Cycle route Dorestad
Wijk bij Duurstede, Culemborg, Schalwijk
From the late 7th century to the mid-9th century, Dorestad was one of the most important international trading places in Western Europe. It was located roughly where Wijk bij Duurstede is today. It was a rich city with a lot of trade. Dorestad's toll registers record that it traded in furs, textiles, dyes, salt and honey. But slaves and hunting dogs were also traded in Dorestad. From glass, wood, stone and leather, all kinds of products were made, from jewellery to combs and coins. Especially because of the latter, Dorestad was known worldwide. A town owning its own currency was very special and the money grew to become the main means of payment in Western and Northern Europe. Coinage minted in Dorestad has even been found as far away as Russia!
Unfortunately, the wealth also attracted the attention of the Vikings, who plundered the city with some regularity. It is even said that they were the cause of Dorestad's decline, but more factors probably played a role. For instance, the Rhine silted up, and the balance of power shifted after Charlemagne's death.
In 1841, the first archaeological finds of the medieval city were made. One of the most famous archaeological finds in the Netherlands is the 'Fibula of Dorestad', a cloak pin found in a well of the former Dorestad. The pin is on display at the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden.
Discover the hinterland of Wijk bij Duurstede, the castle and the story of the once famous Dorestad.
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