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Hanseatic League


Poland, Prussia, Livonia, Sweden Circle

  • Breslau (Wrocław)
  • Danzig (Gdańsk, chief city)
  • Dorpat (Tartu)
  • Elbing (Elbląg)
  • Fellin (Viljandi)
  • Kraków (Cracow)
  • Goldingen (Kuldīga)
  • Kokenhusen (Koknese)
  • Königsberg (now Kaliningrad)
  • Lemsal (Limbaži)
  • Pernau (Pärnu)
  • Reval (Tallinn)
  • Riga (Rīga, chief city)
  • Roop (Straupe)
  • Stockholm
  • Thorn (Toruń)
  • Visby
  • Wenden (Cēsis)
  • Windau (Ventspils)
  • Wolmar (Valmiera)

Rhine, Westphalia, the Netherlands Circle

  • Duisburg
  • Zwolle
  • Haltern am See
  • Hattem
  • Hasselt
  • Hattingen
  • Cologne
  • Dortmund (chief city)
  • Soest
  • Osnabrück
  • Münster
  • Coesfeld
  • Roermond
  • Deventer, with subsidiary cities:
    • Ommen
    • Enschede
    • Oldenzaal
    • Hasselt
    • Gramsbergen
  • Groningen
  • Kampen
  • Bochum
  • Recklinghausen
  • Hamm
  • Unna
  • Werl
  • Zutphen
  • Breckerfeld
  • Minden

Counting houses

Principal Kontore

  • Bergen - Bryggen
  • Brugge - (Bruges)
  • Steelyard - district of London
  • Novgorod - Velikiy Novgorod, Russia

Subsidiary Kontore

The Hanseatic Warehouse in King's Lynn is the only surviving Hanseatic League building in EnglandKontor in Antwerp
  • Antwerp
  • Berwick upon Tweed
  • Boston
  • Damme
  • Edinburgh
  • Hull
  • Ipswich
  • King's Lynn
  • Kaunas
  • Newcastle
  • Polotsk
  • Pskov
  • Great Yarmouth
  • York

Other cities with a Hansa community

  • Aberdeen
  • Anklam
  • Arnhem
  • Bolsward
  • Cesis (Wenden)
  • Chełmno (Kulm)
  • Deventer
  • Doesburg
  • Duisburg
  • Göttingen
  • Greifswald
  • Goldingen (Kuldiga)
  • Hafnarfjord (Hafnarfjörður)
  • Harlingen
  • Hattem
  • Hasselt
  • Hannover
  • Herford
  • Hindeloopen
  • Kalmar
  • Kampen
  • Kokenhusen (Koknese)
  • Lemgo
  • Minden
  • Münster
  • Narwa (Narva)
  • Nijmegen
  • Oldenzaal
  • Paderborn
  • Pernau (Pärnu)
  • Scalloway
  • Słupsk (Stolp)
  • Smolensk
  • Stargard Szczeciński (Stargard)
  • Turku (Åbo)
  • Tver
  • Wolmar (Valmiera)
  • Wesel
  • Wiburg (Vyborg)
  • Windau (Ventspils)
  • Zutphen
  • Zwolle


The legacy of the League lives on in the concept and practice of free trade as well as in the idea of forging trans-national entities that cooperate not only in matters of trade and economics but also in defense and peace-keeping with a view to establishing greater fiscal and social equality. The degree to which the League benefited the non-elite is debatable. However, as an alliance of cities, it drew together political entities that were usually governed by members of the guilds, who were commoners not by aristocrats. The League could only function because a standard legal system existed across its member cities, as did a strong tradition of civil and individual rights and liberties. Porten, writing in 1994, describes the League as succeeding in creating "a largely, peaceful, international network of finance and trade," adding, "Not until our own time, when the member nations of the Common Market (now the European Union) vowed to open borders, merge currencies, and create a single, unified market, would the Continent see anything like it."2 The League was a protectionist alliance that promoted the welfare of its members but did not extend their concern beyond their boundaries. It was this protectionist policy that angered foreign, non-League merchants and their countries. Several German cities including Hamburg and Bremen (home of the Hanseatic Museum) continue to use "Hanse" as part of their official names (Freie und Hansestadt; Free and Hanseatic) and some, including Wismar and Rostock have recently added this to revive interest in their historic link with the League. The Hanseatic colors of silver and red are also still used for some civic emblems. The standardization of sea trade and of trade regulations derives from the League. Braudel stresses the role of culture and of language in binding the members together; "The solidarity of the Hansa came from… the common civilization created by trading in one of the most frequented maritime areas of Europe… and from a common language." This, "made no small contribution to the unity of the Hansa."8

Fictional references

  • A Terran Hanseatic League exists in Kevin J. Anderson's science fiction series, Saga of Seven Suns. The political structure of this fictional interstellar version closely resembles that of the historical Hanseatic League.9
  • In the computer game series The Patrician players begin as a trader and work their way to the head of the Hanseatic League.10
  • In the Perry Rhodan SF series, the trade organization the Cosmic Hansa (Kosmische Hanse) covers the Galaxy. The English translation for this organization is Cosmic House (see American issues 1800-1803) as it was felt that no one would understand the Hanseatic League reference.11
  • Midgard open source content management system has often been referred to as the Hanseatic League of Open Source.12

Hanseatic League merchant caravans are used as the backdrop for "living history" groups in Florida and North Carolina. has two chapters, "Bergens Kontor" in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and "Voss Kontor" in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Both groups portray merchants from a Hanseatic League merchant caravan originating from kontors and towns in Norway. They offer "in character" lectures, skits and "theatre in the round," based on the history of the Hanseatic League, for the education and entertainment of Renaissance Festival patrons and local schools.13

Robert Heinlein's novel, Citizen of the Galaxy, revolves around a loose league of trading spaceships of varying old Earth nationalities like the Finns aboard the "Sisu." Another ship is called "Hansea."14


  1. ↑ Hanno Brand, (Groningen: INTERREG IIIC.) 2007. Weaknesses and Strength of the Hanseatic League. hanse-passage.net. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Edward Von der Porten, 1994. Hanseatic League: Europe's First Common Market. National Geographic Magazine. (October 1994) No: 05953. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rainer Post, 1996. The Hanseatic League and its Decline. Bundeswehr Universität. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  4. ↑ Medieval Sourcebook: Privileges Granted to German Merchants at Novgorod, 1229. Fordham University Medieval Sourcebook, from: G. F. Sartorius, ed., Urkundliche Geschichte des Ursprunges der Deutschen Hanse, J. M. Lappenberg, rev., (Hamburg, 1830, Vol. II), 29; reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, eds. 1965. A Source Book for Medieval Economic History. (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), 225-231. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  5. ↑ Fernand Baudel, 1992 Civilization and Capitalism, 15th - 18th Century, Translated by Sian Reynolds. (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 103.
  6. ↑ Guide to Lubeck. Europe a la Carte. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  7. ↑ Braudel, 1992, 40.
  8. ↑ Braudel, 1992, 102.
  9. ↑ Kevin J. Anderson, and Robert Teranishi. 2004. Saga of the Seven Suns: veiled alliances. (La Jolla, CA: WildStorm Productions. ISBN 9781563899010.)
  10. The Patrician. 1992. Produced and published by Ascaron.
  11. ↑ The longest running Science Fiction series, the first Perry Rhodan installment was published in Germany in 1961. The official homepage, in German, is Perry Rhoden. Perry-rhodan.net. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  12. ↑ Midgard CMS. Midgard-project.org. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  13. ↑ Hanseatic League Historical Re-enactors Hanseatic-league.com. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  14. ↑ Robert A. Heinlein, 1957. Citizen of the Galaxy. (New York, NY: Scribner. ISBN 9780575002067.)


  • Braudel, Fernand. 1992. Civilization and Capitalism, 15th - 18th Century, Translated by Sian Reynolds. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780520081161.
  • Dollinger, Philippe. 1970. The German Hansa. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804707428.
  • Lavery, Jason Edward. 2002. Germany's northern challenge: the Holy Roman Empire and the Scandinavian struggle for the Baltic, 1563-1576. Studies in Central European histories. Boston, MA: Brill Academic. ISBN 9780391041561.
  • Lloyd, T.H. 1991. England and the German Hanse, 1157-1611: a study of their trade and commercial diplomacy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521404426.
  • Nash, Elizabeth G. 1995. The Hansa. New York, NY: Barnes and Noble. ISBN 9781566198677.
  • Øye, Ingvild. 1994. Bergen and the German Hansa. Bergen, NO: Bryggens Museum. ISBN 9788290289527.

External links

All links retrieved July 27, 2017.