Nassau


Nassau
/nas"aw/; for 2, 3, also Ger. /nah"sow/, n.
1. a seaport on New Providence Island: capital of the Bahamas; seaside resort. 100,000.
2. a district in central Germany: formerly a duchy, now a part of Hesse.
3. a member of a European royal family that ruled chiefly in Germany and the Netherlands until the 19th century.
4. Golf. an eighteen-hole match in which one point each is awarded to the players having the lowest score for the first nine holes, for the second nine holes, and for the entire round.

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I
City (pop., 1999 est.: 214,000), capital of The Bahamas.

Located on the northeastern coast of New Providence island, it was settled by the English in the 17th century and became a rendezvous for pirates in the 18th century. Forts were built there to ward off attacks by encroaching Spaniards. During the American Civil War, it became a base for Confederate blockade runners. It is now a popular resort; its economy is based on tourism.
II
Historical region of Germany, former duchy, western part of modern Hesse.

It is a thickly forested and hilly area north and east of the Rhine, crossed by the Lahn River and the Taunus Mountains. The title "Count of Nassau" was first assumed in the 12th century. Nassau joined the Confederation of the Rhine and became a duchy in 1806. It was annexed by Prussia in 1866. The present-day royal heads of The Netherlands and Luxembourg are descended from this family, called the house of Nassau.
III
(as used in expressions)
Johan Maurits van Nassau
Maurits prince van Oranje count van Nassau

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originally called  Charles Town 
  capital of The Bahamas (Bahamas, The), a port on the northeastern coast of New Providence Island, and one of the world's chief pleasure resorts. The climate is temperate and the sandy beaches and scenery are beautiful. Although the city proper is comparatively small, suburbs and residential districts stretch far along the coast and into the interior.

      It was established as Charles Towne in the mid-17th century and took its present name in the 1690s from a family name of King William III of England, but it was not laid out until 1729. Notable buildings include three old forts; Government House (1803–06), a pink-and-white mansion overlooking the city; the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral (1837); the octagonal Nassau Public Library (1797); and the government buildings around Parliament Square in the city centre.

      Offshore, at the eastern end of the harbour, are marine gardens; glass-bottomed boats are available for underwater sightseeing. Nassau's spectacular natural vegetation includes scarlet poinciana trees, poinsettias, and purple bougainvillea. The Ardastra Gardens and Zoo, west of the city, contain flamingos and many rare tropical plants. Paradise Island, a luxury tourist resort with high-rise hotels and casinos, was developed in the 1960s and is connected with Nassau by two bridges, one a toll bridge. It shelters Nassau's excellent natural harbour, which can accommodate cruise ships of all sizes.

      Nassau is a tourist and international-banking centre. Domestic exports include crawfish (spiny lobster), other seafood, fruit and vegetables, rum, and crude salt. The College of the Bahamas was established in 1974. Nassau is reached by international sea or air routes and has local service to other islands. Pop. (2002) 179,300.

      county, southeastern New York state, U.S., on central Long Island just east of the borough (and county) of Queens, New York City. It consists of a coastal lowland region bordered to the north by Long Island Sound and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. Embayments along the north shore include Manhasset and Oyster bays, while a string of barrier islands on the Atlantic coast enclose such bodies of water as East and South Oyster bays. Parklands include Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Bethpage, Hempstead Lake, and Jones Beach state parks.

       Delaware Indians occupied the area when Dutch and English settlers arrived in the first half of the 17th century. By the Treaty of Hartford (1650), the territory west of a line drawn from Oyster Bay southward to the Atlantic was given to the Dutch, only to become part of the English province of New York in 1664. The area was occupied by the British during the U.S. War of Independence (American Revolution) and was again subject to British harassment during the War of 1812 (1812, War of). The region grew rapidly with the coming of the railroad in the 1840s, as numerous (often fashionable) suburban residential communities developed. Nassau county was created from Queens county in 1899 and named for the family of William III of England. Mineola is the county seat.

      The county is divided administratively into three towns, or townships ( Hempstead, North Hempstead, and Oyster Bay). Notable communities include the city of Long Beach, the villages of Garden City and Great Neck, and the planned community of Levittown. Hofstra University (founded 1935) in Hempstead, the State University of New York College at Old Westbury (1965), and the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point (1938; dedicated 1943) are the major institutions of higher education. Landmarks include Sagamore Hill, the former home of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (Roosevelt, Theodore) and now a national historic site.

      The economy is based on wholesale and retail trade and services (notably finance and health services). Area 287 square miles (743 square km). Pop. (2000) 1,334,544; (2007 est.) 1,306,533.

▪ historical region, Germany
Introduction

      historical region of Germany, and the noble family that provided its hereditary rulers for many centuries. The present-day royal heads of The Netherlands and Luxembourg are descended from this family, called the house of Nassau.

      The region of Nassau is located in what is now the western part of the Land (state) of Hesse and the Westerwald Kreis (district) of Rhineland-Palatinate, in western Germany. The Lahn River divides Nassau roughly into two halves: in the south are the Taunus Mountains; in the north lies the Westerwald.

      By the 12th century the local counts of Laurenburg had established themselves near the town of Nassau, and Walram (d. 1198) was the first of them to assume the title count of Nassau. His grandsons divided the inheritance: Walram II took the southern portion of Nassau, and Otto I took the northern portion.

Walramian Nassau.
      Walram II's son, Adolf of Nassau, was the German king from 1292 to 1298. Adolf's descendants, however, partitioned their lands, and by the late 18th century the Walramian inheritance was divided between the Nassau-Weilburg and Nassau-Usingen branches. In 1801 Napoleonic France acquired the Walramians' lands west of the Rhine; in 1803 the branches of Nassau-Weilburg and Nassau-Usingen reunited and received considerable additions of territory in compensation from France. Walramian Nassau entered Napoleon I's Confederation of the Rhine in 1806, and a cession of territory to the grand duchy of Berg that year was balanced by additions, mainly from Ottonian Nassau. Walramian Nassau was also made a duchy at this time. The extinction of the Usingen line in 1816 made William of Weilburg sole duke of Nassau. By supporting the losing Austrian side in the Seven Weeks' War (1866), William's successor, Duke Adolf, lost the duchy to Prussia; thereafter, it formed most of the Wiesbaden district of Prussia's Hesse-Nassau province.

Ottonian Nassau.
      Otto I's descendants also indulged in partitions and subdivisions, and one branch of the family acquired extensive Dutch territories, becoming known as the Nassau-Dillenburg-Breda branch. Upon the death of the last ruler of this branch in 1544, a cousin, William of Nassau (the future William I the Silent, prince of Orange), inherited the branch's Dutch principality of Orange, and members of this line were henceforth called princes of Orange-Nassau. William the Silent was the founder of the dynasty of hereditary stadholders who were prominent in the Netherlands in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. When William's direct male line became extinct upon the death of King William III of England in 1702, the Ottonians' possessions in both the Netherlands and Nassau passed to Count John William Friso of the Ottonian branch of Nassau-Dietz. The Nassau-Dietz branch eventually reunited the Ottonians' partitioned German territories in the 18th century.

      The Ottonian ruler William VI of Orange lost his German possessions to Napoleon in 1806 but was awarded Luxembourg by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 in compensation. William VI also succeeded to the kingdom of The Netherlands as King William I in that year. His descendants (including female descendants) still reign in The Netherlands today with the princely title of Orange-Nassau. When the Ottonian branch became extinct in the male line with the death of William III in 1890, his daughter, Wilhelmina, became queen of The Netherlands while Luxembourg passed to Duke Adolf of Nassau, a member of the Walramian branch of the house of Nassau. The Walramian line is still the ruling house of the grand duchy of Luxembourg.

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Universalium. 2010.

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