Lübeck – City in northern Germany.

Lübeck

Lübeck, Germany: the most detailed information about the city of Lübeck, the main attractions with photos and descriptions, location on the map.

Lübeck city, Germany

Lübeck is a city in northern Germany on the River Trave in Schleswig-Holstein. It is one of the largest ports of the country, the second largest city in the region, located in the Baltic Sea 58 km south-west of Hamburg. History and unique atmosphere, sights and monuments of brick Gothic architecture, more than 1000 historical buildings – all this is about Lübeck. The image of the city reminds one of its role as one of the founding members of the Hanseatic League, which earned it the nickname “Queen of the Hanseatic League”. Old streets, medieval merchants’ houses and old Gothic churches form the historical core of Lübeck. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, today this prosperous provincial city retains many charming nooks and crannies.

Lübeck is the only city in northern Germany that has an extensive medieval old center, not inferior to Nuremberg, Regensburg and other cities of the south. Despite the fact that the historic center as well as the city itself was badly damaged by bombing during World War II, most of the old city has retained its unique features and atmosphere of the Middle Ages, was carefully reconstructed and is included in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. The center of Lübeck has to a large extent retained its original medieval layout. The historical core consists of seven Gothic churches, surrounded by parts of the old city walls with two of the four city gates left intact. One of Lübeck’s main landmarks and symbols is the Holstentor Gate, which was depicted on the German 50-mark banknote until 1990.

The Old City of Lubeck

Lübeck Old Town

Geography

Lübeck is located in the expanse of the North German Lowlands, at the mouth of the River Trave, which flows into the Baltic Sea. The relief of the city is a slightly hilly plain.

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Climate

Lübeck lies in a temperate climate zone with considerable maritime influence. Summers are usually warm and humid, winters are fairly mild with occasional frost and frequent thaws. Because of the influence of the Baltic Sea here is quite high humidity, during the year falls a lot of precipitation, which are distributed during the year rather evenly.

Panorama of Lubeck

Lübeck panorama

History

Lübeck was founded in the 12th century. It quickly became a free city due to its advantageous location, and achieved great wealth and power as the capital of the Hanseatic League from the 14th to the 17th century. The basis of the economy and wealth of Lübeck was considered the salt trade with other cities on the Baltic Sea coast and their exchange for valuable goods needed and demanded in Germany. Many old warehouses can still be found in the old harbor.

With the sea trade shifting from the Baltic to the Atlantic in the 17th century, the importance of Lübeck as a major trading city in Germany declined, and it lost its importance to the northern seaports of Bremen and Hamburg.

The Streets of Lübeck

The streets of Lübeck

Milestones in the history of Lübeck:

  • 1143 – the founding of Lübeck on the site of an old Slavic settlement.
  • 1226 – Lübeck became a free imperial city.
  • 1361 – Lübeck became the center of the Hanseatic League.
  • 1630 – The last meeting of the Hanseatic League cities in Lübeck.
  • 1815 – Lübeck is included in the German Union as a Free Hanseatic City, in 1871 as a German Empire.
  • 1933 – Lübeck loses the privileges of a Hanseatic city and in 1937 it loses its autonomy and becomes part of Schleswig-Holstein.

How to get to Lubeck

By plane

The nearest international airport is in Hamburg (HAM). The best way to get from Hamburg Airport to Lübeck is by train. The S1 commuter train (every 10 minutes) will take you from the airport to the main station in Hamburg and from there you can take the train to Lübeck. Travel time is just over an hour. A direct bus service between Hamburg Airport and Lübeck is no longer available.

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By car

Lübeck is about 60 km northeast of Hamburg and is easily accessible by car (A1 motorway). With the opening of the new highway A20 (Baltic Sea Highway) to Rostock, the accessibility of the city is even better.

By train

The suburban trains from Hamburg and back run every 30 minutes on weekdays (every 60 minutes on weekends and holidays). The railroads also connect Lübeck with Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, and other cities.

By ferry

Lübeck and the city of Travemünde is a major Baltic ferry port. The ferry service connects the city to many cities on the Baltic coast, including St. Petersburg.

Evening in Lubeck

Evening in Lubeck

Shopping and shopping

The main shopping street in Lübeck is HÜXSTRASSE. More than 100 stores sell almost everything: from souvenirs, food, and alcohol to clothes and jewelry. Another famous shopping street is Fleischhauerstrase.

What to buy in Lübeck (souvenirs):

– Buy other Lübeck-related souvenirs at an interesting store between the market and St. Mary’s Church.

Gothic Churches in Lubeck

Gothic churches in Lübeck

Gastronomy

The old city of Lübeck offers a wide variety of dining establishments to satisfy most tastes and food cravings. The Markgraf, Schabbelhauss and Schiffergesellschaft are in high demand. If you like beer, you should go to the Alfstrasse area. Lübeck is known for its high density of cozy cafes and “Kneipen” (“pubs”), so be sure to check out the little old streets. There you may find a very interesting and authentic place. If you are a fan of Mediterranean cuisine, you should visit Miera on Hüxstraße. You can also taste great wine there.

Lübeck sights on a map

Lübeck sights on a map

Lübeck sights

The main attraction in Lübeck is the medieval Altstadt (old town), located on an island surrounded by the river Trave and canals. The main attractions of the old city are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Lübeck offers an amazing variety of different architectural styles, and the streets of the city will delight connoisseurs of architecture and history.

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Altstadt, Lübeck. View from the river Trave

Altstadt, Lübeck. View from the River Trave

The historic center of Lübeck is not an open-air museum. It is a lively city center. Even so, there are many beautiful old buildings interwoven with modern structures and infrastructure, winding medieval streets and quiet old neighborhoods. A particularly well-preserved part of the Altstadt is the Koberg, located in the northern part of the historic center. And be sure to visit the Lübeck Gänge (passages and courtyards) – small streets with small houses and a charming atmosphere.

Holstentor

Holstentor

Holstentor in Lübeck

The Holstentor (Holstein Gate) is the symbol of Lübeck and the entire Hanseatic League. An imposing medieval gate from the 15th century in the style of brick Gothic architecture. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gate was part of the city fortifications and served as the main entrance to the city.

The Holstein Gate consists of two towers, the north and south, connected by a central bay. The towers are built in tiers of red and black brick, with windows in the form of loopholes. At present, there is a museum here.

Gothic churches in Lübeck

One of the special features of Lübeck’s old town are its seven Gothic churches. These magnificent monuments of Gothic brick architecture are among the symbols of the city. Let us tell you about the most interesting ones.

Church of St. Mary

Church of St. Mary

The St. Mary’s Church is a monument of Gothic architecture, one of the most important sacral buildings in Lübeck, built at the beginning of the 14th century. Its construction began in 1250 and was completed in 1350. The grandiose Gothic building, formerly of the Franciscan order, is impressive in its size, its simplicity and the austerity of its interior decoration. The two spires reach a height of 125 meters and are visible from almost every part of the Altstadt.

Lubeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral

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Lübeck Cathedral is the cathedral, the largest religious building in Lübeck and the entire Baltic Sea coast. The foundations of the cathedral were laid in 1173 by Henry the Lion on the southern edge of the old city near the mill pond. Lübeck Cathedral is a grandiose three-nave building, one of the oldest monuments of brick Gothic architecture. It was severely destroyed in 1942.

Church of St. James

Church of St James

St. Jacob’s Church is a Gothic religious structure in Lübeck, often referred to as “the church of the sailors.” It is a three-nave medieval church built in the first half of the 14th century. It is known for its 15th-century altar, 14th-century wall paintings, and 16th-century organs. The organs of St. James Church are among the best preserved in northern Germany. Unlike other churches in Lübeck, it was not damaged during World War II.

Church of St. Peter

Church of St. Peter

St. Peter’s Church is an ancient Gothic church with five aisles, founded in the first half of the 13th century. From the top of the tower is one of the most beautiful views of the old city. The first Romanesque church was built between 1227-1250 and was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 15th and 16th centuries. The church was severely damaged during World War II.

Church of St. Aegidius

Church of St. Aegidius

The Church of St. Egidius is the smallest of Lübeck’s five ancient Gothic churches. It was built in the 14th century. It is located in the heart of the old artisan quarter in the eastern part of the old city. Decorated with Gothic frescoes and Baroque and Renaissance elements.

City Hall

Lubeck Town Hall

City Hall in Lübeck

The town hall is the oldest functioning town hall in Germany and one of the most beautiful buildings of its type in Central Europe. One of the architectural dominants of the historic center, which stands out for its arcades and small Gothic spires. It was the seat of the Hanseatic League until its dissolution.

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Other sights

Hospital of the Holy Spirit

Hospital of the Holy Spirit

The hospital of the Holy Spirit is one of the oldest hospital complexes in Central Europe, built with donations from wealthy merchants in the 13th century. The hospital complex consists of the hospital itself and a small church with frescoes and paintings from the 14th century. It is interesting to note that the hospital functioned here until 1970.

Schiffergesellschaft

Schiffergesellschaft

The Schiffergesellschaft (literally “ship’s company” in German) is an institution that has become a landmark in Lübeck. Located in an old building from the beginning of the 16th century. Offers a taste of the Hanseatic League, the times of merchants and daring seamen, as well as traditional cuisine.

Castle Gate and Burgkloster

Castle Gate and the Burgkloster

The Burgkloster is the most important monastery in Northern Germany and one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in the country. It is one of the most mysterious and mystical buildings in Lübeck. One of its visiting cards is the Castle Gate – a medieval construction from the 13th century with a mighty tower made of black and red bricks. Decorated with late Gothic and early Baroque elements. Also part of the medieval city walls are preserved here.

Old Warehouses

The old warehouses, Lübeck.

Video

Interesting tours

Nuremberg through the ages

€95 for a guided tour

Nuremberg through the ages

Hear the history of the most interesting places in the Old Town and get valuable advice from locals

On both sides of the barricades: a walking tour of Berlin

€110 per tour

On both sides of the barricades: a walking tour of Berlin

Be absorbed in the history of the capital and see its key sights for 3 hours

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