A successful International Hanseatic Day in Rostock

The 38th International Hanseatic Day Rostock was a harmonious and joyous occasion that was characterized by international exchange. 119 hanseatic cities from 16 nations were involved in the organization of this festival. The foreman of the Hanse Jan Lindenau expressed excitement about the 4-day event: “In comparison to past Hanseatic Days, this 38th annual celebration was definitely a first-class event. The around 2000 delegates were full of praise for the amazingly organized event, and felt warmly welcomed.”

“From the point of view of the event organizers, the 38th International Hanseatic Day commenced cautiously due to the weather. As the days passed, rain-free and mostly sunny weather assured for a good mood, and seven well-visited experiential areas. We estimated, ahead of time, with 400.000 visitors and believe that this expectation was realized,” assesses event organizer Holger Bellgardt. He accentuated that the Hanseatic Day in Rostock along with the usual event components, such as the Hanseatic Market and the HANSEartWORKS, created and implemented new ideas, for instance the project “Hanse Trading”, in which goods from other hanseatic cities were shipped to Rostock, or the International Hanse-exhibition, where 66 cities participated in creating the artwork on display in the University for Music and Drama until July 8th.

On June 23rd, 103 young people from twelve nations set course onto the Baltic Sea, as they went for a ride on the traditional sail boats as part of their workshop and to apply their acquired knowledge in a practical setting. The project “Youth Hansa” has the motto “Sail Training” in Rostock, and was received positively by the 15- to 26- year-olds.

Attractive offers for visitors

Seven gates, seven towers on the city hall roof, and seven trading bridges – the city placed seven Ferris wheels by the seven city symbols for the Hanseatic Day. Along the city harbor, residents and visitors could discover the city from an airy height at the first Rostock Ferris Wheel Gathering. The free offer was accepted eagerly and attracted visitors into the new Hanseatic Day event areas, such as the Alter Markt.

Ann Kathrin Cornelius, CEO of the Cap San Diego Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, revealed herself as very pleased. “We were welcomed very warmly in Rostock and were delighted by the many interested visitors on board of our ship.” The largest mobile museum ship in the world, whose docking was supported by ROSTOCK PORT, opens its doors one last time on Monday (25.6) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Open-Ship at its mooring in Warnemünde, before it sets off to its native harbor Hamburg.

Partners and Co-creaters

230 participants experienced a suspenseful and inspiring Hanse Congress with many thought-provoking moments and contact to like-minded people. The new, modern concept – a version of the idea from 12min.me – convinced all participants. The organizers were pleased with the visit from the Minister for Energy, Infrastructure, and Digitalization, Christian Pegel. Just the evening before the Hanseatic Day, the trade association Rostock-Mittleres Mecklenburg and the trading association Deventer in the Netherlands closed a cooperation-agreement. Both parties are convinced that it will be possible to initiate and continue a friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation for associations from both regions.

“I would like to thank our partners and co-creators, who have supported us in many ways throughout the intense preparation phase and of course during the Hanseatic Day. That includes the more than 50 sponsors and our media partners, who contributed both to the program planning, but also sent a positive signal of Rostock into the world through its diverse media-coverage” acknowledges Holger Bellgardt.

Results from the Delegate Congress

Around 300 delegates gathered in the St. Nicholas Church on June 23rd from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They awarded Bernd Saxe, who was foreman of the DIE HANSE for 18 years, an honorary membership. Two additional hanseatic cities were also added into the now 192 member-strong group: Rijssen-Holten (Netherlands) und Vyschnij Volotschjok (Russia). The capital city of Lower Saxony, Hannover, also announced wanting to applying for membership.
An additional decision was made, to create a position for an executive director for the Hanseatic League, who will further the international network connections, professionalize the project work, and raise third party funds.

The guidelines of the work group „Faire Hanse – Fairer Handel“, which Rostock heads, was approved unanimously. Within these guidelines, there are recommendations for member cities as well as possible host cities for future Hanseatic Days, in order to promote and publicize the motto “Fair Trade.” The 38th International Hanseatic Day in Rostock was able to implement these guidelines exemplarily. The catering for the protocol events mainly consisted of fair-trade or regional ingredients. Additionally, a Fair Trade and Regional Market was erected on the Alter Markt, which informed visitors about this issue through talk shows, art installations, workshops, and food samples and was received very positively.

The highlight for the delegates was the Hanseparty, where 1000 people celebrated together on the “Cap San Diego.” Afterwards, ferry ships brought the international participants from Warnemünde into the city harbor over the water, where they could witness the laser show and fireworks for Rostock’s 800th city birthday. More than 10.000 visitors came as well, in order to watch the Football World Championship game Germany vs. Sweden and celebrate into the night with bands from Rostock.

For four days, native residents and guests could enjoy a diverse program full of art, culture, music, and maritime highlights. Rostock presented itself as a cosmopolitan and attractive hanseatic and university city. The “Stafette der Hanse” will now be handed over to Pskov in North Western Russia, where the 39th International Hanseatic Day will take place next year from June 27th to 30th.

Photos: Danny Gohlke