Gorinchem has grown from a small settlement on the mouths of the rivers Linge and Merwede into the bustling city that it is today. In around 1600, the medieval city was updated with modern fortifications that could withstand the latest military inventions. Gorinchem was defended by a rampart with 11 bastions and four gates, which allowed the city to double in size. In the Disaster Year of 1672, Gorinchem was an important fortified city in the Old Dutch Waterline. It was here that inundation was first used on a large scale as a defensive tactic. Gorinchem would continue to be a strategically important bulwark in the New Dutch Waterline.