Vertrek Kamper Kogge
Privileg des Königs Eduard IV. 1547 ©EHM Olaf Malzahn
Stoffe und Pelze
Die Hanse zu Gast in Neuss
Übergabe Hansefahne an Torun

From the Middle Ages to the Present Day

It began as a network of long-distance merchants and developed into a powerful association of cities: the Hanseatic League. For more than 400 years, the Hanseatic League shaped the economy, trade and politics of northern Europe. Today, the Hanseatic cities are reconnecting with their great past: The Union of Cities THE HANSA was founded in Zwolle in 1980 to revive the common cultural heritage and, with almost 200 member cities, is one of the largest voluntary associations of cities in the world.

The medieval Hanseatic League

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Hanseatic merchant

Union of Cities THE HANSA

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Hansetag Kampen Abschlussparade

Member cities

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The International Hanseatic Day

Just as in the Middle Ages, the Hanseatic cities meet regularly at the Hanseatic Day.  And just like back then, the key decisions of the association of cities are made at the Hanseatic Day today. Every year a different Hanseatic city is host and invites you to celebrate Hanseatic history and international understanding. Not only the delegations from the Hanseatic cities take part, but also up to 500,000 visitors from all over Europe.

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Visby town wall ©Region Gotland

THE HANSA featured by Visit Europe

DIE HANSE is presented together with nine other cultural routes of the Council of Europe on the tourism portal "Visit Europe" of the European Travel Commission. In addition to THE HANSA, well-known pilgrimage routes such as the Way of St James are presented, as well as cultural routes on the themes of art, architecture and cuisine.

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Launch of Dutch Youth Hansa

Establishment of the Dutch Youth Hanse Association

The signatures have been put down, and the Dutch Youth Hanse is now officially an association. It was founded in Oldenzaal on Thursday, March 7, 2024. The association aims to stimulate contacts between young people in Hanseatic cities nationally and across Europe.

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youthHansa Logo_klein

A new logo for youthHansa!

Just in time for its 25th anniversary, youthHansa has a new logo. In order to visualize the close connection the the Union of Cities THE HANSA, the colour scheme and design of the logo are based on the logo of THE HANSA.

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Kings Lynn Hanse House ©King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council

BBC broadcasts Hansa podcast

The BBC podcast series "In our time" has now released an episode on the history of the Hanseatic League. Presenter Melvyn Bragg talks to his guests about the development of the network from a merchant organisation to a federation of cities, the importance of privileges and monopolies for the Hanseatic merchants and the political influence of the network.

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Tartu_European Capital of Culture opening 2_Andrus Liivamäe

Tartu kicked off its European Capital of Culture year

Tartu is one of the European Capitals of Culture 2024. The cultural year in the Estonian Hanseatic city was officially opened on 26 January with a colourful live show in the open air. With more than 1000 events planned, Tartu presents itself as a young, hip cultural metropolis with crazy highlights - from a mass kissing event at the town hall market to the "Naked Truth" sauna debate festival.

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Privileg des Königs Eduard IV. von England 1547 (Faksimile) ©EHM Olaf Malzahn

UNESCO certificate „Memory of the World“

Now it's official: 17 prominent Hanseatic documents are part of the World Documentary Heritage. During an international ceremony in Lübeck Town Hall, the Vice President of the German UNESCO Commission, Prof. Dr. Hartwig Lüdtke, presented the certificates for the inclusion of outstanding documents of Hanseatic history in the international "Memory of the World" register.

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Autumn Commission

The Hansa in Gdansk

The Union of Cities' Autumn Commission took place in Gdańsk from October 24 to 26. Around 40 representatives from the commission cities of the Hanseatic League were able to see for themselves the status of preparations for the 44th International Hanseatic Day, which will be held in the Polish Hanseatic city from June 13-16, 2024.

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St Marys cathedral, Visby ©Region Gotland

Hansa Organ Project: Competition for composers

October saw the launch of the Hansa Organ Project. Composers and musicians from the Hansa are cordially invited to participate in the project - by submitting compositions for the planned Hansa Organ Book and the participation of organists in the Hansa Organ Festival on the occasion of the Hanseatic Day in Visby 2025.

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Smart Hansa_Cooperation HL Wismar Rostock Stralsund ©HL

Smart Hansa sets course for digitalization

The mayors of the Hanseatic and Baltic cities of Lübeck, Rostock, Stralsund and Wismar agree to work closely together in the future on the development and implementation of digital solutions in the face of major social challenges. On October 23, they signed a declaration of intent in Lübeck for cross-city cooperation on the digital transformation to a smart city.

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Youth Hansa Day Deventer title image

Deventer Youth Hansa Day

On Friday 22nd and Saturday 23th of September the Deventer (Youth) Hanseatic Days took place. Young people from the Dutch and Rhenish Hanseatic cities got the chance to discover one of the most beautiful Hanseatic cities: Deventer. The event was organised by our YouthHansa delegates Silke Zeeuwen and Mika Pater, both from the city of Deventer.

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