Graaf Floris is close to the Domplein, the old Town Hall and the Steenweg. As early as 1973, Graaf Floris opened in the characteristic building on the Vismarkt.
Our terrace is located on the Kalisbrug. A bridge that runs over the Oudegracht. On our terrace you can enjoy the real Utrecht center. While you enjoy a cup of coffee or a beer, you see boats, shoppers and cyclists move and you hear the bells of the Dom Tower.
Utrecht is almost 2,000 years old and was created as a fortress by the Romans. On the spot where Graaf Floris is located, the Romans built a Castellum named Trajectum. This fort was intended for defense against the hostile northern tribes.
After the Romans and Frisians, the fortress fell into the hands of the Franks in 719, who strengthened the fort and donated it to the monastery in 721. In the following centuries, Trajectum flourished into an administrative and ecclesiastical center in the Netherlands. During these centuries the Latin word Trajecto also deformated in: Trecht. Trecht.
Around 1100, the course of the Rhine was channelled by the construction of the Oudegracht. This was an important development for Utrecht as a trade center in the Netherlands.
By damming the Rhine at Dorestad (now: Wijk bij Duurstede) the water level dropped and, at that level, wharves and cellars could be built. These are unique in the world and are even on the UNESCO World Heritage List!
City of Utrecht
In 1122, Utrecht received city rights and around the city a defense ditch was dug and a wall was built. The city rights were given to Utrecht by Emperor Hendrik V from Lofen Palace. Today you can no longer see anything of this palace at street level, but it once stood on the spot where the Vismarkt is now. TIP! You can take an underground tour of the palace via www.paleislofen.nl
In the sixteenth century, the Kalis Bridge and Corduanier Bridge were merged. This created the square that we call the Vismarkt. And you may already have guessed it, but the Vismarkt was used to, yes... trade fish!
It is the oldest market in Utrecht and was already used as a fish market around 1200. The fish were kept fresh in baskets hanging in the Oudegracht. In the centuries that followed, various goods were traded on the Vismarkt; from salt to stamps and coins.
The last fish shop “De Voest” left in 1970. On the bridge you will still find a fish auction house that was placed on the square in 1942. There is also a statue by Theo van de Vathorst on the Vismarkt called 'Marktvrouwtje'. This statue was donated in 1973 by Vroom & Dreesmann.
You will also find a tile with the title 'freedom' bricked into the bridge. It contains lines from an essay by writer and poet Jan Engelman, who was born here. Where the Engelman family's fish once lay, bras and corsets from Corseterie van Buuren were sold until 1972. The building was then renovated into the current Graaf Floris café-restaurant.
Want to see Utrecht's history? Feel free to drop by!