Old TownLübeck – former capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League
I have been to several places in Germany and my favorite so far is Lübeck. It is located in the northern part of the country and is one of the major ports. I was at that time staying somewhere around Teutendorfer Weg and I decided to visit The Old Town Lübeck which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you check in Google map, the place is of oval shape and surrounded by the River Trave. I took a day tour on one Saturday weekend from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
From Teutendorfer Weg, I took the DB Bahn bus to Holstentorplatz for about EUR 3.20. It will take you around 30 minutes to get there. There is a tourist center where I got my map and included are suggested walking tours for free. You can actually join a paid walking tour for a few EURs but I prefer to go on a sightseeing my own pace, so I walk toured myself.
One major attraction is the symbol of the City known as Holstentor Gate. Some say that it is also one of the most famous German buildings in the world. It has two round towers and an arched entrance. It was constructed to protect the city against outside threats. There is also an inscription that says “concordia domi foris pax” which means (“unity at home, peace abroad”).
Currently, the Holstentor is a museum and all information about opening times can be found in the link below. I chose not to visit the museum because I was afraid that I will not have enough time to tour the entire town if I do so.
Museum is opened:
Jan to March: Tue – Sun 11:00am to 5:00pm
April to Dec: Daily 10:00am to 6:00pm
Next to the Holstentor is The Salzspeicher salt warehouses consisted of 6 historic brick buildings. During the 16th to 18th centuries it was known that salt which is being shipped to several ports in the Baltic Region were rare but is being used for preservation of food, hence the high demand.
Also interesting is that it was used as a residence of Dracula in the movie Nosferatu with a few more information in this website: https://vampirelestat6969.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/nosferatu-1922/
I have also seen evening shots of The Salzspeicher. When I get to visit the Old Town Lübeck again, I’ll make sure to drop by during the evening and hopefully be able to take evening shots.
This is The Town Hall of the Old Town Lübeck where social meetings were held. There were not so many people in the town hall when I visited and there were only a few shops that I have seen. An area next in front of it was temporarily converted to an ice skating rink. Again I thought, If I try the rink, I won’t have enough time to tour the entire town. On the opposite side, are actually shops and restaurants where I think I spent the most of my time during the visit.
If you want to have a magnificent view over the historic town of Lübeck, you should not miss St. Peter’s Church and it’s viewing platform. It is no longer used as a church but you can still go inside for a visit. Please also take note of the opening times of the Lookout Platform. There is a small fee of EUR 3 for adults and EUR 2 for students. As usual, I was charged for EUR 2 only but I gave back the EUR 1 additional fee because yes, I’m an adult.
You can see from the platform a breathtaking view of the Old Town including the third largest church in Germany in the City of the 7 Spires – that is St. Mary’s. On the other side, you can also see the Holstentor Gate which is a few steps away from The Salzspeicher salt warehouses.
Next stop is St. Catherine’s Church (Katharinenkirche in German) located in Königstraße. While most churches were built with a spire, Catherine’s is unique as it doesn’t have one. Also, it is a must stop due to its architectural features inside. I couldn’t go in when I visited because it was being renovated.
Opening times are April to September: Thurs to Sat 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Another popular tourist attraction that was being renovated during my visit is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe: Hospital of the Holy Spirit. After my tour to Lübeck, had only I got the chance to do a brief research about this very important social institution. Worth reading are the reasons for the establishment of this building which for me is very interesting and can be found in this source: http://www.stiftungsverwaltung-luebeck.de
It has been explained why the wealthy people involve themselves in founding institutions similar to this.
My walking tour ended at the Burgtor (Castle Gate) – one of the two medieval gates in Lübeck which survived, the other one being the more popular, The Holstentor Gate.
The Old Town Lübeck has plenty of popular sights to visit from Museums to Churches and even Alleys. I mostly enjoyed walking beside the River while watching kids fish with their dads and play around. The weather at that time was also refreshing, not too cold with a little sunshine (January). If you are someone who prefers quiet places than crowded, Lübeck would be perfect for you. A week must be enough to visit most of the interesting places here, at the same time trying the local cuisine and of course shop without the need to hurry. This is also one of the places that I’d visit again in the future and you should too!
Enjoying my other favorite place in Germany – Seftenberg.