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Back to the 9th century AD. The Normans used England as a stepping stone for their forays into the mainland. They were a seafaring people who took to the great rivers from the town of Ghent. In the village of Asselt, on the River Meuse, was a palatinate. It was a site where stocks for the royalty were stored. The Normans invaded the palace and reinforced it with earthen ramparts. From there, the pillaging went on, and from 881 to 882 no place was safe in the lands between the Rivers Meuse and Rhine. The author Bawarus (meaning something like ‘from Bavaria’) has provided an account of the Norman raids in these vast areas.
Emperor Charles III, aka ‘the Fat’, ruled over the Frankish realm. Charles was totally incapable of fighting off the fearsome Normans, so he tried to negotiate with them instead. If Godfrey, king of the Normans, were to convert to Christianity and be baptised, he would be allowed to rule over Frisia. Siegfried, the other Norman king, was promised silver and gold if he would leave Charles’ realm. This tactic proved not very effective as Godfrey simply carried on looting and pillaging! The strategy of conversion, enfeoffment and buying off, was also used in other parts of Europe in an attempt to safeguard churches and monasteries. Charles the Fat did not remain in power for long. Several tribes felt deserted and rose up against him, including the Alemanni and Bavarians. Charles died destitute in the year 888. The Normans were only here for a few years, but they left their traces, such as the sword that was found here in Neer.
The spear is located at the (yacht)port of Neer, where the bicycle and pedestrian ferry from Neer also operates during the summer.