The momentary effect was immense; for some of the halo of the Holy Empire still clung round the head of the house of Habsburg, and Francis Joseph was welcomed to the ancient free city with enthusiasm.
Hence it takes an easterly course, and, entering the territory of the free city of Lubeck, receives from the right the Stecknitz, through which and the Stecknitz canal built by the merchants of Lubeck in 1398) a direct water communication is maintained with the Elbe, and passing the city of Lubeck discharges itself into the Baltic at the port of Travemiinde after a course of 58 m.
Finally it became a fief of the dukes of Schleswig-Holstein, though often hypothecated for loans advanced to these princes by the free city of Hamburg.
Maximilian became prominent in 1607 by executing an imperial mandate against the free city of DonauwOrth, where a religious riot had taken place, and afterwards treating it as his own.
In the, 4th century Aix, now a free city of the Holy Roman Empire, played a conspicuous part, especially in the league which, between 1351 and 1387, kept the peace between the Meuse and the Rhine.
Zara became a free city under Italian sovereignty, but as a tiny isthmus without hinterland or islands.
In the 13th century Hildesheim became a free city of the Empire; in 1249 it received municipal rights and about the same time it joined the Hanseatic league.
In 1286 it became a free city of the empire, a position which it main tained down to 1802, when it was allotted to Bavaria.