The city of Braunschweig was a powerful ally and key influencer in the Hanseatic from the 13th until the 17th century. From its start under the rule of the ambitious Henry the Lion, Braunschweig grew to be into an important part of the Hanseatic League.
A Brief Historical Overview:
The exact circumstances of the founding of Braunschweig is much more uncertain than other cities in the Hanseatic League. The commonly held opinion is that Braunschweig came about after two settlements merged roughly around 861AD. During the early ages, up until the 12th Century, Braunschweig was ruled by the Brunonids, a family of noble Saxons. Through marriage however, this rule eventually fell to the infamous Henry the Lion, until his own banishment in 1182.
After Henry’s banishment, the development of the city fell into the hands of his son, Otto, who himself became a Holy Roman Emperor. Throughout the Middle Ages and following centuries, Braunschweig remained an important economic and political centre in Northern Europe.
Braunschweig in the Hanseatic League:
Situated on the banks on the Oker river, the city of Braunschweig had direct access to the North Sea, this, in addition to the direction of its various rulers, ensured that Braunschweig soon turned into an important port and trading post.
The city of Braunschweig has always attracted key thinkers throughout the ages, and became known for its important contribution to science. With its university, and several other institutions dedicated to learning, Braunschweig has the look and feel of a student town.
In addition to the university and other institutions, Braunschweig is also home to several research facilities. This most likely ensured that they were awarded the prestigious title of “Science City” in 2007.
Braunschweig offers more than just science. It is considered a prime shopping destination, and is home to several cultural festivals.
- The first public museum in Germany, The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, was opened in 1754 in Braunschweig.
- The influence of Braunschweig’s infamous ruler, Henry the Lion, can still be seen in Lion statues in the city.
- Statistically, Braunschweig is the leading scientific research area in Europe, considering capital spent on research.