Deutschland 2002 Berlin, Danzig, Elbing, Germany and Poland

This early Middle Ages Hanseatic League Map shows the League's trade routes in Northern Europe. The German Hanseatic League or "Hansa" was a medieval trade league started in the 13th century. The Prussian German cities of Danzig, Koenigsberg, and Elbing were founded in the 1200's by the Teutonic Knights and grew into grand, flourishing medieval cities with Hanseatic League trade with the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations and surrounding Kingdons of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, England, and Russia. At one time Danzig had more artists per capita than Florence. After WWII in 1945 East Prussia was taken over by the Soviet Communists and divided between Poland and Russia. Danzig, now called Gdansk, and Elbing, now called Elblag, still show scars from their almost total devastation by the war, however some of their past glory still shows through in beautiful old cathedrals, castles, and elaborate old city that is being painstakingly restored by Polish and German friendship societies.