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       hanseatic sites, routes and monuments
  a commercial league  
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The governments of the Scandinavian countries suggested to the Council of Europe to promote through a cultural route both knowledge of the Hanseatic League and tourism in the countries of Northern Europe.

The route, elected by the Council of Cultural Co-operation in 1992, was initially presented at the castle of Kronborg in Helsingor, Denmark in 1991, then in Bergen, Norway in 1992 and Visby, Sweden in 1993.

City of Stralsund

goals and objectives

Seal of the City of Stralsund, 1329

The purpose of this route was to make the history and cultural heritage of the northern countries as vivid as the spirit of southern European civilisations, symbolised for the Scandinavians by Mediterranean cultures and civilisations. It involved scientific co-operation projects and co-operation among museums.

After a meeting held in Tallinn in January 1995, including participants from Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, Sweden, Norway and Belgium, a guide entitled "Hanseatic sites, roads and monuments".

"A traveller's guide to the past and present" was published in 1996. This work, carried out under the direction of Gun Westholm, constitutes a historical synthesis about the Hanseatic League, presenting the various phases of its constitution, beginning with "the first Hanse" of the 12th century born along the Rhine, covering the creation of the town of Lübeck, a German harbour providing a natural outlet at the Baltic Sea for German tradesmen, on to the development, starting from the 13th century, of a true league with Lübeck and Hamburg, whose members really adopted the term Hanse. It includes a choice of cities from among the over two hundred that constituted the top places in the League.

The route intends to put into perspective the contribution of this mutual commercial structure to the rest of Europe. Indeed: "Through the Hanse, the citizens and merchants of Novgorod in the East and those of London in the West were connected with the cities of Germany in the North, and those of the Netherlands and current Belgium in the South. The "kogge", principal boat design innovation of the Middle Ages, (...) enabled the transportation of goods among Baltic seaports to an extent that could not have been conceived before" (Hans Sand).


A mission was led by the Institute in 1998, at the time of the annual meeting of Hanseatic Cities. The persons in charge of the route now work with the Hanse Commission, an association for the promotion of trade, tourism and transport that reconstituted a contemporary kind of Hanse. Divided into thematic Committees, such as that devoted to tourism, the Commission organises the annual summit of the Hanseatic Days. In 1998, during the Visby summit in Gotland a "Hanse of youth" embodied the will of this association of cities to gain the interest of young people between 16 and 25 in co-operating around the Baltic.

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 more infos ...
 other web sites
 Stralsund city of the Hansa
  Everything on this Hanseatic city, on World Heritage List.
 Contemporary Hansa
 Hansa cities
  A web-site in dutch.
 Vikings and Hansa routes
  Accounts of Dan Carlsson and Alf Modvar (Bourglinster 1996).
 media library
 Europe of the Hansa
  A fundamental work of Professor d'Haenens.
 Hanse traveller's guide
  The work of Gun Westholm, expert of the Council of Europe.
 The Hanse era
  An approach of Hanse's cities.


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