Nosferatu – a symphony of horror is a German film created by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau in 1992. This silent movie classic is a non-authorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. It tells the story of Earl Orlok (Nosferatu), a vampire from the Carpathians, who fell in love with Ellen and brought fear and fright to her hometown Wisborg.
Wisborg is a fictive town in Northern Germany located on the seaside. Many of the outdoor shots were filmed in Lübeck and Wismar. Nosferatu is known as one of the first horror movies, which had a lasting impact on the genre due to its visual arrangements – without using computer effects. The demonical main character and the dreamlike, tormented souls made the movie one of the most important ones in cinemas in the Weimar Republic. After a copyright dispute the movie should have been destroyed in 1925, however, it is still available in different restored edited versions.
You can still explore some of the settings in Lübeck where the outdoor shots were taken more than 100 years ago.
Start your search for traces at the Obertrave riverbank. Here, you have a beautiful view of the historic salt warehouses which in the Middle Ages were used to store “the white gold”, meaning the salt from Lüneburg and the saltern in Bad Oldesloe which was exported profitably from Lübeck to the whole Baltic sea region. In the movie the old warehouses were used as the backdrop for the half-ruined walls for Earl Orlok’s new home in Wisborg, where he wished to be close to Ellen. The historic salt warehouses were also used for further shootings for part two of Nosferatu – “Phantom of the night” with Klaus Kinski (direction: Werner Herzog, 1979).
Nowadays, it is not only possible to visit the restored salt warehouses, but also to go shopping as the building houses the fashion store “Heick & Schmalz”
If you follow the riverbank southwards you will see another film location. Turn left into the street “Depenau”, where the duty stroke of Ellen’s husband Thomas Hutter was filmed. The street was also shown in the scene with the victims of the plague being carried away. Unfortunately, many old houses in “Depenau” were destroyed in 1942.
The street “Durchgang” leads you directly from “Depenau” to “Marlesgrube”. From there walk into the direction of the “Obertrave” and turn left following “Obertrave” southwards.
Passing “Dankwartsgrube” you turn left into “Rosen Hof”, a typical Lübeck alleyway.
The courtyards and alleyways were mainly built in the 14th century and are part of Lübeck’s UNESCO world heritage. At this time, the flourishing trade led to a lack of space and housing shortage, so that new living space had to be created. Thus, small wooden houses were built in the backyards. Nowadays, about 90 of the former 180 courtyards and alleyways are still well preserved and can be visited. Please respect the privacy of the residents while visiting these courtyards and alleyways.
Start your alleyway tour at “Rosen Hof”, “Kalands Gang” and proceed to “Heynaths Gang”. After visiting “Heynaths Gang” turn left into “Hartengrube”. At the end of the road (at the corner “Parade”) go straight in the direction “Domkirchhof”. We strongly recommend visiting the Cathedral of Lübeck
Afterwards turn into the street called “Fegefeuer” (“purgatory”) and right into “Hölle” (“hell”). After leaving the hell turn back to “Fegefeuer”, go straight, cross the street “Mühlenstraße” and go further on “St.‑Annen-Straße”. St. Anne’s museum
is worth a visit.
For a coffee break stop by at café “Konvent”
which is located a few steps further. It is only one of many cafés and restaurants, which offer delicious food and drinks.
Turn left into “Aegidienstraße” to visit St. Gile’s church
which should have been a filming location in the first scene, however, the parochial church council was against Murnau’s idea, so St. Mary’s church in Wismar was used for the film scene.
In the churchyard near Saint Gile’s church the exterior of Hutter's House was filmed, a row of houses, which is still well preserved today. These houses were built during the Renaissance and are still inhabited today.
Do not be surprised: In the film, Hutter's house and Earl Orlok's estate are shown as neighbouring properties, but this does not correspond to reality. A further aspect is that the view through Ellen's bedroom window falls directly onto the salt warehouses, which are actually about 800m away - editing technique makes it possible.
Return to “St.-Annen-Straße” and further on “Balauerfohr”. Here, you find one of many galleries called “Kontrapost”
. Afterwards turn left into “Hüxstraße” where you’ll find a number of cafés, restaurants, galleries and individual stores for shopping. Take a break at Kaffeehaus
, a café with delicious pastry and coffee specialities. A further recommendation is “Nudelbude Pasta Manufaktur”
which offers self-made pasta like in Italy.
Do you want to buy wine and delicacies? You will find it at “Miera”
which is located only a few steps further. Additionally, a lot of galleries as for example “AC Noffke”
show different forms of art.
Turn right at the end of the street (“Königstraße”) and then right again into “Fleischhauerstraße”. A lot of individual cafés and restaurants as well as the gallery “ARTEmani”
are located there.
Recommended are especially “Cycle Roasters”
who produce and sell their own “Specialty Coffee” or the confectionery and bar “Uter”
which has a big selection of yummy pastry and breakfast offers.
For a vegan or vegetarian meal try “Nitsche -Deli und Freiraum”
. If you want to have a dessert afterwards do not miss the ice cream from “Soulmates”
Next, turn left into “Bei St. Johannis” and go straight until you arrive at “Dr.-Julius-Leber-Straße”. Afterwards turn back on “Bei St. Johannis” and keep following the street which turns into “Rosengarten”. If you turn left into “Rosen Gang” you can visit another alleyway.
Back on “Rosengarten” go straight to the gallery “Galerie für eine Nacht”
which is situated at the street “Tünkenhagen”. At the end of the street turn left into “Glockengießerstraße” and you arrive at the small Bio bakery called “Freibackhaus”. At Glockengießerstraße you can visit two renowned courtyards: “Glandorps Hof” and “Füchtingshof”, which served as another Nosferatu film location. Füchtingshof is one of the largest and splendid courtyards in Lübeck which has served as a residence for widows of sailors and merchants since 1639. Two scenes were filmed in the courtyard as for example the scene when Hutter talked with a friend about his vacation plan for visiting the Carpathians.Tip:
on Fridays or Saturdays you can visit the Bar “Torrio’s”
, located at “Königstraße”, for a drink after your walk.