Spijk – Norsemen
M38
Spijk
885

Spijk – Norsemen

Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen

From 800 until well into the Middle Ages, Western Europe groaned under repeated attacks by Norsemen and Vikings.Some of these men were merchants, but many of them were simply pirates and common warriors, such as Godfrid, Duke of Frisia, who arrived in this area in 880. When the local people had had enough of him, Godfrid was lured into a trap in Spijk, and killed. 

Godfrid, Duke of Frisia
The Carolingian Empire was left fragmented after the death of Charlemagne in 814. Ambitious Viking leaders saw their chance to win wealth and territory. One of these was the Danish leader Godfrid who came to the Low Countries in 880. In the winter of 881, he took the imperial palace at Valkhof in Nijmegen sending shock waves throughout Christian Europe. A pagan Viking had dared to violate a symbol of imperial power, and a year later, set it on fire. It was an outrage!
Emperor Charles the Fat who ruled the Kingdom of Germany did not succeed in defeating him. As a result, the two reached an agreement in 882. The emperor made Godfrid his vassal and gave him an area called Frisia (a Dutch and Frisian coastal region). In return, Vikings were supposed to behave themselves.

Gisela of Lotharingia
Nevertheless, Godfrid had developed a taste for it and had his eye on the rich wine-producing regions, further along the Rhine. He found an ally in Hugo of Lotharingia whose estates had been seized by Charles the Fat. The two secured their alliance with the marriage of Godfrid to Hugo’s beautiful sister, Gisela.
Meanwhile, Vikings had plundered Zutphen and Deventer in 882 Hugo and Godfrid decided to try to take Lotharingia, and Charles the Fat ran out of patience. He started to hatch a vicious plot.

Trapped in Spijk
In 885, Charles invited his rival to negotiations. The place he selected was Herispich (Spijk), strategically located at the junction of the Rhine and Waal rivers. One of the conspirators was Count Everhard the Saxon, who also had a bone to pick with Godfrid because the Vikings had chased him out of Zutphen and killed his father. Nothing could have stopped him from killing Godfrid. The Vikings were subsequently driven out of Frisia. Godfrid’s henchman Hugo had his eyes gauged out and spent the rest of his life in a monastery.

Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
Spijk – Norsemen
M 38 Spijk 16062013
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