Meppel is a city and the same municipality in the far southwest of the province of Drenthe. The municipality has about 33,000 inhabitants and is - with the area of 58 km2 - the smallest municipality of Drenthe. In 2007, Meppel was elected to the Millennium Council. The waters passing through the center of Meppel are called canals. Partly because of the names of Heerengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, the city is sometimes called the Mokum of the North. For other reasons, Meppel is compared to Amsterdam. For centuries there have been ties between both cities, and the Jewish community before the Second World War was richly represented in Meppel. Meppel's inhabitants are also called "Meppeler mosquitoes" or mosquito sprayers, following a popular story, known across several places in the world. The story goes that one night some residents thought the church tower was on fire because a smoke cloud hung around the Meppeler tower, but it turned out to be a swarm of flies or mosquitoes. In 1971 a statue of this folk story, of Aart van den IJssel, was published in Meppel. The Wilhelminapark is Meppel's oldest park and is close to the station. It was designed in 1914 and called the 'Hiking Park' until it was renamed Wilhelminapark in 1930 on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Queen Wilhelmina. Meppel is a small town, but it has relatively many sights. This is partly due to the rich trading history of the city. Although many old buildings have broken down, there is quite a lot to see in Meppel, such as the Great Church (or Mariakerk), the Water Tower, the Mill De Weert and the Mill De Vlijt.