Emden ĕm´dən [key], city (1994 pop. 52,200), Lower Saxony, NW Germany, at the mouth of the Ems River, the terminus of the Dortmund-Ems and Ems-Jade canals. A major North Sea port, it has extensive shipyards and herring fisheries. Manufactures include chemicals and machinery; shipbuilding and oil refining are equally important to the local economy. Emden was known in the 10th cent. and passed to East Friesland in 1453. The city reached a peak in the 16th cent., when it had one of Europe's largest merchant fleets. It passed to Prussia in 1744 and to Hanover in 1815; Prussia regained it in 1866. Its modern development dates largely from the late 19th cent., when the Dortmund-Ems Canal was constructed and the industrialization of the Ruhr district accelerated. Emden was severely damaged in World War II, but its harbor escaped destruction; the city remains one of the most vital ports in Germany.

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