city wall and a ditch, and in 1526 a castle was built. The castle was dismantled during the 18th century, but the foundations of three of the towers and part of the wall remain visible today.

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