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Gdańsk, Hanseatic City

Gdańsk, Hanseatic City
  • Coat of arms/Flag
  • Status – (Settlement) Hanseatic City
  • General Alignment -Lawful Evil Government
  • Settlement size –
  • Corruption +; Crime +; Economy +; Law +; Lore +; Society +
  • Qualities –
  • Danger +
  • Demographics
  • Country- State of the Teutonic Order
  • Government –
  • Legislature –
  • Population -1500
  • Places of interest –
  • Current Ruler –
  • Other Notable residents –
  • Marketplace
  • Base Value ; Purchase Limit ; Spellcasting
  • Minor Items ; Medium Items ; Major Items

The site was ruled as a duchy of Poland by the Samborides. It consisted of a settlement of craftsmen and a market settlement with merchants from Lübeck around the church and the Piast stronghold. The ducal stronghold became the centre of a Pomerelian splinter duchy. At that time the area of the later city included various villages. The merchants from Lübeck were invited as “hospites” (immigrants with specific privileges) but were soon forced to leave by Swantopolk II of the Samborides during a war between Swantopolk and the Teutonic Knights, during which Lübeck supported the latter. Although migration of merchants to the town resumed significant German influence did not reappear until the early this century, after the takeover of the city by the Teutonic Knights. Pomerelian duke, Swantopolk II. granted city rights under Lübeck law to the emerging market settlement. It was an autonomy charter similar to that of Lübeck, which was also the primary origin of many settlers. In a document the Pomerelian duke Mestwin II. addressed the Lübeck merchants settled in the city as his loyal citizens from Germany.

In 1300, the town had an estimated population of 2,000. While overall the town was not a very important trade centre at that time, it had some relevance in the trade with Eastern Europe. Low on funds, the Samborides lent the settlement to Brandenburg, although they planned to take the city back and give it to Poland. Poland threatened to intervene, and Brandenburg left the town. Subsequently, the city was taken by Danish princes. The Teutonic Knights were hired by the Polish nobles to drive out the Danes.

Teutonic Knights

The town was taken by Brandenburg and the Teutonic Knights restored order. Subsequently, the Knights took over control of the town. Committing a massacre carried out by the Teutonic Knights on the local population, of 500 people. The events were used by the Polish crown to condemn the Teutonic Knights in a subsequent papal lawsuit.

The knights colonised the area, replacing local Kashubians and Poles with German settlers. In 1308, they founded Osiek Hakelwerk near the town, initially as a Slavic fishing settlement. The Teutonic Knights built a large fortress, which became the seat of the knights’ Komtur. In they changed the Town Law of the city, which then consisted only of the Rechtstadt, to Kulm law. In Danzig joined the Hanseatic League, and became an active member. It maintained relations with the trade centers Bruges, Novgorod, Lisboa and Sevilla. Around, the Old Town was equipped with city rights as well. The New Town was founded as the third, independent settlement.

After a series of Polish-Teutonic Wars, in the Treaty of Kalisz  the Order had to acknowledge that it would hold Pomerelia as a fief from the Polish Crown. Although it left the legal basis of the Order’s possession of the province in some doubt, the city thrived as a result of increased exports of grain (especially wheat), timber, potash, tar, and other goods of forestry from Prussia and Poland via the Vistula River trading routes, although after its capture, the Teutonic Knights tried to actively reduce the economic significance of the town. While under the control of the Teutonic Order German migration increased. The Order’s religious networks helped to develop Danzig’s literary culture. A new war broke out in, culminating in the Battle of Grunwald, and the city came under the control of the Kingdom of Poland. A year later, with the First Peace of Thorn, it returned to the Teutonic Order.

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