Medemblik was perhaps inhabited already in the 8th century, the village was first mentioned in 10th century records as Medemleck. It was fortified at the end of the 13th century when the Radboud castle also was built. Having been granted city rights in 1289, Medemblik became the predominant port of the Zuiderzee east coast, until the economic emergence of Hoorn and Enkhuizen overtook it. In the 16th century, Medemblik went from disaster to disaster: it was attacked by all kind of warring parties, was ransacked three times, and put to the torch twice. Even in the 18th century Medemblik became a battleground. In the 16th and 17th century Medemblik built on its importance as a port, constructing large harbor facilities. Plans were made to establish Navy facilities in the 19th century, but with the building of the Noordhollands Kanaal, which connects Amsterdam with the North Sea, Medemblik's maritime role diminished.