Now we are getting into the beautiful Hanseatic city-states on the Baltic coast. Hanseatic League (not to be confused with the Justice League) was a confederation of market towns in Northern Europe that controlled, protected and dominated the trade in the Baltic Sea. Many of these city-states grew quite rich while remaining independent (“Hansa” actually means a “trade convoy”). Wismar was one of the strongest cities in the Hanseatic League and today it’s well-preserved with traditional north German Brick Gothic architecture and patrician gable houses. Wismar’s central square is the largest of all the Baltic towns, and its heavy-built imposing churches and cathedrals tower above the townhouses and can be seen from various vantage points. Totally different architecture when compared with the overload of half-timbered houses just a few days ago in central Germany.