Explore the Hanseatic city Anklam

The urban settlement developing in the first half of 13th century was documented in 1243. The place Tanchlim was surrounded by nearly impassable moors and swamps and so to the greatest extent protected from hostile attacks. The favourable situation on the Peene that here crossed the important land trade route from Lübeck to Nowgorod made the market site develop soon and become the centre of an administrative district directed by a bailiff. 

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I. The Town

Then German settlers laid out the town according to a fixed schedule with its tessellated street system. The trade of cloth making was important as indicated by the street names Broad and Narrow Wool Weaver Street and Tanner Street. 

Then Duke of Pomerania Barnim I., also called the Town Builder, often stayed in Anklam between 1247 and 1277. Yet a special charter granting the town’s rights is not preserved. The town is for the first time mentioned as such in the duke’s charter of 1264 freeing the citizens of the town Tanglym (Anklam) from any custom and granting them the right to ship unmolested in all his waters. 

In 1283 already, the town being under Lübeck law became member of the Hanseatic League. The Public Peace Treaty (Landfriedensbündnis) accorded in Rostock united for the first time the towns of Lübeck, Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund, Greifswald, Anklam, Stettin and Demmin. With its far reaching trade, the town grew into a rich and important Hanseatic town with a far spread territory. 

In Anklam harbour the turnover of goods like grain, fish, cloth, leather, beer and cattle was very profitable. Especially the trade with herring on the town’s own Vitten (trade settlements) on Falsterbo and Skanor brought great wealth. Thus Anklam was able for instance to erect two big churches and to extend the town’s fortification. In 1339, Anklam formed a 4-towns-alliance with the Pomeranian towns Stralsund, Greifswald and Demmin that was renewed in 1457.

To protect Hanseatic privileges in Scandinavia Anklam took part in the Hanseatic war against Denmark. The famous Peace of Stralsund 1370 that Anklam joined in to sign saw the Hanseatic League on the peak of its power. 

After the Westphalian Peace of 1648, West Pomerania (Vorpommern) came under Swedish reign. Seven decades later, as a consequence of the Nordic War, Prussia boosted its dominion. After the peace of Stockholm 1720, the Peene became frontier river between Prussia and Sweden. The town now being divided, the northern Peene dam remained in Swedish possession, the southern main part became Prussian. While the inhabitants of the Peene dam politically belonged to Sweden, they had to pay their civil taxes in the Prussian part of the town. Prussian civil servants administered justice according to Swedis-Pomeranian law. It was only after the Wien Congress of 1815 that whole Anklam belonged to Prussia.

II. The Tradition
Archive and Presentation

Today, the Hanseatic town Anklam only disoposes of an administration archive. The historical town archive with record series from the Hanseatic times (e.g. deeds and a medieval magistrate library) is kept in the Vorpommersches Landesarchiv Greifswald, Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Platz 1, Tel. 03834/5953-0.

Additional tradition referring to Anklam’s Hanseatic times is therefore to be found in archival sources on the Hanseatic League just as in letter rolls and copy books of other Hanseatic towns. 

Steintor Museum

The regional museum in the last preserved town gate of the former medieval fortifications is one of the oldest museums in Western Pomerania (Vorpommern). It presents an extended exhibition on Anklam’s Hanseatic history within a building still dating from the Hanseatic times. 

The museum disposes of an archive and a library that are accessible to 80%. Parts of the catalogue can be used via the museum website. The archive can be used on previous notice. www.museum-im-steintor.de

Literature (selection)

H. Bellee: Bericht über die Verzeichnung der kleineren, nicht staatlichen Archive. 
Stettin 1941. 
J. W. Bruinier: Das Stadtbuch von Anklam, Ältester Teil 1401 – 1429. Köln/Graz 1960.
J. W. Bruinier: Das Stadtbuch von Anklam, 2. Teil 1429 – 1453. Köln/Graz 1964.
J. W. Bruinier: Das Stadtbuch von Anklam, 3. Teil 1454 – 1474. Köln/Graz 1965.
C. F. Stavenhagen: Topographische und chronologische Beschreibung der Pommerschen Kauf- und Handels-Stadt Anklam aus Urkunden und historischen Nachrichten verfasst und mit einem Anhange des Herrn Pastors J. F. Sprengels. Greifswald 1773.

Pictures of the Hanseatic City of Anklam


Hansestadt Anklam
Markt 3
17389 Anklam