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Historical relations between Latvia and Germany
At the beginning...
... It all was quite calm. The Pope and the Christian society only wanted to Christianize the pagans all over the world they knew. They sent some bishops from Germany, because Germany was trusted to Christianize the Baltic lands. It all worked out quite well, but then came the Pope Innocent III and gave an order to all volunteers to go to Jerusalem and retrieve the relics saint to Christianity, but as we all know it turned out to be the greatest massacre in the history of medieval centuries. The crusaders went to kill, search for loot etc. And then the German crusaders finally came to Baltic countries...
The Bremen episcopacy was responsible for the Baltic states. The first bishop who was set as the bishop of Ikšķile was Maynard. He arrived in 1186, 10 years later he died... Probably the most important bishop in the common history of Latvia and Germany was Albert, the first bishop of Livonia and the man who grounded Riga in 1201. In 1214 the Pope relieved the Bremen archbishop from his responsibility to monitor the Livonian episcopacy.
The most significant economical link between Latvia and Germany was the Hanse. The union of mercantile cities of the Northern and the Baltic sea existed from 13th till 17th century. The union included such cities as Lübeck, Hamburg, Rostock, Bremen, Riga, Cesis, Valmiera, Limbazi and many others (about 200 cities). The worst enemy of Hanse was Netherlands, because its’ ships were faster, safer and cheaper. The Livonian cities were more satisfied with the ships of the netherlandian merchants, which wasn’t gainful for the sailors of Hanse. So the Hanse declared war to Netherlands, however the Livonian mercantile cities kept friendly relationships with the foe of the Hanse. A natural calamity ruined the union – the herrings didn’t came to spawn into Baltic Sea anymore. In a short time the whole union divided into smaller regions until it broke down completely in 17th century.…
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