The Interreg project HansaLink developed concepts to make it possible to experience the Hanseatic cultural heritage along thematic routes. To this end, prototypes for online storymaps were developed to illustrate Hanseatic history on the basis of maps.

The historical Hanseatic League played an essential role in the development of the Baltic Sea region. In many cases, this type of voluntary cooperation is seen as a predecessor of the European Union, as it fundamentally shaped pre-modern society and created a lasting community of cities.

The rich cultural heritage of the Hanseatic League is still present in many Hanseatic cities, but has not yet been systematically recorded and utilised on a transnational level. Yet this common heritage forms the cultural and historical foundations of a regional identity in the Baltic Sea region and beyond.

This is where the Interreg project HansaLink came in - a cooperation of the association of cities THE HANSA with the Research Centre for the History of the Hanseatic League and the Baltic Sea Region (FGHO), the Gotland Museum in Visby and the Russian city of Veliky Novgorod. The project created the basis for revitalising transnational connections based on historical trade routes and thus bringing the Hanseatic cultural heritage to life.

The project ran from October 2020 to September 2021 and was funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme. It was a so-called seed money project, creating the conceptual basis for Hanseatic thematic routes to be implemented in a follow-up project(s) based on it.

In the HansaLink project, several prototypes for storymaps were developed on several levels (meta-level, micro-level, local) to make Hanseatic history a virtual experience.

The Lords of the Money

With their self-confidence, daring and financial strength, the Hanseatic merchants shaped the economy and politics of a large part of northern and central Europe. Attributes such as honesty, trustworthiness and solidarity were associated with them. Although historically not without controversy, the image of the honourable merchant is still present in many Hanseatic cities today.

Zur Storymap (Englisch)

Hildebrand Veckinchusen

Hildebrand Veckinchusen (around 1370-1426) was a stroke of luck for historical science and a misfortune for his family and trade partners. No other Hanseatic merchant has left behind such an enormous fundus of written material - and has experienced such a spectacular rise and crashing fall.

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The Bergenfahrer

Many merchants joined forces in guilds organised by their trading destinations, mostly dedicated to the main trading posts. Such a guild was the so-called Bergenfahrer (Bergen travellers), which appeared in Lübeck around 1343. Today, one still can find traces of Bergenfahrer in the city of Lübeck.

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