International Hanseatic League
Today, the Hanseatic League is an active network of former Hanseatic cities or places that were in active trade with these cities.
Founded in 1980 in the Dutch city of Zwolle, this association is currently the world’s largest optional city association with 183 member cities from 16 countries. The “new” Hanseatic League has given itself the task to revive the international Hanseatic idea, promoting the self-confidence of Hanseatic cities and developing cooperation.
In contrast to the Middle Ages, above all at international level, the focus is on cultural and traditional exchange, information transfer and strengthening economic and trade contacts, in order to commonly promote European integration. At the national level, the new Hanseatic League is primarily a platform for tourism. Through cooperations, such as those presented at the annual regional Hanseatic Days, the flow of visitors of individual and group travelers are attracted. In recent years, however, economic networks have also been increasingly established and expanded. Since 1990, special emphasis has set on integrating the Hanseatic cities previously located in the Eastern Bloc.
Since the foundation of the modern Hanseatic League, an International Hanseatic Day has been held every year. This goes back to the tradition of the Hanseatic Day or so-called “Tagfahrt” in the 14th century. Here the councillors of the Hanseatic cities discussed the problems at issue and tried to reach joint decisions. Today, the International Hanseatic Days are part of this tradition. Every year a different Hanseatic city is the host and invites you to exchange ideas and experiences, to celebrate and get to know each other. The 11th International Hanseatic Day of the Modern Age took place in Wesel in 1991 under the motto “The Hanse – Band over Borders. ” As part of the Hanseatic Day, the largest and most important exhibition ever held in Wesel took place: the Hanseatic Exhibition in Willibrordi Dome with the title “zu Allen theilen Inß Mittel gelegen. ” This citation is derived from a letter from the city of Cologne. It states that Wesel is the best accessible city, as it is located in the middle of the „Hansedrittel“ in the Rhineland.
In 2022, another International Hanseatic Day will be hosted in the Rhineland. The city of Neuss is hosting the 42nd International Hanseatic Day.