Hanseatic city


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A wall painting in the historic town hall of Göttingen shows the coat of arms of the Hanseatic cities (19th century).
Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Town Hall)
Hanseatic City of Bremen (town hall, cathedral and citizenship)

Hanseatic cities are cities that where medieval merchants and Association of Cities of the Hanseatic League had joined. These included mainly port cities in the coastal regions, but also cities inland, especially on major rivers. Thanks to free trade and an enterprising middle class , many Hanseatic cities achieved high levels of prosperity, which means that valuable cultural and architectural monuments can still be found there today.

In total, there were around 200 places that were directly or indirectly part of the Hanseatic League when the federal government was in existence. The Hanseatic League took its starting point in the middle of the 12th century in Lübeck , which is known as the "mother of the Hanseatic League". The association of cities in the Hanseatic League was very loose and was not concluded in writing with any contract. This is why it is sometimes difficult to say which cities belonged to the Hanseatic League at which point in time. The Hanseatic League itself never wanted to specify the number and names of its cities. So she refused to provide the King of England with a detailed list of city names - (probably) such a list never existed. The point in time is decisive, because exits and entries, mergers and hostilities were the order of the day. Many small Hanseatic cities were assigned to their larger neighboring city, which in turn was represented in the Hanseatic League.

At the last Hanseatic Congress in Lübeck in 1669, only nine cities were represented: Lübeck, Hamburg , Bremen , Braunschweig , Danzig , Hildesheim , Cologne , Osnabrück and Rostock . Lübeck, Hamburg and Bremen had already been commissioned at the Hanseatic Days of 1629 and 1641 to preserve the best for the good of the Hanseatic League; In 1669 they became administrators of the Hanseatic legacy, including the Hansekontore . These three imperial cities remained connected by contractual relationships. They operated joint consular offices and finally decided together to sell the Stalhof in London (1853). In addition to the title " Free City ", they also had the nickname "Hanseatic City" - officially since the beginning of the 18th century and since then as an official part of the state or city name, Lübeck being given the status of "Free City" by the Greater Hamburg Lost Law 1937.

In 1803 only the Hanseatic cities of Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg retained their independence through the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss , in addition to the imperial cities of Frankfurt am Main , Nuremberg and Augsburg (both annexed by Bavaria in 1805/1806). In 1815 at the Congress of Vienna , Lübeck, Bremen, Hamburg and Frankfurt remained independent until Frankfurt was annexed by Prussia in 1866.

Since the Hanseatic cities were able to maintain their independence into the German Reich , in 1906 they were given an H for "Hanseatic City" in front of the first letters of their name when they introduced license plates : HL, HH, HB. This principle was later applied to other cities, such as Rostock, Wismar , Stralsund and Greifswald .

In 1980, the “ Neue Hanse ” was founded in Zwolle as the largest international city ​​partnership . The Westphalian Hanseatic League , founded in Herford in 1983, aims to revive Hanseatic traditions. Since 1990, some Hanseatic cities in Germany have officially used this epithet again as their city name (as of April 2016: 22 newly added cities), provided that the requirements of the respective country are met. The colors of the Hanseatic flags are white and red.

City groups within the Hanseatic League

Like the membership in the Hanseatic League, the city groups were also subject to constant changes. Most cities were grouped by region, as the thirds or quarters of the Kontor in Bruges make clear.

Just as Lübeck held a dominant position within the Hanseatic cities, the Wendish cities often played a pioneering role within the city groups.

Another possible regional division is that of sea and inland cities. A breakdown according to the predominantly traded goods is also possible or according to the number of inhabitants. All of these divisions have the flaw that they are based on a sparse database. This statement basically also applies to whether the cities belong to a third or a quarter, because the location of a city in a certain region can no longer automatically be used to derive membership in the corresponding group. A classification of twelve Hanseatic cities (probably from the 15th century) is passed down in a memorandum: “Lübeck, a department store; Cologne, a wine house; Braunschweig, an armory; Danzig, a granary; Hamburg, a brewery; Magdeburg, a bakery; Rostock, a malt house; Lüneburg, a salt house; Szczecin, a fish house; Halberstadt, a women's refuge; Riga, a hemp and butter house ; Reval, a wax and flat house; Krakow, a copper house; Visby, a pitch and tar house. "

Use of the nickname Hanseatic City

Entrance sign for Stralsund with the appropriate addition

Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg

Until 1990, only the three cities of Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg, established as heirs of the Hanseatic League in 1669, officially bore the nickname "Hanseatic City". At the beginning of the 19th century, it was added to the title of the Free City , an expression of the sovereignty of these independent city-states, as part of the state title of these originally imperial free imperial cities. In addition, was historically a Hanseat member of the upper class of the three Hanseatic cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck.

During the time of National Socialism, the addition of “free” was abolished, along with the loss of any statehood. When the Federal Republic of Germany was founded, Bremen (Free Hanseatic City) and Hamburg (Free and Hanseatic City) again included both titles as designations in their state names. As a result of the Greater Hamburg Law, Lübeck was only an independent city in Schleswig-Holstein from 1937 and, apart from the title “Hanseatic City”, could not regain the addition “Free” after the war ( Lübeck judgment 1956).

More Hanseatic cities since the reunification of Germany

The city of Uelzen has officially been using the name "Hanseatic City" in its name since 2016

After reunification (1990), six cities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania named themselves as Hanseatic cities in historical recollection, and more followed over the years.

Official addition of the name addition Hanseatic city after reunification
time city state
1990 Rostock Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaMecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
January 18, 1990 Wismar Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaMecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
1990 Stralsund Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaMecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
1990 Greifswald Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaMecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
1990 Anklam Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaMecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
January 21, 1994 Demmin Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaMecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
0October 5, 2007 Luneburg Lower SaxonyLower Saxony Lower Saxony
May 28, 2008 Guards Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
0April 1, 2008 Salzwedel Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
0June 1, 2008 Havelberg Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
0June 1, 2008 Osterburg Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
0June 1, 2008 Advertise Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
0November 1, 2008 Seehausen Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
April 29, 2009 Stade Lower SaxonyLower Saxony Lower Saxony
0January 1, 2010 Stendal Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
March 19, 2012 Wipperfürth North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
March 19, 2012 Warburg North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
2012 Attendorn North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
July 24, 2012 Breckerfeld North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
July 24, 2012 Medebach North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
June 18, 2013 Korbach HesseHesse Hesse
0July 8, 2013 Herford North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
April 28, 2014 Buxtehude Lower SaxonyLower Saxony Lower Saxony
0January 9, 2016 Uelzen Lower SaxonyLower Saxony Lower Saxony

At least 27 German cities officially have the name Hanseatic city in their name. This is stipulated in the main statutes of the cities. This title to the city name does not apply to other former Hanseatic cities, regardless of their significance for the historical Hanseatic League.

License Plate

In the case of the license plates issued in some Hanseatic cities , the "H" stands in front of the abbreviation for the city in question for Hanseatic city. In 1906 a uniform system of license plates was first adopted for the 25 federal states and Alsace-Lorraine in the German Empire . The three federal states of the free Hanseatic cities of Bremen (HB), Hamburg (HH) and Lübeck (HL) received letter abbreviations that are the only ones that have survived in this form (with interruption). With the change in the license plate number after reunification, Greifswald (HGW), Rostock (HRO), Stralsund (HST) and Wismar (HWI) were preceded by an "H" in the name.

List of the historic Hanseatic cities

Here is a regionally structured list according to Dollinger of cities from which merchants between the 14th and 16th centuries took advantage of Hanseatic privileges (sometimes only for a short time). Of the around 200 cities identified here, around 70 actively pursued Hanseatic politics. The majority of the Hanseatic cities (for example at the Hanseatic Days) were represented by a larger neighboring city.

North Sea coast (hinterland)

Baltic coast west of the Oder

  • Anklam , Duchy of Pomerania
  • Demmin , Duchy of Pomerania
  • Greifswald , Duchy of Pomerania
  • Kiel , County of Holstein, later Duchy of Holstein
  • Lübeck , Free Imperial City; the contract between Hamburg and Lübeck in 1241 is considered to be the birth of the Hanseatic League, one of the last nine Hanseatic cities in 1669
  • Rostock , Principality of Rostock, later Duchy of Mecklenburg; one of the last nine Hanseatic cities in 1669
  • Szczecin , Duchy of Pomerania
  • Stralsund , Principality of Rügen , later Duchy of Pomerania
  • Wismar , Duchy of Mecklenburg
  • Wolgast , Duchy of Pomerania

Western Pomerania

In Pomerania , the following cities were part of the Hanseatic:

Prussia, Silesia and Poland

Some Hanseatic cities belong to the area of Prussia , Silesia and Poland .

Livonian and Swedish cities

The following Hanseatic cities belong to the territory of Livonia and Sweden .

  • Dorpat (today Tartu), Diocese of Dorpat, later Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden
  • Fellin (today Viljandi), religious order, later the Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden
  • Goldingen (today Kuldīga), religious order, later Duchy of Courland (fiefdom of the Republic of Poland-Lithuania)
  • Groß Roop (today Straupe), religious order, later Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden
  • Kokenhusen (today Koknese), Archdiocese of Riga, later Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden
  • Lemsal (today Limbaži), Archdiocese of Riga, later Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden
  • Pernau (today Pärnu), religious order, later the Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden
  • Riga , religious order, later the Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden
  • Reval (now Tallinn), Estonia (Kingdom of Denmark), later a religious order, later the Kingdom of Sweden
  • Stockholm , Kingdom of Sweden
  • Visby , Gotland (to Kingdom of Sweden , Kingdom of Denmark 1409–1645 )
  • Wenden (today Cēsis), religious order, later the Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden
  • Windau (today Ventspils), monastic state, later Duchy of Courland (fiefdom of the Republic of Poland-Lithuania)
  • Wolmar (today Valmiera), religious order, later the Principality of Livonia (Republic of Poland-Lithuania), later Kingdom of Sweden

Lower Rhine area

IJssel and Zuiderzee area

  • Arnhem , County of Geldern , later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Deventer , Overijssel , later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Doesburg , County of Geldern, later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Elburg , County of Geldern, later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Harderwijk , County of Geldern, later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Hasselt , Overijssel, later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Hattem , County of Geldern, later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Kampen , Overijssel, later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Oldenzaal , Overijssel - Twente , later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Ommen , Overijssel, later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Stavoren , Friesland , later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Zutphen , County of Geldern, later United Provinces (Netherlands)
  • Zwolle , Overijssel, later United Provinces (Netherlands)

Between Rhine and Weser (Westphalian cities)

Mark Brandenburg

Central Germany (between Oberweser and Saale)

East Westphalian cities

The following East Westphalian cities are located in the area between the Weser and Elbe.

Cities with Hanseatic influence

Hansekontore

Hanseatic branches and trading centers

literature

Web links

Wiktionary: Hanseatic City  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. The Hansa . In:
  2. a b c d PM Ministry of the Interior
  3. Homepage Korbach (June 14, 2013)
  4. ^ Federal Statistical Office - Area changes from January 1st to December 31st, 2013
  5. ^ Buxtehude becomes a Hanseatic city again, Weser Kurier, March 6, 2014
  6. Uelzen is officially a Hanseatic city, AZ-Online, January 9, 2016