Drachten (ˈdrɑxtə(n)) is a town in the northern Netherlands. It is located in the municipality of Smallingerland, Friesland. It had a population of around 45,186 in January 2017 and is the second largest town in the province of Friesland.
Drachten began as a small community on the east side of the Drait (or Dracht) river. There, early settlers started draining the land to use it for agriculture. As the process of draining progressed, residents began to move further eastward in order to use the drained land—former peatbogs—for agriculture.
Around 1200 A.D., a small stone church was built. It was used for 200 years afterward, until rising waters drove people even further east.
By 1550 the Dutch peat reserve had been exhausted. Peat had become an important source of energy, not only for private households but also for the industry. The need in the rapidly growing province of Holland during the 17th century was higher than Friesla