History of Groenlo.
Around 610 Groenlo’s first buildings were built. More than 600 year later, in 1277, Groenlo received his city rights. In 1334 it finally got walls to defense itself. However, no major battles were fought there during medieval times.
80-years-war between the Netherlands and Spain.
This changed when Willem van Oranje tried to turn the Netherlands into a free country and started the 80 year war.
Up to then, Europe was a patchwork of small areas, owned by one of the many superpowers of Europe. The Netherlands were already owned by the father of Filips II and It became part of Spain in 1555.
In 1566 the uprize started. Groenlo was taken by Spain in 1580. In 1595 it was unsuccessfully besieged by the dutch forces, but in 1597 they took it back. However, after 9 years, it was taken again by the Spanish. In 1627 it finally was – once again – taken by the dutch forces and it remained in there hands during the rest of the war.
Wars were brutal just like they are now. If a city fell, many civilians died in the progress.
Preservation instead of progress.
The nice thing about Groenlo is that they left a few of the defense works in place. Most cities demolish them, because cities grow and new ways of transportation are invented. In the last decades Groenlo has restored more of its walls and put cannons on display. You can visit it today and most of the walls are open for public.