• period: 1350 up to 1400

1350 up to 1400

Alleged portrait of the pirate Klaus Störtebeker Alleged portrait of the pirate Klaus Störtebeker

region Mecklenburg

The politically active Hanseatic League of cities in northern Europe arose from the merchants‘ association. It met for the first Hanseatic day in 1356. The Danish king Waldemar IV. was conquered by the Stralsund peace in 1371, which was signed by 31 cities. The pirate Klaus Störtebeker was alternatively both ally and opponent.

Seaside towns were dominated by the patriciate, from which the skilled crafts and trades were independent. Journeymen and service providers revolted to demand social improvements.

Dukes Albert II. and John I. acquired the county of Schwerin in 1358.

New Gothic churches were built. The Inquisition pursued suspected heretics, witches, sorcerers and the “superstitious” religious traditions of the Slavs. Infant mortality rates were high. Women often died after childbirth. Countless people lost their lives to the plague and cholera between 1350 and 1387. Armed robberies were part of everyday life.

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Grimmen in the Stralsund illuminated manuscript Grimmen in the Stralsund illuminated manuscript

region Western Pomerania

The Duchy of Pomerania is separated again in 1372. The territory of Pomerania-Slupsk is removed from Pomerania-Wolgast and awarded to Bogislaw V. (circa 1318-1373/74); his sons succeed him after his death.

Lübeck, Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund, Greifswald and Stettin form an alliance in 1354. The Hanseatic League of Merchants becomes a league of cities. Its high point is the Treaty of Stralsund, imposed by the Danish King Valdemar IV. in 1370. In coastal towns the upper class of long-distance merchants was dominant. High Gothic parish and monastery churches replaced the earlier buildings, in most cases. The twin steeples on St Nicholas testify to a claim to secular power as well. Nikolaos of Myra, the eponym, is the patron saint of seafarers. The wood for shipbuilding came from indigenous forests.

The craftsmen were dependent on this upper class. The lower classes experienced increasing social isolation, which led to revolts against the council. Infant mortality rates were very high. Plague and cholera or armed robberies were part of everyday life.

While the lower clergy works for the good of the common people, the higher clergy is becoming worldlier. A particular instrument of sovereignty became the Inquisition with its trials against alleged heretics, witches and sorcerers. The Inquisitor Petrus Zwicker has at least 443 Waldensians sentenced to death in mass trials organised in Stettin from 1392 to 1394. This applied in many cases to the surviving natural religious beliefs of the Slavs, which were described as "superstitions".

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Exhibits from the period 1350 up to 1400:

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