THE HEART OF THE CITY

LÜBECK’S ISLAND-SHAPED OLD TOWN

NORDIC BEAUTY WITH STYLE

Lübeck’s Old Town is completely surrounded by water and a veritable place of yearning. The impressive brick architecture of the merchants' houses and churches is still the hallmark of this Hanseatic town which was founded in 1143 as the first port on the Baltic Sea and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Take a relaxed stroll through the medieval alleys and immerse yourself in the pulsating life behind old walls and discover Nordic beauty with style. Experience the unique diversity of the listed architecture and the hidden world of the historical residential alleys and courtyards.

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LÜBECK’S OLD TOWN HAS BEEN A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE SINCE 1987.

When UNESCO awarded the status of World Heritage Site to Lübeck’s medieval town centre, it was the first time a whole district had been nominated for such an award in Northern Europe. Even the archaeological treasures below ground formed part of it. The award assigns an exceptional universal value to the historical monument that is the Old Town as according to the definition of the World Heritage Committee, it is relevant not just for national or local communities but for the whole of mankind. Residents of Lübeck are very proud of this status and at the same time recognise their obligation to preserve the World Heritage Site of Lübeck as a place of intercultural learning and meeting point for future generations. On a stroll through the Old Town, past listed buildings stretching back more than 8 centuries, you will really be on an exciting journey through time.

THE SEAFARERS' GUILD ENTICES VISITORS WITH A LAVISH FEAST

This traditional restaurant used to be the most important gathering point for seafarers and captains. The building with a façade that has barely changed since it was built, originates from the 16th century and to this day it inspires visitors with its historical ambience in the large guest room full of old model ships, paintings and seafaring equipment, woodcut banquets, chandeliers and murals.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPLORE THE OLD TOWN ON A GUIDED TOUR?

Our guides know the best stories about Lübeck’s great past as Queen of the Hanseatic League, and they will communicate very different aspects of that history to you in an entertaining fashion on their guided thematic tours. Sometimes it’s about people’s everyday lives, sometimes about the role of women. Facts about the significance of religion, the system of foundations in Lübeck or the World Heritage award are as much a part of these guided tours as anecdotes from the last 8 centuries. Guided cycle tours and costumed tours can also be booked as can our popular culinary guided tours of the town with a glance behind the scenes of manufactories and family businesses.

THE ABILITY TO DISCOVER, RECOGNIZE AND EXPERIENCE BEAUTIFUL THINGS IS FED BY THE WILLINGNESS TO OPEN UP.

Ernst Ferstl

THE HIDDEN WORLD OF ALLEYS AND COURTYARDS

Discover the romantic alleys and courtyards that can be found behind the façades of proud merchant houses nearly all over the Old Town. The medieval labyrinth is the secret lifeline of Lübeck.

WHAT CAN YOU SEE AT THE HOLSTEN GATE?

The Holsten Gate is Lübeck’s famous landmark and was built in the late 15th century as part of the city’s fortifications designed to protect this rich city from enemy attacks. Today, the walls with a thickness of 3.50 metres harbour an exhibition entitled “The Power of Trade”. Facts about the Hanseatic League, trade and seafaring, the history of the Holsten Gate and its weaponry are presented in various thematic rooms. A model of the city illustrates the structure of the Hanseatic city with its typical brick buildings. It’s well worth a visit!

SEVEN SPIRES - FIVE CHURCHES

Built by many generations over a period of more than a century, the five medieval brick churches with their famous seven spires dominate the city’s skyline to this day. Behind the historical walls of St. Mary's church, St. Peter's church, St. Giles' church, St. Jacob’s church and the Cathedral, the naves become a stimulating place of encounter for people, art and culture.

THE TOWN HALL AT THE HEART OF THE CITY

Work on Lübeck’s Town Hall on the market square had already begun in 1230. It counts as one of the most well-known buildings in the brick Gothic style. It looks like a “stone fairy-tale” with its beautiful ornate façades and delicate little towers. The building was expanded in almost every following century and thus presents itself today as a successful mix of styles from different epochs and architectural fashions. But it's is not a museum: The city parliament still meets here today, couples can tie the knot in the historic premises and guests are very welcome to tour the Town hall!

90

medieval alleys and courtyards are preserved to this day in the island-shaped Old Town

1143

the year when Lübeck was founded as the first German harbour town on the Baltic Sea

1800

listed buildings form part of the UNESCO World Heritage

HOSPITAL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Rich merchants financed the construction of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit in the 13th century as a place for the old and sick. It is one of the oldest examples of medieval welfare in the whole of Europe. Discover the unique ambience of the historical church hall and the tiny “residential cubbyholes” in which a major craft market is held every year in the lead-up to Christmas.

CASTLE MONASTERY AND CASTLE GATE

The Castle Monastery is the most important medieval monastery complex in North Germany and a former Dominican monastery. Today, it forms part of the European Hansemuseum which will take you on a thrilling journey through the history of the Hanseatic League. The Castle Gate guards the northern entrance to the Old Town and is one of the formerly four historical city gates of Lübeck. The castle monastery looks back on an eventful history. After the Reformation it was used as a poor house. The monastery church was demolished at the end of the 19th century and made way for a court building. Today the ensemble is part of the European Hansemuseum, which invites you on an exciting journey through the history of the Hanseatic League.

TREASURES AT THE MUSEUM HARBOUR

In the museum harbour, lovingly restored traditional yachts lie on the quay - lined up like a string of pearls. The storm-tried oldtimers have found their safe home port in Lübeck, but are still looking for adventure every now and then and set off for a group charter or regatta. If you want, come ‘on board and sail with us!