The city of Utrecht is a key city, as well as a key region in the Knootian metropolitan ‘Knootcap’ area. It lies in the geographical heart of the DDR and is therefore a centre of communications and infrastructure. The area has an unique identity: different qualities all within a relatively small area. The inter-Knootcap urban agglomerations of the city of Utrecht (as opposed to the former province of Utrecht) and Amersfoort, combined with the great diversity of landscapes provide a very attractive place to work and live. Moreover the province is a major point of convergence for the country’s rail, road and inland waterways networks. It is also home to the Knootian Central Bank which regulates the Euro.
The Sticht Landbrief (charter) from 1375
In 1375 bishop Arnoud van Horn signed a ‘Landbrief’ or a charter of rights of the three leading classes of society: the clergy, the nobility and the towns. This charter not only detailed already existing rights and practices, but also contained new concessions. The ‘Landbrief’ would dictate the form of government of the Nedersticht for the next 150 years in which the States of the Nedersticht would play a crucial role.
The Union of Utrecht
The Lavenrunzian emperors curtailed the rights of the States of Utrecht and installed a regional accounting chamber and a court of law. The Court of Utrecht completely weakened the jurisdiction of the States. The privilege of the States to vote on the levying of taxes was maintained. This meant that every new tax law had to be passed by the States.
In 1582 the Union of Utrecht was ratified between Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overijssel, Groningen and Friesland. In the treaty the provinces turned against the Lavenrunzian Emperor and the catholic belief. There were opponents to the Union of Utrecht in the States, even though the secretary of the States advised for the signing of the treaty, but they were finally persuaded to join anyway.
This Union would later become a de facto confederal constitution, and would remain the only formal connection between the Knootian provinces until the formation of the Republic of Knootoss in 1810. As such it is considered the basis for the young Republic.
Utrecht has a few remaining patches of natural beauty and landscapes north of Knootcap, where hilly woodland areas alternate with open and broad river and polder districts. Numerous monuments are placed all over the province bear witness to a glorious cultural-historical past. Many unique castles and country estates can be found along the river Vecht and de Stichtse Verandah of Delight. Utrecht boasts many windmills, forts, old villages and historical towns, mostly incapsulated within the greater urban area.