Permanent exhibition

The Hanse

Fascinating time travel for young and old

Experience the Hanse

Novgorod, Bruges, London and Bergen were the Hanse’s most important kontors (i.e. trading posts). We use them as landmarks to take you on a wide-ranging tour through the Middle Ages!

Your stroll through the eventful history and prehistory of Lübeck starts with archaeological finds on the museum site. You will go past wells, ancient masonry and other traces of Slavic, Danish and German settlement, before arriving in the time of the Hanse.

A scene on the estuary of the river Neva illustrates the key aspects of trade with Novgorod, which made Lübeck one of the richest cities in the High Middle Ages. There are lots of exhibits from this period and we show you how Lübeck became the boom town in northern Europe and developed rapidly in the 13th century.

With the kontor in Bruges we have recreated one of the main trading centres of the period for you, to give you an idea of the broad range of textiles, metalware and spices that were traded there. One whole room is imbued with the funereal atmosphere caused by the plague epidemic in the 14th century and illustrates the way in which this disease altered social, political and economic relationships in the Middle Ages.

In London you can get a glimpse of a work in progress, as our depiction of the kontor there is getting a makeover. In the next room you come to the Hansetag conference of 1518 and can find out how the Hanse merchants reached decisions by consensus.

For the final room in the exhibition we move to the kontor in Bergen, which was well-known for its trade in stockfish and its rough treatment of young apprentices from Hanse merchant families. It was the last Hanse kontor and only closed in the 18th century. 

About the exhibition

› Average Duration of the museum visit: 90 min
› Languages: German / Englisch / Swedish / Russian
› Offers for families with children from the age of 8
› We have compiled information on accessibility for your visit.