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The most dominant of these was the Cathedral of Saint Martin, inside the old Roman fortress.
The construction of the present Gothic building was begun in 1254 after an earlier romanesque construction had been badly damaged by fire.
Around 275 the Romans could no longer maintain the northern border and Utrecht was abandoned. Utrecht is first spoken of again several centuries after the Romans left.
Under the influence of the growing realms of the Franks, during Dagobert I's reign in the 7th century, a church was built within the walls of the Roman fortress.
The feudal conflict of the Middle Ages heavily affected Utrecht.
The prince-bishopric was involved in almost continuous conflicts with the Counts of Holland and the Dukes of Guelders.
These fortresses were designed to house a cohort of about 500 Roman soldiers.
The archbishops of Utrecht were based at the uneasy northern border of the Carolingian Empire.In addition, the city of Utrecht had competition from the nearby trading centre Dorestad.The territory of the bishopric not only included the modern province of Utrecht (Nedersticht, 'lower Sticht'), but also extended to the northeast.The Veluwe region was seized by Guelders, but large areas in the modern province of Overijssel remained as the Oversticht.Several churches and monasteries were built inside, or close to, the city of Utrecht.
remnants of which are still to be found below the buildings around Dom Square.