As the third largest city in Northern Germany, Bremen is a major port and commercial and industrial city situated on the River Weser. Bremen with neighboring Bremerhaven comprised the state of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. The Hanseatic League was formed in the 14th century as an international trade and defensive confederation of merchants and guilds originally formed for protection from raids and piracy.
The city’s stone walls were first constructed in 1032 or about the time trade began with Norway, England and northern Netherlands. Like many of the older European cities this one had a Prince-Archbishop; however, the city was recognized as a political entity with its own laws. This meant that property within the boundaries were not subject to feudal overlordship. Even some serfs could and did acquire property.
Bremen declared neutrality during the Thirty Years’ War; nevertheless, the city reinforced its fortifications as protection. For more interesting history, pictures, and information about Bremen and the Hanseatic League, see: