Would Antwerp already be the leading city? OTL it only took off after Bruges' lost access to the sea. Did that follow as OTL?* The Low Countries: OTL, unity in this area was fostered by the Burgundian and Habsburg interlude, but with this TL's Geroldsecks concentrated in Swabia and Bohemia, the big mover in the Low Countries is Frederick III, Duke of Brabant and Count of Holland. Frederick's family - the House of Antwerp - is a cadet branch of the Reginarids and has been accumulating power steadily over the years, managing to unify a lot of smaller fiefs under their own rulership through both marriage and internecine warring. Marriage alliances have also ensured that Frederick has claims on Flanders, which is still a French territory, albeit one that tends to go its own way a lot. It's likely that Frederick's desire for Flanders will bring the Holy Roman Empire and France to blows at some point, a war France would struggle to win considering that the HRE is riding high right now. The dialect of German here is becoming very heavily influenced by Brabantine, earlier so than OTL, leading steadily towards a language with some vague similarities to Dutch but with more accusative forms and a few different phrases you wouldn't hear in the OTL Dutch language. What's also driving prosperity here is trade: The coastal cities in Brabant and Holland do brisk trade with the Nordic countries, especially Angland. At the moment, Antwerp is one of the most prosperous cities in the Holy Roman Empire, with a thriving and cosmopolitan mercantile class embracing new ideas about trade and travel. If any HRE colonization occurs, it is likely to be spearheaded by sailors out of Brabant.