Merchant Empire of Our Time


The romance of dawns and sunsets, the freshness of the sea air of coastal Germany and drifting a few hundred kilometers from the coast of the island of Gotland can not be transmitted on paper.

The romance of dawns and sunsets, the freshness of the sea air of coastal Germany and drifting a few hundred kilometers from the coast of the island of Gotland can not be transmitted on paper. Whether it's fancy letters, intricately folding into words, a palette of many shades of sea depths and red roofs of German cities lounging near the shore - nothing can describe the atmosphere of the Baltic in such a colorful and accurate way. It creates a lot of facts that merge into one story at the crossroads of history, the weather, impermanence, which sometimes surprises tourists, the kitchen, once you try which, you will certainly add a few recipes to your piggy bank.


Country delicious beer, fragrant meat delicacies and fun celebrations. Germany has repeatedly changed the course of history and influenced the whole world. And the famous Hanseatic League, which operated during the severe Middle Ages, gave the then Germans an excellent impetus to the development of infrastructure through trade. Now the cities that were part of it still occupy a leading position in the market relations within the country and abroad, and also amaze with the beauty of the seascapes and the variety of interesting places. The Hanseatic League is now called a non-existent empire, but here a few centuries earlier it had features that, alas, did not survive to our time.
This union controlled most of the Baltic trade routes, merchants from the cities that were part of it, traded with London, delivered goods to Riga, covered new markets, and lasted several centuries. Historians can not name the exact date of the foundation of the Hanseatic League: some are inclined to consider the beginning of its history in 1242, when Lübeck and Hamburg united, thus gaining control over the sale of salted fish, while others call it the year 1299, which became significant for the port cities. It was then that Rostock, Hamburg, Wismar, Lüneburg and Stralsund decided to block the access to the sea for merchants whose cities were not part of the union. And a new era began in the history of the coastal part of Germany, the main heroes of which were the above-mentioned cities. Their alliance was called Hansa, which before was used in the sense of uniting the merchants, who jointly defend their interests.
Echoes of this name can be heard until now: Hamburg is called the "free and Hanseatic city", and Rostock is literally called the "Hanseatic city of Rostock". The car numbers registered in the modern territories that were part of the Hansa of that time have a prefix H - this Latin letter denotes the belonging of the settlements to the Hanseatic League. In Bremen, you will most likely find cars with a combination of HB on license plates, and in Lübeck you can ride a car with the HL marking on the room.

The main purpose of the creation of the association of port cities was to protect against competition in trade from the Netherlands and the southern territories of Germany. Merchants, having created an alliance, could more reliably send their goods for sale, because to transport them together was safer. The advantages of such an alliance were appreciated by the residents of other cities, so the Hanseatic League, for the history of its existence, included 2 hundreds of settlements. But the capital of the Hansa was always Lubeck. It was here that the fleet was developing, disputes over port issues and cooperation were being resolved, and negotiations were under way. Famous participants of this association are Hamburg and Cologne, the first of which still keeps an unshakable memory of the times of its membership in the Hansa and diligently supports the image of the Hanseatic city.
It is noteworthy that once was a member of the Hanseatic small town of Goslar, and he, thanks to this, was quite successful. This is evidenced by the sculpture of a child who "sows" golden ducats. So the inhabitants of this city several centuries ago crowned their economic development achieved through membership in the Hanseatic League and minting their own coins.


Lubeck, which was the capital of the greatest trade Hanseatic League, still remains a slightly gloomy, but cozy medieval town. The famous symbols of Lübeck are the Holstein Gate and the Lion. In this city the buildings of salt depots have been preserved, where in the Middle Ages the most important commodity-salt was saved.
Rostock is a port city surrounded by an ancient wall. Its charm lies in the vicinity of the Baltic coast and the presence of good beaches, once served as piers. Many Germans prefer rest on this coast to debilitating overseas trips, but during the existence of the Hanseatic League these picturesque beaches belonged to fishing villages preparing their goods for sale. Clean sand, foaming waves of the Baltic Sea and a beautiful view of the bay will not be left without positive emotions, a feeling of spiritual comfort and affection for this ancient, in its own cozy port city.
The town hall of the seaside town of Stralsund, towering above the central square, as in the Middle Ages, is the center of all events and the focus of the boiling life of the townspeople. This structure is lined with red brick, the color of which is one of the traditional for the members of the Hansa. The greatness and wealth of this city during the existence of the trade union was diligently transferred to the construction of the town hall.

Another attraction of the sea town is the unique museum located on board the yacht. On a clear afternoon it shimmers in the sun with white boards, and, as if airy, hovers on the waves at the pier. Here you can learn a lot about sea life, weapons and historical facts attributed to different ships.
Stralsund is rightly called a monument to the history of the Hansa, a unique creation of Hanseatic architects. He retained the structure and design of architectural monuments that demonstrate how the cities looked in the distant 14th century during the heyday of the Hanseatic League. Gothic architecture is here at every step, it was in the Middle Ages spread to neighboring territories, even beyond the borders of Germany, along with the goods of enterprising Hanseatic merchants. Until now, the market is functioning at the place where the sellers once invited to buy a variety of goods. And the square on which it stands, bewitches with its historical beauty and the special ancient charm of the seaside town.


The island, whose name was worn by the world's first submarines. The island, in honor of which was named the cruiser, built in a single copy. The island of churches, which in its territory there are 92. The island, which tells tales, and off the coast of which catch a record-sized trout, whose weight varies from 4 to 9 kilograms. All this can be said about Scandinavian Gotland, washed by the waters of the Baltic. XIII century was for the island a series of fatal changes. He moved from ruler to ruler, was captured by pirates and only in the 17th century became Swedish territory.
But now the capital of the island Visby is called a city of ruins, since the events of bygone days and the centuries that have sunk into the waters of the Baltic have not spared Gothic architecture. To date, medieval memorials and majestic churches are complemented with fragrant rose bushes, which here are not counted. Red tiled roofs and stone paving stones, carelessly paved on the narrow streets and narrow streets, create an atmosphere of old European villages.

Especially on Gotland even a hotel, preserved since the XII century, it, according to local legends and retellings, conceals in its walls many secrets. One of them is quite nice and quiet, as is the custom of the local culture, the ghost of a nun. Staying here, you can enjoy the beauty of local beaches, admire the mills that still supply electricity to the island, and visit the August fair - a symbol of merchant trade, once flourishing in Gotland.

These are the coastal cities of the Hanseatic League ... Mysterious, changeable, ancient, carrying romance of sea travel, sunny or gloomy, but beautiful in its unique historical appearance. The majestic Hansa, the vicissitudes of the island's past conquests, quivering in the wind, sun-cast sails, Gothic architecture with lancet windows, shopping areas - that's why it's worth visiting the small but interesting cities of the Hanseatic League and carried away by the waves of the Baltic Sea to several hundred kilometers from the coast of Gotland.

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