1300 - 1600

The Late Middle Ages were a period of a rising middle class in the cities, and a monetary economy. The era was affected by the disastrous aftermath of the plague, which cost the lives of a third of the European population. The depopulation led to rebellions which caused transformations in the social structures.

Late Middle Ages and early Modern Ages

The Town

With a flourishing trade, the town grows ever more prosperous. A considerably larger nave bears witness of this wealth. Craftsmen are organizing themselves in guilds. By now, the town has a pharmacy, a cloth mill, and mirror makers. Pottery, but also salts to preserve foods are being traded.


Still, livestock is being kept within the town walls, and there’s no canalization. Therefore, the hygienic conditions are catastrophic. There’s a high mortality, and the plague is raging. The desperation of common people can only be relieved with the charity of the wealthy.

The Church

The Church has a strong influence on urban life. The redemption of sins upon payments to the Church is practiced on an ever larger scale.

A reformer in Martin Luther’s tradition is demanding the translation of church services into the mother tongue of the believers, and the prohibition of the sale of indulgences.

All-in-all it’s a period of religious wars. People are being accused of, and pursued for heresy. Different expressions of religious zeal, for example self-flagellation are prevalent.


In a printing shop the first books are being produced.

Independent from the sovereign, first craft businesses have established in the countryside, for example a leather manufacture, or a timber mill.

The Peasants and the Lord

In order to counteract frequent crop failures, the three-field crop rotation is being introduced. From their lord, peasants receive minimum wage for the farm work they are obliged to carry out for their sovereign.