Hanseatic League

Map of the Hanseatic League, showing principal Hanseatic cities

The Hanseatic League is a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns. It dominates Baltic maritime trade along the coast of Northern Europe. Stretching from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland. The League was created to protect the guilds’ economic interests and diplomatic privileges in their affiliated cities and countries, as well as along the trade routes the merchants visit. The Hanseatic cities have their own legal system and furnish their own armies for mutual protection and aid. Despite this, the organization is not a state, nor can it be called a confederation of city-states; only a very small number of the cities within the league enjoy autonomy and liberties comparable to those of a free imperial city.

Hansa Proper

QuarterCityTerritoryNotes
WendishLübeckFree City of LübeckCapital of the Hanseatic League, capital of the Wendish and Pomeranian Circle
WendishHamburgFree City of Hamburg
WendishLüneburgDuchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg
WendishWismarDuchy of MecklenburgJoined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty he predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns .
WendishRostockDuchy of Mecklenburg Joined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty he predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns .
WendishStralsundPrincipality of RügenRügen was a fief of the Danish crown to 1325. Stralsund joined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty in 1283, which was the predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns (1293 onwards). From 1339 to the 17th century, Stralsund was a member of the Vierstädtebund with Greifswald, Demmin and Anklam.
WendishDemminDuchy of PomeraniaJoined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty he predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns .
WendishGreifswald Duchy of Pomerania Joined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty he predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns .
WendishAnklam Duchy of Pomerania Joined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty he predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns .
WendishStettin (Szczecin) Duchy of Pomerania Joined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty in 1283, which was the predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns (1293 onwards); since the 14th century gradually adopted the role of a chief city for the Pomeranian Hanseatic towns to its east
WendishPasewalk Duchy of Pomerania
WendishKolberg (Kołobrzeg) Duchy of Pomerania
WendishRügenwalde (Darłowo) Duchy of Pomerania
WendishStolp (Słupsk) Duchy of Pomerania
BalticVisbyKingdom of SwedenIn 1285 at Kalmar, the League agreed with Magnus III, King of Sweden, that Gotland be joined with Sweden.
BalticStockholmKingdom of Sweden
SaxonBrunswickDuchy of SaxonyCapital of the Saxon, Thuringian and Brandenburg Circle
SaxonBremenFree City of Bremen
SaxonMagdeburgArchbishopric of MagdeburgCapital of the Saxon, Thuringian and Brandenburg Circle
SaxonGoslarImperial City of GoslarGoslar was a fief of Saxony until 1280.
SaxonErfurtArchbishopric of Mainz
SaxonStadeArchbishopric of Bremen
SaxonBerlinMargraviate of BrandenburgBrandenburg was raised to an Electorate in 1356. Elector Frederick II caused all the Brandenburg cities to leave the League in 1442.
SaxonFrankfurt an der OderMargraviate of BrandenburgElector Frederick II caused all the Brandenburg cities to leave the League in 1442.
BalticGdańsk – Danzig (Gdańsk)Teutonic OrderCapital of the Prussian, Livonian and Swedish (or East Baltic) Circle. Danzig had been first a part of the Duchy of Pomerelia, a fief of the Polish Crown, with Polish-Kashubian population, then part of the State of the Teutonic Order from 1308 until 1457.
BalticElbing (Elbląg)Teutonic OrderElbing had originally been part of the territory of the Old Prussians, until the 1230s when it became part of the State of the Teutonic Order.
BalticThorn (Toruń)Teutonic OrderToruń was part of the State of the Teutonic Order from 1233 until 1466.
BalticKrakówKingdom of PolandKraków the capital of the Kingdom of Poland it’s very loosely associated with Hansa, and pays no membership fees, or sents representatives to League meetings.
BalticBreslau, (Wrocław)Kingdom of BohemiaBreslau, a part of the Duchy of Breslau and the Kingdom of Bohemia, was only loosely associated with Hansa, and pays no membership fees, or sents representatives to League meetings.
BalticKönigsberg (Kaliningrad)Teutonic OrderKönigsberg was the capital of the Teutonic Order.
BalticRīgaTerra Mariana (Livonia)
BalticReval (Tallinn)Terra Mariana (Livonia)On joining the Hanseatic League, Reval was a Danish fief, but was sold, with the rest of northern Estonia, to the Teutonic Order in 1346.
BalticDorpat (Tartu)Terra Mariana (Livonia)The Bishopric of Dorpat gained increasing autonomy within the Terra Mariana.
WestphalianCologneImperial City of CologneCapital of the Rhine-Westphalian and Netherlands Circle.
WestphalianDortmundImperial City of DortmundAfter Cologne was excluded after the Anglo-Hanseatic War (1470–74), Dortmund was made capital of the Rhine-Westphalian and Netherlands Circle.
WestphalianDeventerBishopric of Utrecht
WestphalianKampenBishopric of Utrecht
WestphalianGroningenFriesland
WestphalianMünsterPrince-Bishopric of Münster
WestphalianOsnabrückPrince-Bishopric of Osnabrück
WestphalianSoestImperial City of SoestThe city was a part of the Electorate of Cologne until acquiring its freedom in 1444–49, after which it aligned with the Duchy of Cleves.

Kontore

QuarterCityTerritoryNotes
KontorNovgorod: PeterhofNovgorod RepublicNovgorod was one of the principal Kontore of the League and the easternmost.
KontorBergen: BryggenKingdom of NorwayBryggen is one of the principal Kontore of the League.
KontorBruges: HanzekantoorCounty of FlandersBruges was one of the principal Kontore of the League until the 15th century, when the seaway to the city silted up; trade from Antwerp benefiting from Bruges’s loss.
KontorLondon: SteelyardKingdom of EnglandThe Steelyard was one of the principal Kontore of the League. 
KontorAntwerpDuchy of BrabantAntwerp became a major Kontor of the League, particularly after the seaway to Bruges silted up in the 15th century, leading to its fortunes waning in Antwerp’s favour, despite Antwerp’s refusal to grant special privileges to the League’s merchants. Between 1312 and 1406, Antwerp was a margraviate, independent of Brabant.
KontorBishop’s Lynn (King’s Lynn)Kingdom of EnglandThe Hanseatic Warehouse was constructed in 1475 as part of the Treaty of Utrecht, allowing the League to establish a trading depot in Lynn for the first time. It is the only surviving League building in England.
KontorIpswichKingdom of England
KontorMalmöKingdom of DenmarkSkåne (Scania) was Danish until ceded to Sweden by the 1658 Treaty of Roskilde, during the Second Northern War.
KontorFalsterboKingdom of DenmarkSkåne was Danish until ceded to Sweden by the 1658 Treaty of Roskilde, during the Second Northern War.
KontorKaunasGrand Duchy of LithuaniaIn 1398 traders guild with close ties to Hanseatic league appeared in Kaunas. Treaty with Hanseatic league was signed in 1441. The main office was located in the House of Perkūnas from 1441 till 1532.
KontorPleskau (Pskov)Pskov RepublicIn the 12th and 13th centuries, Pskov adhered to the Novgorod Republic. It was captured by the Teutonic Order in 1241 and liberated by a Lithuanian prince, becoming a de facto sovereign republic by the 14th century.
KontorPolotskPrincipality of PolotskPolotsk was an autonomous principality of Kievan Rus’ until gaining its independence in 1021. From 1240, it became a vassal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, being fully integrated into the Grand Duchy in 1307.
Scroll to Top