Fort Bourtange was initially built during the Eighty Years' War (circa 1568–1648) when William I of Orange wanted to control the only road between Germany and the city of Groningen which was controlled by the Spanish. This road followed a sandy ridge (tange) through the marshes (the Bourtange Swamp).
Around 1960 living conditions in the village deteriorated and it was decided that Bourtange would be rebuilt to its state of 1740-1750. Today it is an open-air museum. In 2001, the town of Bourtange had 267 inhabitants. The built-up area of the town was 0.21 km², and contained 133 residences. The statistical area "Bourtange", which also can include the surrounding countryside, has a population of around 530.
The former synagogue (now a museum)
- CBS Statline
- Ad van der Meer and Onno Boonstra, "Repertorium van Nederlandse gemeenten", KNAW, 2006.
- "Vesting Bourtange". Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Bevolkingskernen in Nederland 2001. (Statistics are for the continuous built-up area).
- Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Statline: Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2003-2005. As of 1 January 2005.
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