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In Roman times, the name of the Utrecht fortress was simply Traiectum, denoting its location at a possible Rhine crossing.
In 723, the Frankish leader Charles Martel bestowed the fortress in Utrecht and the surrounding lands as the base of the bishops.Utrecht's ancient city centre features many buildings and structures several dating as far back as the High Middle Ages.It has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century.remnants of which are still to be found below the buildings around Dom Square.From the middle of the 3rd century, Germanic tribes regularly invaded the Roman territories.The growing town Utrecht was granted city rights by Henry V in 1122.
When the main flow of the Rhine moved south, the old bed which still flowed through the heart of the town became ever more canalized; and the wharf system was built as an inner city harbour system.
The choir and transept were finished from 1320 and were followed then by the ambitious Dom tower.
The last part to be constructed was the central nave, from 1420.
These fortresses were designed to house a cohort of about 500 Roman soldiers.
Near the fort, settlements would grow housing artisans, traders and soldiers' wives and children.
The feudal conflict of the Middle Ages heavily affected Utrecht.