Cities that were members of the Rhenish League of Cities

Alsfeld allied!Alsfeld becomes a member of the Rhenish Association of Cities

Alsfeld’s importance as a town in the transition from the High Middle Ages to the Late Middle Ages is shown by its joining the Rhenish League of Towns, which was founded on July 13, 1254. The aim of this union was to abolish the Rhine customs duties and to secure the peace of the land.

The dispute over the German royal crown divided the country into two parties, one close to the Staufers and the other to the Church, and led to raids and looting. This warlike situation was unbearable, especially for the flourishing towns and cities that lived on trade and commerce, as it threatened their economic existence.

This led to the founding of the Rhenish League of Cities to represent common interests. The long-term goal was to create a counterweight to the princes. With this union, the cities appeared for the first time as an independent factor in imperial politics.

Among the 59 members were Cologne, Speyer, Strasbourg, Basel, Freiburg, Zurich, Heidelberg, Aachen, Duisburg, Bremen, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Frankfurt, Wetzlar, Gelnhausen, Hersfeld, Fulda, Marburg, Grünberg and Alsfeld.

However, everything remained of little consequence, already in 1257 the alliance dissolved again. MNic