A methodical approach to the comparative study of planted towns in 13th century Meklenburg

Martin Ebert


The eastwardsexpansion of German speaking settlement in the 13th century planted about 40 towns in the later territory of the duchies of Meklenburg, an area formerly settled by early feudal Slavic tribes. This history is well documented in written sources and archeological findings, but not yet studied as urban form. This paper describes a method of studying and compare the urban morphology of towns planted in the 13th-century. The method was developed based on Keysers encyclopaedic approach of collecting historical data with aim to develop a methodology that supplements known historical data with a systematic analysis of the urban form and its elements based on definitions introduced by Conzen and Kropf. The article will shortly introduce the history of the planted towns in 13th-century Meklenburg. The second part of the paper introduces a method, how knowledge from both written historical sources, archeological findings and results of morphological analysis can be collected and systematized to enable a comparative analysis of the findings based on these 40 towns.

Finally the practicability of the method is put to the test with a short analysis of the town of Malchin, planted in 1242 by the dukes of Meklenburg.

The presented work is part of a current research undertaken by the author. It was presented as a keynote during the 1st ISAR Castelvecchio Calvisio Summer School in july 2020.


Mecklenburg, planted cities, Machin, Woldegk

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International journal of urban and territorial morphological studies © 2012; Grünberg Verlag, Weimar-Rostock, http://www.grunbergverlag.de/ GREEN OPEN ACCESS: J123-2020-FC; Print ISSN: 2748–2812; Online ISSN: 2748-3134