Seaports, port cities and their hinterland. The maritime network in the county of Flanders in the late middle ages

Start - End 
2017 - 2024 (ongoing)
Department of History
Research Focus 
Research Period 
Research Region 
Additional tags 
Systems and networks
Land-maritime interface
Port city
Transport geography



The medieval Flemish port city was a combination of city, market and port. In each port city this mixture was different and unique, both in nature (qualitative) and in size (quantitative). This project aims to investigate this unique combination of city, market and port - and its development through time - for the Flemish medieval port city. To this end, the multitude of variables, relations and interactions influencing the composition of the city, port and market on the one hand, the relations with the hinterland, the maritime space and between the port cities on the other hand, will be mapped and explained. The approach is human geographically. Within the scope of this research are the communities in the county of Flanders functioning as port and city between 1163 and 1492, stretching from Gravelines in the eastern part to Saaftinge in the west.

The objectives of this project are: 1) to gain a clear insight into the producing variables, relations and interactions of a number of resource-rich port cities and subnetworks; 2) to evaluate whether these networks of multiple port cities functioned as a single interface of contact and exchange.




Phd Student(s)