In the mid-13th century, German seafaring merchants joined together to lay the basis of what became the Hanseatic League as a way to pursue their shared economic interests.
Along the coasts of Northern Europe, mainly around the Baltic Sea, up to 225 cities joined the League, which had an important influence on the economy, politics and trade until the 17th century.
Council of Europe values
All of the current 190 Hanseatic member cities share the same democratic rights and the same core European values; free trade, free movement and protection of citizens. With the tensions within Europe today, this network represents an important means of peaceful and respectful co-existence. In addition, the Youth Hansa initiative brings together young people from the Hanseatic cities, so as to transfer these values to the next generation.
The Hansa is certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe since 1991.