Doors to the local power
My thirtieth first entry to Norms Thursday Doors. Historic doors. The door of the cityhall of Zuthpen.
About 300 AD a Germanic settlement was the first permanent town on a complex of low river dunes. Whereas many such settlements were abandoned in the early Middle Ages, Zutphen on its strategic confluence of IJssel and Berkel stayed. After the incorporation of the IJssel lands in Charlemagne’s Francia, Zutphen became a local centre of governance under a count. The Normans raided and ravaged it in 882. Afterwards a circular fortress was built to protect the budding town against Viking attacks.
In the eleventh century Zutphen was a royal residence for a number of years; a pfalz was built, together with a large chapter church, the predecessor of the present St. Walburgis. The counts of Zutphen acquired a lot of power, until the line of counts became extinct in the twelfth century. After the death of her father and her brother, Ermgard, the heiress of Zutphen married the count of Guelders; her son Henry I, Count of Guelders was the first to wear both titles.
The settlement received town rights between 1191 and 1196, making it one of the oldest towns in the country. This allowed it to self govern and have a judicial court. Only Utrecht, and Deventer preceded it in receiving town rights. Zutphen, in turn, became the mother town of several other towns in Guelders, such as Arnhem, Doetinchem, Doesburg, Lochem, Harderwijk, Venlo and Emmerich. It also became part of the Hanseatic League, a group of towns with great wealth; this league was the economic centre in that part of Europe.