It became a permanent French settlement in 1688, but did not rise to any importance till the time of Dupleix, during whose administration more than two thousand brick houses were erected in the town and a considerable maritime trade was carried on.
The many quaint old brick houses form the chief feature of interest in the town.
Groningen is the most important town in the north of Holland, with its fine shops and houses and wide clean streets, while brick houses of the 16th and 17th centuries help it to retain a certain old-world air.
On all sides there were waste spaces with only stoves and chimney stacks still standing, and here and there the blackened walls of some brick houses.
It is a quiet, typically Dutch town, with its old brick houses and tree-bordered canals.