Utrecht

History

A brief history of Utrecht

47 AD – Castellum Traiectum
Around the start of the Common Era, the Romans expand their empire to the Rhine delta and the areas along the Elbe. In the year 47 AD, Roman emperor Claudius decides that the River Rhine is to become the northern border of the empire. The border, also called Limes, is protected with fortresses. At a fordable place along the Rhine they build the Castellum Traiectum, which will later become Utrecht.
AD 695 - Willibrord arrives in Utrecht

In 695 the Anglo-Saxon missionary Willibrord settles in Utrecht. Here he helps build a stone church which he dedicates to St. Martin and founds a second church, the St. Salvator. Willibrord, who had been initiated as Bishop of the Frisians by Pope Sergius I, now tries to convert Frisians while in Utrecht. As a cathedral city Utrecht later grew to be the most important ecclesiastical centre of the northern Netherlands.
857 AD – Vikings attack Utrecht
In 857 AD Vikings reach Utrecht during a pillaging journey. During their attack they destroy the town’s gates and walls, and they kill civilians and clergymen at the bishop’s court. The bishop himself narrowly escapes to the Frankish king Lothar. The Vikings use Utrecht as base of operation for plundering the city’s surroundings.
1122 – Holy Roman Emperor Henry V grants Utrecht a charter

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