A report on Sweden and Hanseatic League

A Vendel-era helmet, at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities
The Hanseatic League was a powerful economic and defensive alliance that left a great cultural and architectural heritage. It is especially renowned for its Brick Gothic monuments, such as Stralsund's St. Nikolai Church and its City Hall, shown here. UNESCO lists the old town of Stralsund, together with Wismar, as a World Heritage Site.
Viking expeditions (blue lines)
Foundation of the alliance between Lübeck and Hamburg
The Tjängvide image stone dating from 800 to 1099, example of Viking art
Main trading routes of the Hanseatic League
Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), a site of religious and political importance in the early days of Sweden
Town Hall of Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia)
Skog tapestry, made most probably during the late 13th century.
Stargard Mill Gate, Pomerania, today in Poland
Gustav I liberated Sweden from Christian II of Denmark, ending the Kalmar Union. He established the House of Vasa which ruled Sweden and Poland until the 17th century
Georg Giese from Danzig, 34-year-old German Hanseatic merchant at the Steelyard, painted in London by Hans Holbein
Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631.
View of the in the port city of Gdańsk (Danzig), today in Poland
The Swedish Empire between 1611 and 1815, with its absolute peak between 1658 and 1660.
Hanseatic museum in Bergen, Norway
The Battle of Poltava in 1709. In the following years, Russia and her allies occupied all Swedish dominions on the Baltic coast and even Finland.
Heinrich Sudermann
Illustration of starvation in northern Sweden, Famine of 1867–1869
Modern, faithful painting of the Adler von Lübeck – the world's largest ship in its time
Swedish emigrants boarding ship in Gothenburg in 1905
Hanseatic Seal of Elbing (now Elbląg)
A Swedish soldier during World War II. Sweden remained neutral during the conflict.
Hanseatic Seal of Stralsund
Tage Erlander (left), Prime Minister under the ruling Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1946 to 1969.
Map of the Hanseatic League, showing principal Hanseatic cities
Sweden joined the European Union in 1995 and signed the Lisbon Treaty in 2007.
The Oostershuis, a kontor in Antwerp
Second day of the Stockholm Husby riots. The picture shows three cars on fire in the Stockholm suburb of Husby, 20 May 2013
The Hanseatic Warehouse in King's Lynn is the only surviving League building in England
View of the Stora Sjöfallet National Park
Scania in southern Sweden
Europe in 1097
Sandhamn island, Stockholm archipelago
Europe in 1430
Köppen climate classification types of Sweden using the 0°C isotherm
Europe in 1470
Köppen climate classification types of Sweden using the -3°C isotherm
Carta marina of the Baltic Sea region (1539)
Map of Sweden's five major vegetation zones
The current King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, and his consort, Queen Silvia
Rosenbad, in central Stockholm, has been the seat of the Government since 1981.
The Riksdag chamber, at the time of a vote, in 2009
The party leaders lined up before the start of the televised live debate on 12 September 2014.
Municipal divisions of Sweden
Kingdoms of Svear (Sweonas) and Götar (Geats) in the 12th century, with modern borders in grey
The Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament in 2014
Bonde Palace in Stockholm, seat of the Supreme Court of Sweden
The EU parliament in Brussels. Sweden is a member state of the European Union.
Development aid measured in GNI in 2009. Source: OECD. As a percentage Sweden is the largest donor.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is an advanced Swedish multi-role fighter aircraft of the Swedish Air Force.
The Infantry fighting vehicle CV90, which is produced and used by Sweden
Gross regional product (GRP) per capita in thousands of kronor (2014)
A proportional representation of Sweden exports, 2019
Sweden is home to Volvo Cars, an automobile company with its headquarters in Gothenburg
Real GDP growth in Sweden, 1996–2006
Sweden is part of the Schengen Area and the EU single market.
Nordstan is one of the largest shopping malls in northern Europe
Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant, located south of Gothenburg
The Öresund Bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen in Denmark
Stockholm Central Station
Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and institutor of the Nobel Prize
Population density in the counties of Sweden.
Distribution of speakers of the Swedish language
The Protestant Katarina Church in Stockholm
The second oldest mosque in Sweden is the Malmö Mosque, inaugurated in 1984
Historical development of life expectancy in Sweden
Uppsala University (established 1477)
Nationalmuseum in Stockholm
The Swedish band ABBA in April 1974, a few days after they won the Eurovision Song Contest
Kalmar Cathedral
Headquarters of Sveriges Television in Stockholm
The writer and playwright August Strindberg
Walpurgis Night bonfire in Sweden
Cinnamon rolls originated in Sweden and Denmark.
Former World No. 1 tennis player Björn Borg
Former world No. 1 tennis player Björn Borg

After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the dominance of the Hanseatic League in Northern Europe threatened Scandinavia economically and politically.

- Sweden

The Hanseatic League fully restored its power in Gustav Vasa's Sweden and Frederick I's Denmark, 1523 after the war.

- Hanseatic League

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Map of the Baltic Sea region

Baltic Sea

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Map of the Baltic Sea region
Danish Straits and southwestern Baltic Sea
Åland between Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia
Cape Arkona on the island of Rügen in Germany, was a sacred site of the Rani tribe before Christianization.
Main trading routes of the Hanseatic League (Hanse).
In 1649 the settlement of the Latvian-speaking Kursenieki spanned from Klaipėda to Gdańsk along the coast of the Baltic Sea.
The naval Battle of the Sound took place on 8 November 1658 during the Dano-Swedish War.
The burning Cap Arcona shortly after the attacks, 3 May 1945. Only 350 survived of the 4,500 prisoners who had been aboard
Baltic drainage basins (catchment area), with depth, elevation, major rivers and lakes
Curonian Spit in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia
Regions and basins of the Baltic Sea: 
1 = Bothnian Bay
2 = Bothnian Sea
1 + 2 = Gulf of Bothnia, partly also 3 & 4
3 = Archipelago Sea
4 = Åland Sea
5 = Gulf of Finland
6 = Northern Baltic Proper
7 = Western Gotland Basin
8 = Eastern Gotland Basin
9 = Gulf of Riga
10 = Bay of Gdańsk/Gdansk Basin
11 = Bornholm Basin and Hanö Bight
12 = Arkona Basin 6–12 = Baltic Proper
13 = Kattegat, not an integral part of the Baltic Sea
14 = Belt Sea (Little Belt and Great Belt)
15 = Öresund (The Sound) 14 + 15 = Danish Straits, not an integral part of the Baltic Sea
Satellite image of the Baltic Sea in a mild winter
Traversing Baltic Sea and ice
On particularly cold winters, the coastal parts of the Baltic Sea freeze into ice thick enough to walk or ski on.
Piles of drift ice on the shore of Puhtulaid, near Virtsu, Estonia, in late April
Depths of the Baltic Sea in meters
Baltic Sea near Klaipėda (Karklė).
Skerries form an integral and typical part of many of the archipelagos of the Baltic Sea, such as these in the archipelago of Åland, Finland.
Stockholm archipelago
Aerial view of Bornholm, Denmark
Population density in the Baltic Sea catchment area
Vasilyevsky Island in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Stockholm in Sweden
Riga in Latvia
Helsinki in Finland
Gdańsk in Poland
Tallinn in Estonia
Satellite photo of the Baltic Sea surrounding Gotland, Sweden, with algae bloom (phytoplankton) swirling in the water
Pedestrian pier in Sellin, Germany
Svetlogorsk resort town in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia
Mrzeżyno beach in Poland

The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the North and Central European Plain.

In the 13th to 16th centuries, the strongest economic force in Northern Europe was the Hanseatic League, a federation of merchant cities around the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.


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City in Northern Germany.

City in Northern Germany.

Lübeck as illustrated in the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493
Entry of the Fusilier battalion on June 18, 1871 in Lübeck.
Hospital of the Holy Spirit, one of the oldest social institutions of Lübeck (1260)
City hall
St. Mary's Church
Lübeck Cathedral and historic buildings at the Obertrave
Niederegger marzipan
The Lübeck Academy of Music
The skyline of the old town as seen from North
Lübeck main station (Lübeck Hbf)
Lübeck civil registration office, in the St. Jürgen zone
The beach of Travemünde
Lübeck Airport
Ephraim Carlebach 1936
Willy Brandt in 1980
JF Overbeck, self portrait with family 1820
Dieterich Buxtehude
Robert Christian Ave-Lallemant in 1851
Heinrich (left) and Thomas Mann in 1902
C.F.Heineken 1726

Lübeck is famous for having been the cradle and the de facto capital of the Hanseatic League.

🇸🇪 Gotland, Sweden (1999)


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Subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties between its constituent peoples.

Subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties between its constituent peoples.

Galdhøpiggen is the highest point in Scandinavia and is a part of the Scandinavian Mountains.
Scandinavia originally referred vaguely to Scania, a formerly Danish region that became Swedish in the seventeenth century.
The original areas inhabited (during the Bronze Age) by the peoples now known as Scandinavians included what is now Northern Germany (particularly Schleswig-Holstein), all of Denmark, southern Sweden, the southern coast of Norway and Åland in Finland while namesake Scania found itself in the centre.
Scandinavism—a Norwegian, a Dane and a Swede.
Historically verified distribution of the Sami languages ([[:File:Sami languages large 2.png|legend]])
The Kalmar Union (c. 1400)
Continental Scandinavian languages: Danish Norwegian
Insular Scandinavian languages:Faroese

In English usage, Scandinavia most commonly refers to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

That influence was due not only to proximity, but also to the rule of Denmark—and later Denmark-Norway—over the German-speaking region of Holstein, and to Sweden's close trade with the Hanseatic League.

Effigy of Queen Margaret from 1423 on her tomb in Roskilde Cathedral.

Margaret I of Denmark

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Ruler of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (which included Finland) from the late 1380s until her death, and the founder of the Kalmar Union that joined the Scandinavian kingdoms together for over a century.

Ruler of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (which included Finland) from the late 1380s until her death, and the founder of the Kalmar Union that joined the Scandinavian kingdoms together for over a century.

Effigy of Queen Margaret from 1423 on her tomb in Roskilde Cathedral.
An allegory of the inception of the Kalmar Union: Queen Margaret crowning Eric of Pomerania king of Norway, as depicted in a stained-glass window at Pena Palace, Portugal.
Seal of Margaret, in known use 1381–1409.
Margaret's elaborate tomb, near subsequent royal sarcophagi at Roskilde Cathedral.
Bust of Margaret from her own time.
Margaret with Eric at his coronation, as Hans Peter Hansen imagined the scene in 1884.

She was a practical, patient administrator and diplomat, albeit one of high aspirations and a strong will, who intended to unite Scandinavia forever into one single entity with the strength to resist and compete against the might of the Hanseatic League.

Margaret, free from fear of domestic sedition, could now give her undivided attention to Sweden, where mutinous nobles, led by Birger (son of Bridget and brother of Martha), were already in arms against their unpopular King Albert.


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Country in Northern Europe.

Country in Northern Europe.

Bronze Age stone-cist graves
Iron Age artefacts of a hoard from Kumna
Independent counties of Ancient Estonia in the beginning of the 13th century
Medieval Estonia and Livonia after the crusade
Kuressaare Castle in Saaremaa dates back to the 1380s
"Academia Dorpatensis" (now University of Tartu) was founded in 1632 by King Gustavus as the second university in the kingdom of Sweden. After the king's death it became known as "Academia Gustaviana".
Carl Robert Jakobson played a key role in the Estonian national awakening.
Declaration of Independence in Pärnu on 23 February 1918. One of the first images of the Republic.
Estonian armoured train during the Estonian War of Independence
According to the 23 August 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact "the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)" were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence" (German copy)
The Red Army troops crossing Soviet-Estonian border in October 1939 after Estonia had been forced to sign the Bases Treaty
The capital Tallinn after bombing by the Soviet Air Force during the war on the Eastern Front in March 1944
Estonian Swedes fleeing the Soviet occupation to Sweden (1944)
The blue-black-white flag of Estonia was raised again on the top of the Pikk Hermann tower on February 24, 1989.
Baltic Way in Estonia
The barn swallow (H. r. rustica) is the national bird of Estonia.
Estonia Endla Nature Reserve 07 Forest
Haanja Nature reserve where violations of Natura 2000 area logging is taking place.
The seat of the Parliament of Estonia in Toompea Castle
Building of the Supreme Court of Estonia in Tartu
US President Barack Obama giving a speech at the Nordea Concert Hall in Tallinn
Foreign ministers of the Nordic and Baltic countries in Riga, 2016
Estonian soldiers during a NATO exercise in 2015
KAPO (Kaitsepolitsei) headquarters in Kassisaba, Kesklinn, Tallinn
An Estonian Patria Pasi XA-180 in Afghanistan
Administrative divisions of Estonia
A proportional representation of Estonia exports, 2019
The central business district of Tallinn
Real GPD per capita development of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
Estonia's GDP growth from 2000 till 2012
The oil shale industry in Estonia is one of the most developed in the world. In 2012, oil shale supplied 70% of Estonia's total primary energy and accounted for 4% of Estonia's gross domestic product.
Rõuste wind farm in Lääneranna Parish
Graphical depiction of Estonia's product exports in 28 colour-coded categories
Population of Estonia 1960–2019. The changes are largely attributed to Soviet immigration and emigration.
Estonian folk dancers
A Russian Old Believer village with a church on Piirissaar island
Ruhnu stave church, built in 1644, is the oldest surviving wooden building in Estonia
Distribution of Finnic languages in Northern Europe
The University of Tartu is one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe and the highest-ranked university in Estonia. According to the Top Universities website, the University of Tartu ranks 285th in the QS Global World Ranking.
Building of the Estonian Students' Society in Tartu. It is considered to be the first example of Estonian national architecture. The Treaty of Tartu between Finland and Soviet Russia was signed in the building in 1920.
ESTCube-1 is the first Estonian satellite.
The Estonian National Museum in Tartu.
The Estonian Song Festival is UNESCO's Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Arvo Pärt was the world's most performed living composer from 2010 to 2018.
Jaan Kross is the most translated Estonian writer.
A traditional farmhouse built in the Estonian vernacular style
Mulgipuder, a national dish of Estonia made with potatoes, groats, and meat. It is very traditional food in the southern part of Estonia.
Tartu Ski Marathon in 2006

It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia.

The Hanseatic League controlled trade on the Baltic Sea, and overall the four largest towns in Estonia became members: Reval, Dorpat (Tartu), Pernau (Pärnu), and Fellin (Viljandi).


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Urban area in Sweden and the seat of Gotland Municipality in Gotland County on the island of Gotland with 24,330 inhabitants.

Urban area in Sweden and the seat of Gotland Municipality in Gotland County on the island of Gotland with 24,330 inhabitants.

Valdemar Atterdag holding Visby to ransom, 1361, by Carl Gustaf Hellqvist (1851–1890).
General view towards the cathedral from Övre Finngränd on Klinten
The ferry terminal in the harbour.
Train at Visby railway station during the last year of traffic, 1960
Almedalen park
Reconstruction of Visby harbour during the Middle Ages
Visby as seen on an engraving from c. 1580
Visby circa 1700, in Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna
City view including Visby Cathedral in the second half of the 19th century.
Visby Cathedral, view from the east
City wall of Visby
Ruins of St. Nicholas' Church
Ruins of St. Drotten's Church
The old pharmacy, Strandgatan.
The Liljehornska house, Strandgatan.
The Hultgrenska house, S:t Hansgatan.
Norra Murgatan.
The Main Square and Södra Kyrkogatan.

The Hanseatic city of Visby is arguably the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia, and, since 1995, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

Visby is one of the sunniest towns in Sweden and in the Nordic countries, especially so during summer.


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Confirmation of Lübeck law city rights, 1218
Rostock University, the oldest university in continental northern Europe and the Baltic Sea area, founded in 1419.
Rostock in the 16th century
Rostock in the 17th century
Rostock 1780–90
Colourful gabled houses of Rostock
Coat of Arms
Motto: Within your walls may be harmony and happiness
Restored Rostock City Hall, a mixture of Baroque and Brick Gothic architecture.
Geographical position of the Rostock Regiopolis
Aerial view of marina and Yacht Harbour Residence "Hohe Düne" at the Baltic Sea, close to Warnemünde.
Heiligengeisthof (Holy Spirit Courtyard).
Kröpeliner Straße – main shopping street
Alexandrinenstraße in Warnemünde.
Speicher (office buildings) at night. Headquarters of AIDA Cruises.
Historical Botanical Garden of Rostock University, greenhouse
Volkstheater Rostock
Walter Kempowski archives
Ostseestadion, home ground of Hansa Rostock
Rostock Hauptbahnhof (main station)
Transit map of Rostock
Rostock harbour at sunset
Simon Paulli
Albrecht Kossel
Ernst Heinkel
Peter Schulz
Jan Ullrich
Depiction of Rostock in 1845
Rostock bomb damage, 1942
City hall, Market Square after war
Rostock in 2011
The 16th-century Steintor city gate
St. Mary's Church (Marienkirche), 2011
Results of the second round of the 2019 mayoral election.
Winning party by precinct in the 2019 city council election.
Seat distribution in the 2019 city council election.

Rostock, officially the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock (Hanse- und Universitätsstadt Rostock), is the largest city in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and lies in the Mecklenburgian part of the state, close to the border with Pomerania.

Rostock has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) with strong influence of the Baltic Sea, more similar with Denmark and far southern Sweden than to the rest of Germany.


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Wismar (Low German: Wismer), officially the Hanseatic City of Wismar (Hansestadt Wismar) is, with around 43,000 inhabitants, the sixth-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the fourth-largest city of Mecklenburg after Rostock, Schwerin and Neubrandenburg.

Wismar (Low German: Wismer), officially the Hanseatic City of Wismar (Hansestadt Wismar) is, with around 43,000 inhabitants, the sixth-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the fourth-largest city of Mecklenburg after Rostock, Schwerin and Neubrandenburg.

Wismar in the 16th century
Alter Schwede, c. 1380
Siege of Wismar of 1675
View over the city
Reconstruction of the Medieval Gothic Georgenkirche (St. George's Church) was completed in 2010.
Gottlob Frege around 1879
Marita Koch 1984
Schreck in Nosferatu

In 1259, the city became part of the Hanseatic League.

🇸🇪 Kalmar, Sweden (2002)


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The two counties of Scania from 1719 to 1996
Letter from Eric of Pomerania dated 1437, with a description of the arms granted to the city of Malmö.
The coat of arms of Scania in an engraving from 1712 in Erik Dahlbergh's Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna.
Ale's Stones, a stone ship (burial monument) from c. 500 AD on the coast at Kåseberga, around ten kilometres (10 km) south east of Ystad.
Map of Denmark in the Middle Ages, Scania was together with the provinces Blekinge and Halland a part of Denmark
Front page of the latest and current peace treaty between Denmark and Sweden, Swedish version
The motorway through western Scania, E6, here at motorway service Glumslöv, is the artery of the western part of the province.
All local, regional and inter-regional train services within Scania (2018). In all, 72 stations are served, during day times at least one train per hour and direction. Many stations (especially in the west) have far better service than so. The most busy part is between Hyllie (Malmö) and Lund.
Land usage in Scania, showing hardwood forests (light green), pinewood forests (dark green), fields (yellow), garden and fruit (orange) and residential areas (red)
Aerial view of Scania near Lund
A typical Beech forest, the Western edge of Karlslund in Northern Landskrona
Pruned willows and rapefields are typical for this area of Sweden.
Typical Scanian coastline, here southern peak of Ven island in Øresund. The yellow colour indicates sand rather than chalk, while white colour at similar cliffs indicates chalk rather than sand
Map of the 33 municipalities of Scania. The western, yellow coloured municipalities, close to Øresund, have much higher population densities than the eastern ones
Eslöv church, built 1890 in Neo-Gothic style, sometimes known in Swedish as Eslöv Gothic.
The Øresund Bridge
The Annehem neighborhood in Lund
The Turning Torso in Malmö, the tallest building in Sweden.
Location of some SMHI temperature stations in Scania
Traditional half-timbered farm house of the southern plains in Scania.
The house of magistrate Jacob Hansen in Helsingborg, built in 1641.
The Old Church of Södra Åsum in Sjöbo Municipality — a typical example of a medieval Danish Scanian church.
Lund skyline, with the Cathedral towers.
Vittskövle Castle.
Traditional Scanian nuptial array according to Auguste Racinet, in Le costume historique.

Scania is the southernmost of the historical provinces (landskap) of Sweden.

Similar buildings can be found in all Hansa cities around the Baltic Sea (such as Helsingborg and Rostock).

Map of Kattegat and Skagerrak


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Map of Kattegat and Skagerrak
Älvsborg at Gothenburg, a sea fortress in the Kattegat
Grenen in Denmark is important for bird migrations and is a protected area.
Bjärekusten Nature Reserve with Hovs Hallar in Sweden.
There are several offshore windfarms in Kattegat.
Some of the world's busiest shipping lanes pass through Kattegat.
The larger shallow sand and stony reefs have been equipped with light signaling in modern times.
There are several small archipelagos near the mainland in the Swedish part of Kattegat.
The Swedish coasts in Kattegat are rocky shores, like this one in Kullaberg, or sandy or gravel beaches.
All the Danish coasts in Kattegat are sandy or gravel beaches with no exposed bedrock.

The Kattegat (Kattegatt ) is a 30000 km2 sea area bounded by the Jutlandic peninsula in the west, the Danish Straits islands of Denmark and the Baltic Sea to the south and the provinces of Västergötland, Skåne, Halland and Bohuslän in Sweden in the east.

It derives from late medieval navigation jargon, in which captains of the Hanseatic trading fleets would compare the Danish Straits to a passage so tight that even a cat would have difficulty squeezing its way through, owing to the many reefs and shoals.