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Arnhem's Historic Cellars

Francesco's profile picture
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FrancescoNotes
 · 1 year ago
There is a small hidden city under Arnhem!

According to the brochure:

Origin: Arnhem is situated today on relatively high ground where the rivers Rhine and Ijssel diverge. However, the town originated on the banks of the Jansbeek, which wound its way from Sonsbeek park via Bevenbeekstraat and Beekstraat to the east of the market, along Oeverstraat, or River Bank street, and finally flowed into the Rhine.

Land Owners: the present day Koningsstraat, Beekstraat and Kerkstraat area is the oldest and once belonged to the Abbey of Prüm. The Abbey of Elten owned the area to the east. Both abbeys held powerful influences over the town. The area to the north of the Rijnstraat belonged to the Duke of Hameland and then to the Duke and Duchess of Gelderland.

The Town in 1223: Otto II, Duke of Gelderland, granted the town the rights

of Municipality, to build a defensive wall round the town, to hold a market, to hold a judicial court

Duke Reinoud van Geire (Gelderland), 1312, made a clever move when he granted the loyal inhabitants within the town wall the freedom of the town and the right to enter the city gates at will. In exchange, he gained control of the whole area and held court at the 'Hof van Geire', where the Walburgis Church and the Law Courts now stand. three markets were established: at Oude markt near the church, De Nije Maenckt later to become de Korenmarkt and Grote Oord.

Fire: the town caught fire in 1364 and again in 1419 because the houses where built of wood and thatch. To encourage a safer building style, citizens were given a subsidy in the form of building bricks and roof tiles in an attempt to make the town a safe place to live.

Long and Narrow: the area around the Rijnstraat was a popular place to live and work. at the ground here was cheaper than in other areas and as a result many long thin houses sprang up. The Duke of Gelderland was pleased with these developments as his income, as a land owner, was guaranteed. The remains of those houses can still be traced today. Their cellars have survived in their original form.

The Cellars: As trade increased in the 13th century, the need for work space and storage grew. Substantial houses with attics and cellars were built.

Storage: the older cellars were usually let separately from the houses above because they had access to the street and could be used for storage.

Work space: the candle or light niches in some cellars probably indicate work rooms.

Cool store rooms: as the economy changed, so did the use of the cellars. They eventually became cool storage for the houses above.

Trade: The town began to develop with the coming of the harbour, in combination with the markets and storage places. The Duke actively encouraged the trading area round the Rijnstraat, Vijzelstraat and Korenmarkt.

Tradesmen: the area cast of Rijnstraat developed into the trades quarter Weverstraat (Weaver Street) and Bakkerstraat (Baker Street) are still there today.

The Town Council: the powerful town council, of local landowners and their entourages, met and lodged regularly at the Hof van Geire where they devised trade and land laws, all of which were to the advantage of the Duke.

Housing: the poorer houses were to be found near the markets while the wealthy houses of the landed gentry were to be found around Koningsstraat, Beekstraat and Bovenbeekstraat.

Food and Drink: inns and beer and wine houses grew up wherever trade flourished and he town councillors, as well as traders needed refreshment.

Tools: the Duke levied tolls on barges and ships on the Rhine and the town flounced until the town of Zutphen and Kampen agreed a joint trading statute which allowed them to levy tolls on the Ijssal river traffic. As a result, ships no longer used the river at Arnhem. The Duke set up a toll booth at the present day Tolkamer.

Arnhem's economy fluctuated and by the 14th century, the call for large cellars was dwindling. Smaller houses were now being built in concentrations in the tradesmen's area.

Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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These are actually the cellars of ancient buildings, which have now been joined together to create a sort of museum.
Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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Arnhem's Historic Cellars
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