Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, initiated a dynasty that would change the Low Countries forever.
History of the Netherlands
Join us on an epic journey exploring the history of a region in the northwest of Europe known as the Low Countries, 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.
Eating herring is a Dutch tradition. This silvery, slimy fish is even part of their national identity, thanks to a myth about a humble herring fisherman.
When the counts of Holland wanted to break the autonomy of Friesland, they incurred the wrath of the Frisian freedom fighters.
When John III, Duke of Brabant, died in 1355 without male heirs, his three daughters and their husbands claimed the inheritance with violence.
Meet the man who managed to unite the Flemish cities behind him and dared to defy the French king for the benefit of England and the wool and textile trade in Flanders.
In the 14th century, up to half of the European population died of the Black Death after it first struck in 1348. Jews were often blamed for the plague and subsequently burned at the stake as punishment.
Count Floris V, loved by peasants and urban commoners, left a large legacy in Holland. However, his good deeds could not prevent him from being murdered.
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.
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.
This is how the Dutch have reshaped their wetland wilderness into one of the most densely populated places on the planet.
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.
At the end of the first millennium, an agricultural revolution was about to change the lives of the peasants in the Low Countries.
After the collapse of Charlemagne's empire at the end of the 9th century, the lowlands became the playground for many family feuds.
On our journey exploring the history of the Low Countries, we can't forget the 'Father of Europe': Charlemagne or Charles the Great.
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.
Throughout history, the Low Countries would often be defined by their interactions with great powers nearby. This began with the Romans.
Join us on our journey throughout the history of the Netherlands. We start in so-called "pre-history".