While it did not rival either the Indian Ocean or Silk Road trade, the Hanseatic League knit together northern Europe and the Baltics into a very profitable trade confederation.
It started in the middle of the 13th century and continued for 300 years. At its height, it included over 200 cities like Lübeck, Reval, Riga, and Dorpat.
Some of the products traded included Flemish cloth, salt, herring and furs. And Novgorod traded wax and honey.
Some historians even argue that the League was a forerunner of the European Common Market today.
Here are two short clip that summarize the importance of the League. The first takes you on quick tour of the Hanseatic museum in Bergen. And the second takes you on a tour of Lübeck.