The North Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and France. An epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the ocean through the English Channel in the south and the Norwegian Sea in the north, it is more than 970 kilometres long and 580 kilometres wide, with an area of 570,000 square kilometres. The North Sea has long been the site of important European shipping lanes as well as a major fishery; the sea is a popular destination for recreation and tourism in bordering countries and more has developed into a rich source of energy resources including fossil fuels and early efforts in wave power. The North Sea has featured prominently in geopolitical and military affairs in Northern Europe, it was important globally through the power northern Europeans projected worldwide during much of the Middle Ages and into the modern era. The North Sea was the centre of the Vikings' rise. Subsequently, the Hanseatic League, the Netherlands, the British each sought to dominate the North Sea and thus access to the world's markets and resources.
As Germany's only outlet to the ocean, the North Sea continued to be strategically important through both World Wars. The coast of the North Sea presents a diversity of geographical features. In the north, deep fjords and sheer cliffs mark the Norwegian and Scottish coastlines, whereas in the south, the coast consists of sandy beaches and wide mudflats. Due to the dense population, heavy industrialization, intense use of the sea and area surrounding it, there have been various environmental issues affecting the sea's ecosystems. Adverse environmental issues – including overfishing and agricultural runoff and dumping, among others – have led to a number of efforts to prevent degradation of the sea while still making use of its economic potential; the North Sea is bounded by the Orkney Islands and east coast of Great Britain to the west and the northern and central European mainland to the east and south, including Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and France. In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean.
In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively. In the north it is bordered by the Shetland Islands, connects with the Norwegian Sea, which lies in the north-eastern part of the Atlantic; the North Sea is more than 970 kilometres long and 580 kilometres wide, with an area of 570,000 square kilometres and a volume of 54,000 cubic kilometres. Around the edges of the North Sea are sizeable islands and archipelagos, including Shetland and the Frisian Islands; the North Sea receives freshwater from a number of European continental watersheds, as well as the British Isles. A large part of the European drainage basin empties into the North Sea, including water from the Baltic Sea; the largest and most important rivers flowing into the North Sea are the Elbe and the Rhine – Meuse watershed. Around 185 million people live in the catchment area of the rivers discharging into the North Sea encompassing some industrialized areas.
For the most part, the sea lies on the European continental shelf with a mean depth of 90 metres. The only exception is the Norwegian trench, which extends parallel to the Norwegian shoreline from Oslo to an area north of Bergen, it has a maximum depth of 725 metres. The Dogger Bank, a vast moraine, or accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris, rises to a mere 15 to 30 m below the surface; this feature has produced the finest fishing location of the North Sea. The Long Forties and the Broad Fourteens are large areas with uniform depth in fathoms; these great banks and others make the North Sea hazardous to navigate, alleviated by the implementation of satellite navigation systems. The Devil's Hole lies 200 miles east of Scotland; the feature is a series of asymmetrical trenches between 20 and 30 kilometres long and two kilometres wide and up to 230 metres deep. Other areas which are less deep are Fisher Bank and Noordhinder Bank; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the North Sea as follows: On the Southwest.
A line joining the Walde Lighthouse and Leathercoat Point. On the Northwest. From Dunnet Head in Scotland to Tor Ness in the Island of Hoy, thence through this island to the Kame of Hoy on to Breck Ness on Mainland through this island to Costa Head and to Inga Ness in Westray through Westray, to Bow Head, across to Mull Head and on to Seal Skerry and thence to Horse Island. On the North. From the North point of the Mainland of the Shetland Islands, across to Graveland Ness in the Island of Yell, through Yell to Gloup Ness and across to Spoo Ness in Unst island, through Unst to Herma Ness, on to the SW point of the Rumblings and to Muckle Flugga all these being included in the North Sea area.
Rijnsburg is a community in the eastern part of the town of Katwijk, in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The name means Rhine's Burg in Dutch; the history starts way before the 6th century when there was a town called ‘Rothulfuashem’. About 900 there was a stronghold, which could explain the current name of the village Rijnsburg, which means'Rhine fortress' Rijnsburg used to be a separated municipality until 1 January 2006, together with Valkenburg, it was added to the municipality and city of Katwijk. Before that, the municipality covered an area of 6.07 km2 of which 0.21 km2 is water, had a population of 14851 inhabitants on 1 June 2005. Rijnsburg's main claim to fame is that the philosopher Spinoza lived there from 1661 to 1663; the modest house in which he lived is still preserved, can be visited. Rijnsburg is located in an area called the "Dune and Bulb district" and is one of the locations of the flower auction company Royal FloraHolland. An Abbey was established by Petronilla of Lorraine, consort of Floris II, Count of Holland, in 1133.
It flourished for many years. Two of her granddaughters and Hedwig, would join this abbey, one of them as abbess. In 1913 a buckle, the mount with red and blue enamel, the square coin were found together in a cemetery at Rijnsburg; the impressive gilded buckle with interwoven filigree and enamel inlay was made in Kent across the Channel. These finds amongst others indicate that the mouth of the Rhine was home to some people of high status even royalty. Floris the Black Petronilla of Lorraine Dirk VI, Count of Holland William I, Count of Holland Floris IV, Count of Holland
The Vecht is a Rhine branch in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is sometimes called Utrechtse Vecht to avoid confusion with its Overijssel counterpart; the area along the river is called the Vechtstreek. The Vecht originates in the city of Utrecht, where the Kromme Rijn stream forks into two branches: the Leidse Rijn/Oude Rijn branch to the west and the Vecht to the north; the Vecht branched off south of the city near the Roman fort Fectio, flowing eastwards around the city, but in the 12th century a northern shortcut was dug out. The Vecht meanders north past the towns and villages of Maarssen and Nigtevecht, crosses the border into the province of North Holland, passes the city of Weesp and discharges into the IJmeer at Muiden; the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal was dug in the Vecht basin. The Roman historian Tacitus tells us that in the first century CE a Roman fleet sailed due north down a Rhine branch sailed past Lake Flevo into the North Sea; this could have been the IJssel, which the Romans connected to the Rhine themselves, or the river Vecht.
In the 17th and 18th centuries many country estates, known as buitenplaatsen, were built on the banks of the Vecht by rich merchants and administrators from Amsterdam
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and the Franco-German border flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and empties into the North Sea; the largest city on the Rhine is Cologne, with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at about 1,230 km, with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s; the Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. Its importance as a waterway in the Holy Roman Empire is supported by the many castles and fortifications built along it. In the modern era, it has become a symbol of German nationalism.
Among the biggest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and Basel. The variants of the name of the Rhine in modern languages are all derived from the Gaulish name Rēnos, adapted in Roman-era geography as Greek Ῥῆνος, Latin Rhenus; the spelling with Rh- in English Rhine as well as in German Rhein and French Rhin is due to the influence of Greek orthography, while the vocalisation -i- is due to the Proto-Germanic adoption of the Gaulish name as *Rīnaz, via Old Frankish giving Old English Rín,Old High German Rīn, early Middle Dutch Rijn. The diphthong in modern German Rhein is a Central German development of the early modern period, the Alemannic name Rī retaining the older vocalism, as does Ripuarian Rhing, while Palatine has diphthongized Rhei, Rhoi. Spanish is with French in adopting the Germanic vocalism Rin-, while Italian and Portuguese retain the Latin Ren-; the Gaulish name Rēnos belongs to a class of river names built from the PIE root *rei- "to move, run" found in other names such as the Reno in Italy.
The grammatical gender of the Celtic name is masculine, the name remains masculine in German and French. The Old English river name was variously inflected as feminine; the length of the Rhine is conventionally measured in "Rhine-kilometers", a scale introduced in 1939 which runs from the Old Rhine Bridge at Constance to Hoek van Holland. The river is shortened from its natural course due to a number of canalisation projects completed in the 19th and 20th century; the "total length of the Rhine", to the inclusion of Lake Constance and the Alpine Rhine is more difficult to measure objectively. Its course is conventionally divided as follows: The Rhine carries its name without distinctive accessories only from the confluence of the Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein next to Reichenau in Tamins. Above this point is the extensive catchment of the headwaters of the Rhine, it belongs exclusively to the Swiss canton of Graubünden, ranging from Saint-Gotthard Massif in the west via one valley lying in Ticino and Italy in the south to the Flüela Pass in the east.
Traditionally, Lake Toma near the Oberalp Pass in the Gotthard region is seen as the source of the Anterior Rhine and the Rhine as a whole. The Posterior Rhine rises in the Rheinwald below the Rheinwaldhorn; the source of the river is considered north of Lai da Tuma/Tomasee on Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein, although its southern tributary Rein da Medel is longer before its confluence with the Anterior Rhine near Disentis. The Anterior Rhine springs from Lai da Tuma/Tomasee, near the Oberalp Pass and passes the impressive Ruinaulta formed by the largest visible rock slide in the alps, the Flims Rockslide; the Posterior Rhine starts near the Rheinwaldhorn. One of its tributaries, the Reno di Lei, drains the Valle di Lei on politically Italian territory. After three main valleys separated by the two gorges and Viamala, it reaches Reichenau in Tamins; the Anterior Rhine arises from numerous source streams in the upper Surselva and flows in an easterly direction. One source is Lai da Tuma with the Rein da Tuma, indicated as source of the Rhine, flowing through it.
Into it flow tributaries from the south, some longer, some equal in length, such as the Rein da Medel, the Rein da Maighels, the Rein da Curnera. The Cadlimo Valley in the canton of Ticino is drained by the Reno di Medel, which crosses the geomorphologic Alpine main ridge from the south. All streams in the source area are sometimes captured and sent to storage reservoirs for the local hydro-electric power plants; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level. It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. In its lower course the Anterior Rhine flows through a gorge named Ruinaulta; the whole stretch of the Anterior Rhine to the Alpine Rhine confluence next to Reichen
The Kromme Rijn is a river in the central Netherlands. In Roman times, this northernmost branch of the Rhine delta was the main distributary of this major European river. Along its banks the Romans built their frontier castella part of the Limes Germanicus. Since the Middle Ages, the stream lost its importance as it silted up, it is nearly cut off from the Nederrijn-Lek main artery, yet it retained the name "Rhine". The Kromme Rijn splits off the Nederrijn-Lek main artery at the old town of Wijk bij Duurstede, after which it twists and turns through the province of Utrecht, past the towns of Cothen, Werkhoven and Bunnik, ends in the moat of the city of Utrecht; the city of Utrecht was built by the Romans at a ford near the place where the Kromme Rijn forks into rivers Vecht and Leidse Rijn. Rivers Leidse Rijn and Vecht extend from the city moat and are the continuation of the Kromme Rijn
Woerden is a city and a municipality in the central Netherlands. Due to its central location between Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, the fact that it has rail and road connections to those cities, it is a popular town for commuters who work in those cities; the river Oude Rijn used to flow through the city center of Woerden, but in 1960 the old river was diverted around the city center. The city has a rich history in cheese making and trading. Woerden still holds its authentic cheese market at the market place in its center. Woerden is situated near the confluence with the former Linschoten stream; the lower stretch of the Linschoten stream from Montfoort and Linschoten to Woerden silted up a long time ago and its flow was diverted through the Lek and Hollandse IJssel rivers, but at one time it was an important branch of the Rhine delta, connecting the Lower Rhine from Wijk bij Duurstede to the Oude Rijn near Woerden. Near the former confluence was an area, more elevated than the surroundings, a natural levee, which -in an area, prone to flooding- made it an attractive location for settlement.
Here, at the highest spot, the Romans built a castellum, as part of the limes of the Roman Empire and thus part of the defense lines of the northern border of the Roman Empire. The first castellum was built in the 40s AD, was destroyed in 69 AD during the Batavian rebellion. In 70 AD the castellum was rebuilt, the Romans remained until 402 AD, with an interruption lasting from about 275-300 AD; the Castellum was located at the present site of the medieval Petruschurch and surrounding church yard. During construction work on a new underground parking facility in the city center of Woerden, the remains of numerous old Roman buildings and a Roman cargo ship were found. During field research, a lot became known about the Roman time in Woerden: the location of the castellum, the zone of defense waters with the entrance road and the remains of a Roman cargo ship. Little is known about the period after the Romans left for good in 402 AD, it may be assumed that people continued to live here. The area was contested between Franks.
Frankish King Dagobert I conquered the area around 630, a small church was built in nearby Utrecht. Around 650 the Frisians came back, destroyed the Frankish church in Utrecht, the Frisian king established his court there. In 689 king Redbad was defeated by Frankish Duke Pippin of Herstal in the battle of Dorestad and the Franks regained control of the area. King Redbad reconquered Utrecht after Pippin died in 714, but the Frisian victory was short-lived: Duke Charles Martel defeated Redbad in 718. In 734 Charles Martel went on to vanquish the Frisians, in the Battle of the Boarn; the missionaries followed in the footsteps of the Frankish conquerors: In 695 AD Willibrord, known as the "Apostle to the Frisians" became Bishop of Utrecht, with interruptions due to Frisian incursions. Boniface worked here from 719-722. Liudger reports that Boniface preached in Wyrda, referring to Wierde, meaning that the place was on higher ground in the area. Around 850 the Bishop had to leave once more, this time because of Viking marauders.
Bishop Balderik returned to Utrecht in 918. The Bishop claims Woerden as part of his jurisdiction: In a list prepared between 918 and 948 it is mentioned that In UUrdin totum Sancti Martini, meaning: In Woerden everything belongs to Saint Martin, i.e. the church in Utrecht. The Bishop of Utrecht received land grants, first from the Frankish kings, from the Kings of Germany, in particular Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor. In 1024 AD the bishops were made princes of the Holy Roman Empire and the new Prince-bishopric of Utrecht was formed. Around 1000 AD, settlement was limited to the river banks; the bishops used their new authority to stimulate reclamation of this wilderness. Concessions were granted to settlers, who drained the bogs by digging dividing ditches beginning from rivers and streams and stretching about ¾ mile inland, thus creating the characteristic grid of fields still seen today. By about 1300 AD the reclamation process had been completed. In the meantime a competing realm had developed to the west, along the coast.
First known as West Frisia it became known as Holland when Floris II, Count of Holland moved his court to Leiden in 1101. The Counts of Holland expanded their influence, by 1165 they built a fort called Svadeburg, near present-day Zwammerdam, about 7 miles to the west of Woerden. Around 1160 Bishop Godfrey van Rhenen built a castle in Woerden. Once more Woerden became a border town between two belligerent powers, a situation that lasted until 1527 when the Bishop of Utrecht sold his territories to Emperor Charles V and the two statelets were united under Charles' rule. Due to its strategic location on the border between the County of Holland and the Bishopric of Utrecht, various wars have been fought in and around Woerden by the various lords and ladies of these realms. From about 1131 to 1296, the van Woerden family dominated local affairs in Woerden. Several scions of the family are known as Herman van Woerden, they were stewards of the castle for the Bishop, but in time they sought to become independent.
In 1274 Herman VI van Woerden formed an alliance with Gijsbrecht IV van Amstel, revolted against bishop-elect John of Nassau. In 1278 Floris V, Count of Holland, intervened on the side of the much weakened bishop, defeated the rebellious lords. Gijsbrecht was taken prisoner, Herman went into exile. In 1281 Floris V was