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Main page / What's On / X Russian Hanseatic Days in Velikiy Novgorod
X Russian Hanseatic Days in Velikiy Novgorod
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Yaroslav's Courtyard

Cultural Center Dialog

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The festival is held in remembrance that Novgorod became the first Russian member of the Hanseatic League of Modern Age and initiated the formation of the League of Russian Hansa Cities.

The program includes theatre performances, performances by folk, vocal and dance ensembles, competitions and master-classes.

Veliky Novgorod - the biggest trade partner of medieval Hansa – is the first Russian city that became a member of the Hanseatic League of Modern Age which put forward an initiative to create the League of Russian Hansa Cities.  In 2017, Veliky Novgorod, the capital of the Russian Hansaetic League, celebrated 25 years of becoming a member of the International Hanseatic League of Modern Age.

«Hansa» (Ger. Hanse) – is one of the most long-lived trade and political unions, which the history has ever known. Having appeared in the XIV c., the trade union of North German cities headed by Lubek, existed several centuries until XVI c.  Hansa was prosperous due to intermediary trade between Western, Northern and Eastern Europe. The medieval Hansa can be justifiably called the prototype of a modern single European market, a link between medieval Europe and Rus’, a kind of «door» to Europe, a centre of international integration and trade.

One of the main trade partners of Hansa was Veliky Novgorod which nominally wasn’t a part of Hansa but which hosted the biggest trade agencies of Hansa – the Gothic courtyard and the German courtyard, more known as the courtyard of St. Peter. In 1980 the medieval union of European cities got the second birth. This new union was named «Hansa of Modern Age» and more than 185 cities and 16 countries of modern Europe are its members nowadays.

Annually, one of the cities of European Hansa of Modern Age hosts International Hanseatic Days involving set of cultural, business and scientific events devoted to modern problems of cultural and economic relations between countries-members of the Union. In 1993 Veliky Novgorod became the first official member of the Hanseatic League and now annually represents itself and Russian cities-members of the League at the International Hanseatic Days which take place every year in one of the cities-members of the Hanseatic League.

In 2009 Veliky Novgorod was the first Russian city which gained the right to host delegations from more than 100 cities of Europe. In view of this, since 2011, it was decided to host such outstanding event in other Hanseatic cities of Russia.

Russian Hanseatic days is the revival of a historical tradition of hosting annual meetings of tradesmen – merchants in old Russian cities. Such meetings, which were later called fairs, were one of the most important events in the society not only because there were sold different goods, but also because merchants came from different cities, stayed in the city for a long time and spent a part of sales proceeds in the city. People also could exchange news from far regions. At the fairs were comic minstrels, musicians and fortunetellers. Thereby, the fair was also the centre of entertainment for people.

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