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The Hanseatic City of Deventer: Trading in Europe

Until 14.01.2024

Museum De Waag presents an exhibition about Deventer's role as an international trading city in the Middle Ages. Find out how long-distance trade worked during the Hanseatic era through remarkable stories and exciting finds.

The Hanseatic League
Deventer is an authentic medieval city. When Amsterdam and Rotterdam were still small villages, the Hanseatic cities in the east of the Netherlands had already developed into powerful trade centres. One of the reasons for this was the strong Hanseatic network.

Trade was conducted largely by sea with cogs,which were the first cargo ships of the Middle Ages. The Hanseatic cities could operate more economically by working together, and it was safer to travel together due to the threat of pirates. From 1356, the Hanseatic League was no longer just an association of merchants from the cities but of the cities as a whole.

The merchandise consisted of, amongst others, salt, fish (herring and stockfish), grains, wood, beer, wine, cloth, beeswax and pelts. The Hanseatic League developed into a powerful network of trading cities in the area bordering the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Dit beeld uit 1552 toont het oudste bekende stadsaanzicht van Hanzestad Deventer (Collectie Museum De Waag)

About the Exhibition
The Hanseatic City of Deventer: Trading in Europe exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the role Deventer played in this international market. What were the different trade routes, what were the customs, and which products were traded?

Recent research, for example, has shown that intestinal parasites from cesspits in various European Hanseatic cities can be traced back to the country of origin, from Tallinn in Estonia to Bruges in Belgium, and from the Hanseatic capital of Lübeck to Bergen in Norway.

You will know everything about the Hanseatic city of Deventer after your visit to De Waag.