Population (1 Jan 2003): 18.497; area: 22,24 km2.
The origin of the name of Winschoten is not known but it has received nicknames. One of these is Molenstad (or Milltown). It has also been known, in living memory, as Sodom. This name arose out of the Jewish community who were scandalised by the immoral behaviour of their Gentile neighbours. The inhabitants are also called Tellerlikkers (plate lickers).
Winschoten was the capital of the Oldambt district, in a fertile agricultural region. Winschoten received city rights in 1825. It was the last town in the Netherlands to be granted such rights and it was more of a symbolic gesture. The town flag has three horizontal stripes of blue and white, in ratio 1:3:1, on the white stripe is a red outline plan of a fortress with nine embattlements. It was adopted 23 May 1973 by municipal resolution. The coat of arms is an image of Saint Vitus, whose name can also be recognized in lots of streetnames, schoolnames names of clubs, etc.
Winschoten has a railway station on the line from Groningen to Leer (in Germany) and a road connection to the rest of the Netherlands via the A7 motorway. The railway station was inaugurated 1 May 1868 to service the Groningen - Winschoten - Nieuweschans line. This was the second brought into use by the Company for the Exploitation of State Railways (Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Staatsspoorwegen (MESS)) and part of the route from Harlingen, Friesland, to Nieuweschans (built 1863-1868). Today this route is operated by Arriva.
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