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Old Salt Route

The Old Salt Route (German: Alte Salzstraße) was a medieval trade route in northern Germany for the transport of salt. The salt, at that time also called "white gold", was mined near Lüneburg. The trade route lead from there northward to Lübeck, from where it was shipped to several destinations around the Baltic Sea. The salt trade was a major reason for the power of the Hanseatic League.

The salt was brought by carts from Lüneburg to Lauenburg at the Elbe river, from there via Mölln to Lübeck. Since 1398 it was also possible to transport the salt by water. For this purpose the Stecknitz Canal was built, one of the oldest artificial waterways of Europe. Either way it took about 20 days to transport the salt.