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Lelystad
Lelystad
The Castle on Mount Lely, symbol of the city

Foundation

1507 (Free City since 1511)

Location

Border between the Landgraviate of Nuyern and the Principality of Merlberg

Population

32 821

Lelystad is the most ancient Free City (Vrije Stadt in Tarajani Dutch) of the Kingdom of New Tarajan, founded in 1507, only two years after the arrival of the first Antanaresian knights on mainland Tarajan.

History

Originally built by a group of soldiers under the patronage of Gustav Van Der Grudeln, who intended to use it as a protection during his first expeditions on the south of the Shalimar River, Lelystad took its name from the mount where its castle was built, one of the most remarkable fortresses of the period.

Despite the intentions of its founders, the strategic position between Alleskandberg and the Shalimar River soon transformed the small town in a thriving trade center, with a vibrant bourgeoisie. In recognition of this new role, and after its inhabitants offered him shelter from the attacks coming from the Bey of Nuyern, Van Der Grudeln bestowed the title of Free City to Lelystad, giving it full autonomy, the right to have its own charter, and exempting it from any tax or levy (26th September 1511). From that moment onward, Lelystad was de facto independent, and it played only a small part in the subsequent strifes and conflicts which oppoed the Antanaresian knights and lords and the Ajanic potentates for the most part of a century.

In 1595 the city, already under the indirect influence of House Van Vinkel, sworn allegiance to Sigismund Heinrich II as first King of Tarajan. In exchange for this support, the new King recognized the privileges of 1511, extending them under the new royal regime.

During the War of the Three Sigismunds, Lelystad kept its loyalty for the Crown, being besieged many times by the rebel forces of the Landsraad (in 1629, 1632, 1636, and 1649), never surrendering. In 1659 Sigismund VI thus conceded new privileges to the city.

In the next centuries, the city continued its quiet life, without being involved in the wars of the Kingdom. Even the Liberal Revolution of 1789 was seen as an outside event, with little influence upon the life of Lelystad.

The city lost part of its economic power during the XIX century, when progresses in the field of naval technology and the construction of the first railways undermined its role as trade center between Alleskandberg and Merlberg. The city never developed a true industrial sector (except for textiles, imported from the south and refined in different factories all around the city), and thus Lelystad was initially unaffected by the Tarajani Revolution of 1914. However, few months after the proclamation of the People's Republic, the city (which tried to keep a formal neutrality) was occupied by a communist army. It was subsequently transformed into a popular republic, enjoying formal autonomy from the central government until 1929, when it was finally annexed. Lelystad was easily occupied by the royalist forces in 1940, before being taken again by the communists in 1942 who, in response for the alleged treachery of its citizens, killed 1.809 people, including women and children (see: Lelystad Massacre). In 1943, forces led personally by Conrad III freed the city for last time. In 1944, with the restoration of the monarchy in New Tarajan, Lelystad regained its previous status as a Free City.

Political and administrative organization

The political organization of Lelystad has not changed since the first charter of 1511: the city is governed by a State Council, composed by 60 members, elected every five years through a proportional system; the executive power is represented by a Committee, elected by the Council among its members; finally, the role of representing the city pertains to two Regents, elected every year, and who can chairs the meetings of the Council and the Committee, but with no concrete powers. One of the Regents also represents Lelystad inside the Landsraad.

Lelystad palace

The Public Palace, seat of the all the institutions of Lelystad.

The administration of Lelystad is divided in nine "Castles", each representing a district of Lelystad: they've their own councils, also elected every five years, and chaired by a Captain, elected together with their respective council.

Lelystad also has two levels of judgement: the first one constituted by Judges, appointed by the State Council, and the second one being the Council of the XII, with the role of court of appeal. There's a third court, the Constitutional Board, with role of vigilance upon the respect of the constitution of Lelystad

Flag and Motto

Lelystad flag

The flag of Lelystad, with its motto at the center.

The actual flag of Lelystad traces its origins to the XVII century: at the beginning of the conflict known as War of the Three Sigismunds, the Council decided to adopt the same colour schemes of the royal flag of Tarajan (white and light blue), with the coat of arms of the city placed upon that.

The motto of the city, Libertas, was added in 1659, when Sigismund VI officially acknowledged it to be the official motto of Lelystad.

Police and military

Lelystad has its own police corps, in the form of the Municipal Gendarmerie. It also has its own military, composed by different elements: the Militia, composed by 80 members on a voluntary basis; the Guard of the State Council, composed by 14 soldiers and 2 officers, tasked with the protection of the Council and the Regents; the Castle Guard, composed by 45 men and women, tasked with both ceremonial and generic military roles. The Castle Guard is the sole military corp of Lelystad to directly participate into the federal army operations.

Lelystad Guard

The Guard of the State Council during a parade.

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