Question on Imperial Free Cities during the Interregnum periods


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
During the Interregnum periods, were they effectively independent cities part of an Imperial State in name alone?

As an example, Lybeck/Lübeck was granted free status in 1226, meaning that was only vassal to the Emperor. Since she was governed by a mayor at this time, does that mean Lübeck was a free Republic, independent in all ways aside from the Imperial membership during the Interregnum? If so, is there much information about how the city managed to gain such great wealth and power during this time?

I find that this is a very interesting part of the late middle ages. Incredibly wealthy people emerged in Lübeck during this period, including Bertram Morneweg - who constructed what would be one of the oldest proper hospitals in the Christian world. Gertrud Morneweg, I believe, became one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest woman in the world; she had a money lending business where she was big enough to undercut everyone else's prices, and effectively monopolized it, and used the profits to expand her businesses throughout the city. The city would also expand its influence to be able to take on whole countries and was the hammer that forged the Hanseatic League using its mercenary armies as a force to expand its trade power.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
During the second holy roman Empire one of the great prize was obtaining "immediacy"
I.E. to be sworn to the emperor directly with no lord or bishop in between
there were many imperial knights in this situation , often evolving into robber barons .

the great flourishing of cities in the 11th century saw them get imperial charters or shake their lords off and obtain immediacy
usually that involved some city militia , mercenaries and bribes
there was a trend to federation or league linking them together
the most preeminent inland was Nuremberg , on the coast Lubeck municipal constitution became a common template for the cities which joined in the Hansa

cities were rich and could afford warfare at a national level ,
smaller local lords couldn't compete while ecclesiastical towns were very powerful having the deep pockets of the church


Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
I am unsure of the Interregnum periods. I know that during the Middle Ages, Gdansk was virtually a free city, wielding a great deal of power and prestige. They were the financiers of the Polish Crown for many years.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
In Northern Italy free cities were fighting hereditary lords and often gained their independence
backed by their trading wealth , then usually would ferociously fight each others

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