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.