Mühlhausen and the Hanseatic League

It is historically attested that from 1286 the imperial free-city of Mühlhausen was involved in the trade of the Hanseatic League. In mediaeval times the number of nearby cities sharing common interests was limited. Therefore, connections to the coastal cities in the north-east played a vital role in the economic life of Mühlhausen. In the 14th and 15th centuries this activity took place via outposts of the Hanseatic League in Lower Saxony. Important trade routes crossed Mühlhausen and the products of its clothing craftsmen were sold to serve the high demand in the coastal cities of the Hanseatic League. From Lübeck, the merchants of Mühlhausen exported cloth and sheets as far as England, the then Livland, Russia and Sweden.

As the cities in Thuringia began to enlarge their markets and to obtain mutual security against the armed Hussites in the first half of the 15th century, they intensified their relations with the Hanseatic League.
In 1430 Mühlhausen as well as Erfurt and Nordhausen, which had united in the triple alliance of the Thüringer Dreistädtebund in 1310, joined the Goslar Group (Goslaer Bund) within the Hanseatic League. This step based on longstanding common interests with the Hanseatic cities of the then Saxony regarding trade and protection against the arbitrary rule of the souvereigns.

Mühlhausen joined the modern Hanse in 1990. Mühlhausen's membership in the Hanseatic League is a well-established part of its heritage. In 1996 a district of new houses in the north-eastern part of Mühlhausen received the name "Hanseviertel" (Hanse Quarter), with street names such as Lübecker Straße, Goslaer Straße or Königsberger Straße.

For more information see www.hanse.org