Sites & cities that bear the name of Dorestad


Today in : Netherlands
First trace of activity : ca. 7th century C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 9th century C.E
Recorded names : Dorestat, Duristat, Wijk bij Duurstede

Description : Dorestad (Dorestat, Duristat) was an early medieval emporium, located in the southeast of the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands, close to the modern-day town of Wijk bij Duurstede. It flourished during the 8th to early 9th centuries, as an important port on the northeastern shipping routes due to its proximity to the fork in the Rhine, with access to Germany via the Nederrijn (the northernmost branch of the Rhine), to the southern Netherlands, northern France, and England (via the Lek), and to the northern Netherlands, northern Germany, and Scandinavia (via the Kromme Rijn). The township was established at the base of the former Roman fortress of Levefanum in the 7th century. The Frankish Carolingian Empire and the Frisians fought for control of the territory, until the Franks gained control of the Frisian Coast in 719. Dorestad flourished between the 7th century and the mid-9th century. The settlement was well known for minting coins under the control of several Frankish rulers. In the 7th century, it was clear that Dorestad had the potential to become a major port. It was the meeting point for traders at the time. As a result, the Franks and the Frisians fought over control of the township. The Franks won out at the end of the 7th century and closely monitored the growth of Dorestad, which led to Dorestad's economic expansion via international trade and the establishment of a mint in the Upper town. It is assumed that there was a toll as well as harbour fees, collected by the king's representatives at Dorestad. Over time, many coins have been discovered in the Dorestad area, supporting the idea of rapid growth and control of the harbour as well as the presence of a mint. Many of the coins that have been discovered bear resemblance to other Frankish coins of the period. The numismatic evidence supports the victory of the Franks over the Frisians.

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