QUEEN OF THE HANSE
Since 1987 it has been official: Lübeck is unique! Back then, the UNESCO declared Lübeck’s entire old town as an overall artwork worthy of protection, and awarded it World Heritage status. When you look at the distinctive skyline you are peering right back to the Middle Ages, because the panorama has remained practically unchanged since the 15th century.
Seven monumental Gothic church towers and the famous Holsten Gate characterise the silhouette of the city.
Lübeck tastes sweet like marzipan and even has its own Marzipan Salon. On some days, you also catch a whiff of the salty seawater from nearby Travemünde, Lübeck’s port on the Baltic. The city owes its great history as a member of the Hanseatic League – the famous union of merchants and towns in the Middle Ages – as well as its prestigious epithet “Hansestadt” (Hanseatic city) to this location on the important trade routes. In the European Hanse Museum, you can learn more about the Hanseatic League and a world of wealth and power, of failure and struggle, and the daily lives of the people.
You can also find water everywhere in the city itself, because the historic old town was built on an island. On your foray through the town you can explore 1,800 listed buildings, historic streets, and even a museum harbour. Of particular note are the 90 or so winding alleyways and gateways as well as the historical “Stiftshöfe” (alms houses), where once the widows of merchants and sailors found shelter with their children.
However, the hometown of Thomas Mann, which provided the setting for his famous novel “Buddenbrooks”, is more than just fairy-tale, nostalgic scenery. Between the old brick walls beats the heart of an urban city. Festivals and markets, arts and crafts, boutiques and shops, restaurants, cafes, clubs, bars… a young, creative scene provides an exciting counterpoint to the witnesses of a grand past carved in stone.
© Image Rights: Header – LTM, Town Hall – LTM/Uwe Freitag, Obertrave – LTM/Ulrich Findeisen, Holy Spirit Hospital – LTM/Thorsten Krüger, Lübeck Cathedral – Klaus Keil, Füchtingshof – LTM/Bernd Schmidt, European Hanse Museum – Olaf Malzahn