These days, it is quite common to spend 30 to 60 minutes each day travelling to work, either by car or by public transport. But not so long ago, it was practically impossible to work 100 kilometres away from where you lived. The Viabundus web app shows you which route you would have needed to take in 1500 to get from one place to another and it will also tell you how long it would have taken you to reach your destination. For example, if you were on foot but you were not carrying any merchandise, the Eindhoven-Deventer route would have taken more than three days; however, if you were travelling with a pack mule, the same distance would have taken you nine days.
Researchers from the Viabundus project are mapping through roads that served as important trade routes in northern Europe between 1350 and 1650. At the end of September 2022, they will be launching an updated digital map.
Evidence of roads or inns
The map shows where waterways and country roads, tollhouses, locks, bridges, markets, staple ports and inns were located. “Isolated inns had a lot of influence on the distance you could travel in one day,” says researcher Maartje A.B. of Radboud University. “They were also typical places where people would meet, and of course, also lose things. When archaeologists find a location that yields a large amount of coins and pottery, it often indicates the existence of a former inn.”