Zutphen - Netherlands

Zutphen is a city in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. It lies some 30 km north-east of Arnhem, on the eastern bank of the river IJssel at the point where it is joined by the Berkel. Dating back to 300 AD, the town received city rights around 1190, making it one of the oldest cities in the country. The city centre includes many monumental buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, and some even date back to the 13th century. There are also remains of the old town walls in several places. The largest and oldest church in the city is the St. Walburgis church, which originally dates from the twelfth century. The present Gothic building contains monuments of the former counts of Zutphen. The chapter-house ("Librije") contains a pre-Reformation library which includes some valuable manuscripts and incunabula and is considered to be one of only 5 remaining medieval libraries in Europe. Having been fortified the town stood several sieges, especially during the wars of freedom waged by the Dutch against Spain. Taken by the Spaniards in 1587 by the treachery of the English commander Rowland York, Zutphen was recovered by Maurice, Prince of Orange, in 1591, and except for two short periods, one in 1672 and the other during the French Revolutionary Wars, it has since then remained a part of the Netherlands. Its fortifications were dismantled in 1874.