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Hanseatic City Demmin


and the Hanseatic League

Hanseatic City Demmin in Meckklenburg- Vorpommern

In 1283, Demmin became a member of the Hanseatic League that had been founded in 1241 to protect the merchants of the Hanseatic towns from raids on sea and land routes. At its height, there were more than 200 towns associated with it, and it controlled trade from Novgorod to Bruges, from Stockholm to Cologne. At the beginning of the 14th century, the towns of Demmin, Greifswald and Anklam joined together to form a confederation under the leadership of Stralsund, the "Four-Towns Bond".

In 1452, they had achieved such a powerful position that they succeeded in gaining municipal freedoms, that they were granted by the duke in the"Golden Privilege".

Especially important among these were:
  • the freedom of alliance
  • the protection of public roads and waterways
  • safe passage for merchants and travellers
  • freedom from tolls and tributes
  • consolidation of municipal sovereignty
  • safety from tyranny by vogts and officials
  • preservation of all privileges
The trading monopoly of the Hanseatic League, however, was undermined by the growing competition of Holland and England which were gaining more and more commercial power. A steady and irreversible decline of the Hanseatic League began. It is proven that Demmin paid membership fees till 1607 and obviously left the Hanseatic League shortly afterwards.

As its membership in the medieval Hanseatic League is documented, Demmin joined the Hansa Association of the modern age in 1992. This is committed to the old Hanseatic tradition of civil rights and trade as well as to economic and cultural rapprochement and cooperation in Northern Europe. Since January 1994 the town of Demmin has had its title "Hanseatic"again.