Replica of Hanseatic League (Hanse) stall selling spices and exotic fruits
Hanse trade was vast
In last week’s blog, I wrote about the rise of the Hanseatic League or Hanse. It became very powerful—and extremely rich—simply by working really hard and trading very cleverly. To give you an idea of how extensive Hanse trade was, take a look at this graphic from the Hansemuseum of all the items traded through Bruges (click to enlarge to read):
imports: cloth at the top, metals, foodstuffs, weapons, exotic animals, luxury goods and more Exports: jewels, pearls, carpets, parchment, sugar, weapons, furs, sponges, dyes and more
Clearly, if you were wealthy enough, you could buy practically anything known at the time. At the top of the blog, I’ve repeated last week’s image of a replica spice stall. But there are more. Continue reading →
Hanseatic League trading range in the 16th century and key trading partners
Who in Britain has heard of the Hanseatic League (in German, die Hanse)? And yet the Hanseatic League was probably the most powerful trading network in northern Europe for centuries, from its inception around the 12th century until its demise in the 17th.
What’s more, one of the Hanse’s prime locations—you may be surprised to learn—was London. In 1176, King Henry II granted merchants from Cologne the privilege of establishing their own trading post in London. And from then on, their business flourished.
I recently visited Hanseatic League cities and towns in Germany, from Berlin to Lübeck. Continue reading →