Jan Lindenau, President of the Hanseatic League
The Hansa is an active network of towns which historically belonged to the federation of merchant cities
known by the name “Hanseatic League”, or which had busy trading relations with those cities.
Acting on the basis of historical experience and a cross-border Hanseatic ideal, our federation has made it its
mission to revive the spirit of a truly European city, to foster the self-awareness of Hanseatic towns, and to
develop the cooperation between those communities. It is the aim of the Hanseatic League to contribute to
the economic, cultural, social, and national unity of Europe and thereby boost the confidence of towns and
communities, consequently enabling them to accomplish their tasks as settings for a vibrant democracy.
In the same way as the New Hansa can look back upon a long history, the International Hanseatic Days are
based on a tradition just as old. Back in the second half of the 14th century, when the cities converted their
already existing ties into a solid union, they needed ways to deal with challenges ahead and to try to reach
agreements. The central body for this purpose was the Hanseatic Convention, then called “Day Trip”, on
which appointed and authorised aldermen of the Hanseatic towns, mostly at the invitation of Lübeck, met
with the rest of the Wendish cities of Hamburg, Lüneburg, Wismar, Rostock, and Stralsund.
Meanwhile, that tradition has been revived. Since the launch of the New-Era Hansa, Hanseatic Days take
place annually again, albeit with a major difference: Each year, they are organised by a different town. This
will give hosting communities the rare opportunity to present themselves with their very own traditions,
customs, and cultural peculiarities to Hanseatic partners from all over Europe. On the other hand, the visiting
towns, too, can seize this wonderful opportunity, sending their own delegations, cultural groups, citizens, and
artists – a reflection of home, that is – to far-away places in order to celebrate, exchange views, and yet
ultimately discover time and again that as a Hanseatic citizen you are forever part of a large European family.
I am particularly pleased that during the 40th Hanseatic Days we shall be given the chance to visit a region in
which the League partly had its origins. Within the Westphalian merchant union, Brilon played a predominant
role in Hanseatic trade due to its metal mining and processing. Now a modern town, it has much to offer its
citizens as well as guests from far and wide. As for me, too, I am eager to explore Brilon's history and
traditions, and I look forward to meeting the Briloners as well as visitors from all over the continent. This
year's Hanseatic Days will be vibrant and eventful, sure to remain in our memory for a long time.
Mayor of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck
President of the Hanseatic League