German Hanse

From 1263 to1518 Salzwedel was member of the Hanse. The Hanse promoted trade. Corn, skins, leather, textiles and beer from Salzwedel reached  Gotland or Russia. The city imported mainly spices, herrings, and tin and copper containers using the Jeetze river. Salzwedel was known to produce premium textiles at the time.

In the era of her largest expansion, almost  300 coastal and landlocked cities of Northern Europe were members of the German Städtehanse. The cog was the symbol of the Hanse, underscoring the importance of see transport. Through free trade, many cities of the Hanse acquired considrable wealth which is manifest to this day in many grand, preserved buildings.

Hanse societies were closely knit. In 1558, a certain Pascha Stampehl married Christina Gercken, an aunt of the founder. His cousin Andreas Stampehl and his children were mayors of Reval (Tallin).

Lübeck dominated the Hanse. Between 1356 and 1480 54 Hanse conferences were held in Lübeck, 10  in Stralsund, 3 in Hamburg, 2 in Bremen and one each in Cologne,  LüneburgGreifswaldBraunschweig (1427) and Uelzen (1470).

In July 1669 the last Hanse conference was held in in Lübeck. The attempt to project or exercize land power had failed during the thirty-years’ war (1618 – 1648). Only nine delegates participated. No decisions were taken. The Hanse was never disbanded. She merely fell into hibernation.

The Hanse, a historic association of German cities.
The Kogge (cog), the symbol of the German Hanse.