Lübeck Town Hall
Known as the “City of Seven Spires”, Lübeck’s historic centre is the largest in Germany. As you walk down the streets of Lübeck’s Old Town (Altstadt), notice the distinctive Brick Gothic architecture of the buildings. They are reminiscent of medieval times when Lübeck functioned as the capital of the Hanseatic League in Europe.
One such outstanding building is the town hall. Built in 1225, the town hall in Lübeck is one of the largest in Germany. Initially designed in the Romanesque style, you can even now see a Romanesque blind arch in the shield wall. A fire destroyed most of the town hall during the 13th century, leaving behind only the pointed arcades that can be seen to this day.
In 1987, Lübeck’s Old Town became the first in northern Europe to be named a World Cultural Heritage site. One of the main highlights of this city, as well as its oldest, is the Lübeck Cathedral.
Built by Henry the Lion in the 12th century, this Lutheran cathedral suffered extensive damage during World War II. While the exterior facade underwent a lot of restoration work, the Late Gothic and Baroque art inside escaped harm. Some of the artistic highlights of the Lübeck Cathedral include:
- Triumphal Cross: Standing at 17 meters tall, this beautiful artwork was created by Bernt Notke in 1477.
- Lettner Clock: Also known as the Rood Screen or Choir Screen, this ornate partition made of wood, stone or wrought iron is a characteristic of late medieval church architecture.
- Cloisters: Located in the south transept of the Lübeck Cathedral, these are the only remains of the original structure.
St. Mary’s Church
Another religious structure not to be missed is the St. Mary’s Church. The building is massive, and why not? St. Mary’s is the third largest church in Germany.
The brick facade is especially representative of the Gothic style of churches in the Baltic region during the 13th and 14th centuries. Like many medieval churches, St. Mary’s Church does not have a transept.
However, the most iconic elements on Lübeck’s skyline are the majestic twin towers of St. Mary’s Church. At a massive 125 meters, they stand tall and imposing. Even today, you can find the broken bells that fell from the south tower during World War II air raids.
Like many cities in Europe, Lübeck bears remnants of its medieval fortifications. The Holstentor or Holsten Gate is one such relic. With its two round towers and arched entrance, Holstentor has come to symbolize Lübeck.
Guarding the western boundary of the Old Town, Holstentor was constructed in 1464. Similar to other structures in Lübeck, the gate is also designed in the North German Brick Gothic style. In addition, there are beautiful terracotta friezes and small arched windows.
Inside the Holstentor, there is a small museum that details Lübeck’s history as a Hanseatic City. You will find maritime instruments, models of ships, armor and weapons.
Lübeck Back Factory
If you are looking for a quick lunch in Lübeck, head on over to Back Factory (a chain of snack stores in Germany). Nothing tastes better than cheap and delicious fare.
- Spinach Kiche
- Tomato Mozzarella Strudel
- Nutella Croissant