It lost the status of prince-bishopric but remains the main religious centre in the country.Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was surpassed by Amsterdam as the country's cultural centre and most populous city.Utrecht is host to Utrecht University, the largest university in the Netherlands, as well as several other institutions of higher education.Due to its central position within the country, it is an important transport hub for both rail and road transport.The choir and transept were finished from 1320 and were followed then by the ambitious Dom tower.The last part to be constructed was the central nave, from 1420.These fortresses were designed to house a cohort of about 500 Roman soldiers.
When the main flow of the Rhine moved south, the old bed which still flowed through the heart of the town became ever more canalized; and the wharf system was built as an inner city harbour system.
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.
remnants of which are still to be found below the buildings around Dom Square.
From the middle of the 3rd century, Germanic tribes regularly invaded the Roman territories.