Introduction text

For a long time, the route over the Baltic Sea was the preferred one for merchants. They travelled from ports such as Stralsund, Lübeck and Kiel to trade in the cities of the Baltic. Ships even came to Tallinn and the other Estonian harbours from faraway places such as Amsterdam and Hamburg, sailing along the coasts of the North Sea and passing Denmark. With the rise of steamships in the middle of the 19th century, regularly scheduled sailings from Lübeck to Tallinn began.

The maps of this route start with early printed pieces and overview maps of the Baltic Sea, followed by detailed cartographic representations of the Baltic throughout history. Having reached the European mainland, maps from the 16th to the 18th century document the cartographic survey of the Oldenburg Land. Selected highlights present particularities of this cultural space, among them the megalithic tombs “Visbek Bride and Groom” from the funnelbeaker culture, or the Island of Wangerooge in the Wadden Sea national park (UNESCO World Heritage region).

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