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Tourist-Information at the Holsten Gate
Lübeck, Queen of the Hanseatic League
The five mighty churches in the Old Town, the unique museums, the marzipan salon at the Café Niederegger, the museum harbour and the historic Town Hall - these are just a few of the places worth to visit.
History to fall in love with
Lübeck is the city which, more than any other, exemplifies the power and historic role of the Hanseatic League. Founded in 1143 by Henry the Lion on a small island of the Baltic coast, Lübeck was the former capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League from 1230 to 1535. As such it was one of the principal cities of this league of merchant cities which monopolized the trade of the Baltic and the North Sea, just as Venice and Genoa exerted their control over the Mediterranean. The plan of Lübeck, with its blade-like outline determined by two parallel traffic routes running along the crest of the island, dates to the beginnings of the site and testifies to the expansion of the commercial centre of Northern Europe.
Surrounded by water the Old Town is one of the most precious gems of the Northern European brickstone architecture. For the first time an entire Old Town in Northern Europe was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.
Since medieval times the seven church spires shape the character of this historic island. The most important buildings are listed as World Heritage: the Town Hall, the convent "Burgkloster", a completely preserved quarter of the late 13th century (Koberg) with St. Jacob's church, the Hospital of the Holy Spirit and all the buildings between "Glockengießerstraße" and "Aegidiensstraße", a quarter with patrician houses of the 15th and 16th century between St. Peter's church and Lübeck's Cathedral, the impressive Holsten Gate and the salt warehouses on the left side of the Trave river. Lübeck's Old Town is the first Old Town in Germany ever officially declared a Cultural World Heritage Site. Also the archaeological underground of the Old Town with an amount of nearly three million findings is part of it.
Art and culture
The City of Lübeck is proud of its three Nobel Prize Laureates: Thomas Mann, Willy Brandt and Günter Grass. The Museum of Literature Buddenbrook-House at Mengstraße 4 is a centre of attraction for Mann experts and devotees from all over the world. Here, the works of Heinrich Mann and the author Erich Mühsam are being honoured as well. The Günter Grass-House, where the author has his writing studio, is an exhibition and research facility, just like the Willy-Brandt-House, which presents the exhibition “Willy Brandt – A political life in the 20th century” – an entertaining and colourful description of the life and work of the former Federal Chancellor, who was born in Lübeck in 1913.
Real gems can also be found among the many museums in Lübeck’s historic Old Town: St. Anne’s museum and the Art Hall St. Anne, the museum Behnhaus/Drägerhaus, the Hospital of the Holy Spirit dating back to 1280 and the Museum of Theatre Puppets are worth a visit. Organ concerts in the five Gothic-style churches, music from classic to pop presented at the Music and Congress Hall, master concerts at the Academy of Music, the Brahms festival and the international Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival are splendid cultural enjoyments.
The Nordic Film Days Lübeck has one of the longest traditions of any film festival worldwide. It is the only festival in Germany which is entirely devoted to the presentation of films from the North and Northeast of Europe. And finally is Lübeck known as “Christmas City of the North”, featuring the famous Old Town Christmas markets.
European Hansemuseum: Discover the Hanse
The Hanseatic League – one of the largest commercial networks of all times with enough material for history books and legends of power and religion, change, merchandise and community. Step into the world pf the Middle Ages and discover the lives of the Lower German merchants. The museum tells the story of the League’s rise, supremacy and fall and shows how you are still surrounded by its legacy today. There is something for everyone, with impressive historical scenery, cabinets with valuable original objects and innovative museum technology. Read, hear and experience the history of the Hanseatic
League in your own personal way. Important new aspects of the city’s urban development and cultural history are presented in an archaeological dig exploring the earliest settlement of Lübeck and in the fully restored Castle Friary. Discover 800 years of thrilling Hanseatic history!
Travemünde – stage to the sea
Big ships, fine sandy beaches and the pure feeling of the Baltic Sea – that’s Travemünde – just a stone’s throw from Lübeck. Visitors stroll around the beautiful seaside resort, from the old harbour to the north mole – past the huge ferries and smart cruise vessels from all over the world. They enjoy a coffee on the Vorderreihe (sea front), the promenade and Travemünde’s most beautiful shopping mall, and try their luck in Travemünde‘s famous casino. In the breezy heights of the old lighthouse they get a panorama view of the Trave estuary. A trip on a traditional ship offers a real adventure!
Tourist-Information at the Holsten Gate