Join us on our journey throughout the history of the Netherlands. We start in so-called "pre-history".
History of the Netherlands
Join us on an epic journey exploring the history of a region in the northwest of Europe known as ‘the lowlands’, which roughly includes today’s Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and bits of northern France. We present you with a chronological narrative of the lowlands from the dawn of civilisation to the present. The articles and podcasts are made by Republic of Amsterdam Radio, a group of history nerds with a passion for telling stories.
Throughout history, the Low Countries would often be defined by their interactions with great powers nearby. This began with the Romans.
A common misperception is that once Roman influence ended, the European continent went into a dark abyss with very little happening until the Italian Renaissance in the 14th century.
On our journey exploring the history of the Low Countries, we can't forget the 'Father of Europe': Charlemagne or Charles the Great.
After the collapse of Charlemagne's empire at the end of the 9th century, the lowlands became the playground for many family feuds.
At the end of the first millennium, an agricultural revolution was about to change the lives of the peasants in the Low Countries.
Freed from the need to be working the land due to the improvements in agriculture, people in the Low Countries began congregating in urban centres. For the first time, they were able to put their fingers onto the scales of power.
This is how the Dutch have reshaped their wetland wilderness into one of the most densely populated places on the planet.
In the 13th century, wool was the most important commodity in Flanders, with Bruges as the epicentre of the wool trade. The industry determined the political, social and economic relations and left its mark on architecture.
In 1302, an unexpected victory of an untrained Flemish infantry militia over a professional force of French cavalry ended the French annexation of the County of Flanders.