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Posts tagged ‘Hanseatic League’

salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Halle (Saale): Making White Gold Since 3000 BC

What do the following six towns and cities have in common?

  • Hall in Tirol, Austria
  • Hallein, Austria
  • Hallstatt, Austria
  • Schwäbisch Hall, Germany
  • Bad Reichenhall, Germany
  • Halle an der Saale, Germany

Hall is more than a large covered room

With “hall” in their names, all six towns listed above are historically associated with salt production1,2,3. The word “salt” is represented in Greek as hals and in Celtic (Brythonic) as hal. In pre-Roman Europe, the towns of Halle, Hallstatt, and Hallein were three centres for salt-evaporation4 which eventually became salt-making centres for the surrounding regions of Prussian Saxony, Salzkammergut, and Salzburg, respectively. Archaeological finds around Halle and along the Saale river5 uncovered evidence of heated brine (at Doläuer Heide) from the mid-neolithic age (about 3000 BCE) and briquetage ceramic vessels from the late-Bronze age (about 1000 BCE).

Mark Kurlansky wrote1: “… Salt is so common, so easy to obtain, and so inexpensive that we have forgotten that from the beginning of civilization until about 100 years ago, salt was one of the most sought after commodities in human history.

Once a rarity, salt was a unique additive to improve quality of food preparation and consumption. Food preservation with salt also became a critical measure for survival, but also for improving the quality of food preparation and consumption. Whoever controlled salt production, sales, and distribution held power, wealth, and prestige.

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Halle an der Saale, Halle, Saale river, Saale, Sachsen-Anhalt, Saxony-Anhalt, Cultural Heart of Germany, Germany, fotoeins.com

Halle (Saale): sweet & savoury highlights in the Händelstadt

Featured: “5 towers” with 4 (spires) from St. Mary’s Church (left-centre) and 1 from the Red Tower (right-centre). Händel monument is at lower centre.

You’re visiting Halle, because (I said so and) you’ll learn and discover

  • why salt also known as “white gold” was critical to the city’s development;
  • how Martin Luther and the Reformation left their mark in the city;
  • composer Händel’s birth house, his upbringing, and how he learned the organ;
  • the oldest German chocolate factory continues producing “Halloren Kugeln”; and
  • how the Museum of Prehistory houses the world’s oldest depiction of the night sky.

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Lübeck, Hansestadt Lübeck, Luebeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Deutschland, UNESCO, World Heritage, Welterbe, Weltkulturerbe, fotoeins.com

All hail Lübeck: Queen of the Hansa

I’m walking gingerly on the uneven cobblestone, the narrow streets surrounded by tall gabled buildings. The air is full of history, permeating structures and streets, in contrast with modern activities taking place. Much of the architecture falls within the red brick Gothic style uniquely representing the height of an era going back one thousand years.

Slowly, I’m sensing from centuries past the apparitions of people who’ve passed through this place. I tuck into a narrow passageway and stop. If I close my eyes, I hear the ancient sounds as though they’re etched into the grooves between the red brick. Shouting, negotiating, best products from around the world, best stuff money can buy, best deals you can get for miles around.

I’m fascinated by the influence of merchants who cast a massive net across northern Europe. I’m interested in the history of architecture and trade, how a town surrounded by an important river a mere 20 kilometres from the sea became a hub and crossroads for the movement of people and goods.

This special place is the “Hansekönigin”: Queen of the Hanseatic League.

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