Go with the flow

Beloved painters’ corner

Carefree life on the banks of the Trave

The water glistens in the sun and the small boats and pleasure ships on the Trave glide blithely past you. In dreamy “Painters’ Corner” on the riverbank, you can enjoy the view of the beautiful Old Town backdrop in the cathedral district and drift off into a world of your own. The Cathedral bells ring out and the swans on the water greet you. Enjoy a picnic on the grass, feed the quacking ducks and relax while you watch the passing ships – all contribute to a feeling of timeless happiness in this secret idyllic spot. And if you feel like cooling off a little in the summer temperatures, simply do like the swans do and dip your feet in the cool water.

Relax, let go of the wheel, spin through the world, it is beautiful.

Kurt Tucholsky

Where is Painters’ Corner in Lübeck?

Painters’ Corner is a small area of greenery very near the Old Town on the West bank of the Trave on Wallstraße and historically forms part of the old ramparts in front of the Holsten Gate. It’s connected to the historic Old Town via a small, wooden bridge known as Dankwart’s Bridge. This is the perfect spot for an easel or a holiday selfie to capture that Lübeck way of life. The special view from this little corner of the Earth onto the Old Town beside the river has always been very popular with painters and photographers and is a favourite postcard motif.

The relaxed activities on Obertrave with its sunny café terraces, bars and restaurants await you on the opposite bank. Here you will encounter Lübeck hospitality at any time of year as well as summery dance music and welcoming mine hosts. Stroll past neat Old Town houses, small jetties on the banks of the Trave and seemingly endless washing lines between the trees on the side of the path. Discover the paved passages and romantic residential alleys with the tiny alley houses lovingly cared for and often decorated like dolls houses. Just immerse yourself in the peaceful life on Obertrave!

Got curious? Just take part in a walking tour through the picturesque Cathedral district!

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The white gold of the Stecknitz bargemen

The Stecknitz bargemen and their families used to live on Obertrave. They lived together in a tight-knit community in their quaint little alley houses near the riverbank where their salt barges lay moored. From the Middle Ages until the mid-19th century, they transported the valuable “white gold” from Lüneburg via the Stecknitz Canal – the precursor to today’s Elbe-Lübeck Canal – all the way to Lübeck on behalf of Lübeck merchants. The saltworks in Lübeck was the only one in the whole of Northern Europe. In Lübeck, the salt was stored in the salt warehouses at the Holsten Gate until it was exported to the whole of the Baltics with sea-going ships. Salt was a valuable commodity, the demand was huge and the salt trade made a fortune for the 12 Lübeck families trading in salt and the city, too, as a result. Today, the old Stecknitz bargemen’s district below the cathedral is one of the most beautiful areas in the Old Town where time seems to have stood still. Discover the old residential district with its densely developed, steep passages with their bumpy paving stones and twisty alleys and courtyards!

Did you know? The region around the river Stecknitz is directly adjoining to the Lübeck city area. Here you can explore numerous nature reserves, but cultural sight await you as well. 

Did you know?

The sound of music

Students from 41 countries study at the University of Music in Lübeck in a family, cosmopolitan atmosphere. The building comprises 22 historical houses which are all interconnected. Through the open windows, you can hear the strains of trumpets, and the musicians study their scores on the benches on Obertrave. You can attend concerts and musical productions throughout the year. One of the highlights of the musical year is the Brahms Festival which is staged annually on Obertrave in May.

Pure horror!

Take a look into the Lübeck of the year 1922 and watch some scenes from the silent film "Nosferatu - Symphony of Horror" by director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. The pictures of the decaying warehouses where Count Orlok found his shelter were taken in front of the salt warehouses in Lübeck. Another Lübeck film location at that time was the "Füchtingshof" in Glockengießerstraße, which still exists today.

Salt warehouses in 1922
Which way to panties' alley?

Don’t be surprised if you see freshly washed clothes fluttering happily in the breeze between the trees on Obertrave. Residents of Old Town houses have strung up their clothes lines on the riverbank and let their washing dry right beside their front door. That’s why they fondly call their street “Schlüpferallee” (panties' alley). Legend has it that due to the constant danger of the river flooding, there was not a single dry basement in the houses, and a privilege from the 14th century permitted residents to dry their wet washing in public on the street. And the tradition lives on today!

Lovers' bridge with padlock

You can swear eternal love to your sweetheart on the small pedestrian bridge on Obertrave and attach a love padlock with your names. That way the two of you will be for ever happily connected to Lübeck!

Caution, flood!

Storm surges regularly lead to flooding on Obertrave. The residents take it in their stride and simply shut up shop.

Experience the painters' corner from the water!

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