Lübeck in Germany was built as a port on the Baltic Sea near the mouth of the Trave. It has 11 centuries of history, many of its attractions are included in the UNESCO list and are worthy of the most careful attention of tourists. The unique architectural monuments of the brick Gothic. The old city, located on a hill, keeps many secrets, gladly sharing them with visitors to Lübeck.
Top 5 attractions in Lübeck
Most of the sights in Lübeck belong to past centuries. The city grew gradually, the oldest part is on the high ground, from there gradually descending to the coastal strip. The historic center was damaged by bombing, but most of the buildings have survived, as has the original layout. There are 7 ancient churches, fragments of city walls and two gates of the same time.
The fortunate location has brought the city wealth and influence in the political arena. From the 14th to the 17th century it was the capital of the Hanseatic League. The main share of profits came from the trade in salt and other goods demanded in the country. Since then, there have been warehouses on the coast near the old harbor. Gradually the sea trade moved to the Atlantic, and the city gave way to Hamburg and Bremen.
The best place to start in Lübeck is in the historic center. It is located on an island formed by a river and canals. It is noteworthy that it has not become a museum value, its streets are always lively, people go about their daily business, long accustomed to the medieval architecture of most buildings. Their facades are carefully preserved, but inside many of them look quite modern.
The breath of history is well felt in the narrow streets and small cozy courtyards with old shady trees and well-maintained lawns.
Holstentor and Burgthor Gate
These monuments are well preserved and are a symbol of the city and the Hanseatic League. If we stick to the facts, Holstentor is not just a gate, but part of the city’s defensive system, consisting of two towers on each side, connected by a central passage with narrow windows – loopholes. From afar, the architectural ensemble looks motley, as it is built in tiers of red and black bricks.
The Burgthor Gate was built a little earlier, in 1444, and also served as part of the city’s fortifications. They are not badly preserved, you can clearly see the later superstructure in the Baroque style. This gate controlled the only land road to the city.
Market Square and Town Hall
It is located in the heart of the old city and since the Middle Ages continues to be a point of social life in Lübeck. Here, as before, there are fairs, festivals and folk festivals. In 14, city officials began reconstruction, gradually replacing wooden houses with stone ones to reduce the risk of fires.
The facade of the City Hall overlooks the square. It became the architectural dominant of the center. The building was built in the Gothic style with Renaissance and Baroque elements and is considered the oldest active City Hall in the country. Construction of the building began in the 13th century and was constantly supplemented by new additions. Repeated restorations have slightly altered the original appearance, turning the building into a real work of art. The interior is decorated with murals depicting various historical events and portraits of all mayors, including the current one.
You can get into the town hall only as part of a tour group, self-guided visit is not allowed.
Holy Spirit Hospital
Compared with other cities in Germany, Lübeck has preserved many landmarks that testify to the charity of wealthy citizens, who allocated funds for the maintenance of hospitals and orphanages. The Hospital of the Holy Spirit was built in the 13th century with funds from merchants for the infirm and the poor, with a capacity of 170 people. They could always come here for medical care and temporary shelter.
City officials began construction on the site of an old wooden building that burned down in a fire. The new hospital consisted of two rooms: a hospital temple and a general hall. The monks of the Order of the Holy Spirit cared for the sick. The temple is decorated with frescoes, stained glass, and altar sculptures.
Most of them are located in the historic center, especially the Church of St. Mary. It was built exactly a century, from 1250 to 1350. The spires of the two towers rise to 125 meters and are clearly visible from anywhere in the city. French Gothic churches were the model, but the material chosen for the construction was not stone, but brick. The church has been reconstructed several times. As a result, the architectural ensemble now consists of 20 large and small chapels, some with tombs of noble families.
Tourists are charged a symbolic fee of 2 euros, the money goes to the preservation of the church as a historical monument listed by UNESCO.
In addition to the Marienkirche, there are other churches in the city that are also protected by the International Committee, these are:
- Lübeck Cathedral;
- St. John the Baptist Church. Jacob;
- the church of St. Peter;
- St. John the Baptist Church. Aegidius.
Entrance to the temples is free, on weekends you can visit the organ concerts of early music.
How to get to Lubeck?
Tourists are offered a choice of plane, train, bus or ship. Each mode of transport has its own disadvantages and advantages. Air travel is the fastest, but involves a connection. For example, from Hamburg to Lübeck you have to take a bus or train.
Going to Lubeck, it is worth remembering that it was there who invented and began producing marzipan of different tastes, colors and shapes, so the best souvenir for the family will certainly be a box of this delicacy.
Video overview of the sights of Lübeck
A complete list of attractions in Lübeck with photos and descriptions posted in tourist booklets that can be purchased at the agencies that organize tours of the city and its surroundings, or get free when you visit museums in the city. With this clue, finding historical monuments on the city map is much easier.