Seven Lord’s Prayers for the pious sponsors
The poor, old and sick – in the Middle Ages, there were many needy people in the Hanseatic city, so-called “people of lesser luck” who were dependent on help and alms from well-heeled Lübeck citizens. The misery was omni-present and there were also many rich, pious merchants and councillors who willingly helped to alleviate the suffering of the needy. The help was not entirely selfless as the donors were hoping for a place in paradise due to their generosity. The best example of this type of medieval welfare is the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, completed in 1286, which is one of the oldest social institutions still in existence in the world. With its three-gabled representative frontage and four slender spires, magnificent church hall and the long house in which the beds of the needy were lined up in rows, the hospital is one of the most important architectural monuments in Gothic red-brick style. It owned many estates in and around Lübeck, and the income from these estates was sufficient to look after the poor and the sick.