Lübeck (pronounced [ˈlyːbɛk] (listen)) is a city in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. On the river Trave, it was the leading city of the Hanseatic League, and because of its extensive Brick Gothic architecture, it is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. In 2015, it had a population of 218,523.

The old part of Lübeck is on an island enclosed by the Trave. The Elbe–Lübeck Canal connects the Trave with the Elbe River. Another important river near the town centre is the Wakenitz. Autobahn 1 connects Lübeck with Hamburg and Denmark. Travemünde is a sea resort and ferry port on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Lübeck Hauptbahnhof links Lübeck to a number of railway lines, notably the line to Hamburg.

Hanseatic City of Lübeck

Hansestadt Lübeck
Holstentor, emblem of the city
Holstentor, emblem of the city
Location of Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Hanseatic City of Lübeck is located in Germany
Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Hanseatic City of Lübeck is located in Schleswig-Holstein
Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Coordinates: 53°52′11″N 10°41′11″E / 53.86972°N 10.68639°ECoordinates: 53°52′11″N 10°41′11″E / 53.86972°N 10.68639°E
DistrictUrban districts of Germany
Subdivisions35 Stadtbezirke
 • MayorJan Lindenau (SPD)
 • Governing partiesCDU
 • Total214.19 km2 (82.70 sq mi)
13 m (43 ft)
 • Total216,318
 • Density1,000/km2 (2,600/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes0451, 04502
Vehicle registrationHL (1906–1937; since 1956)[3]
Hanseatic City of Lübeck
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lubeck panorama
Aerial view of the old town
CriteriaCultural: iv
Inscription1987 (11th Session)
Area81.1 ha
Buffer zone693.8 ha
Lubeck Trave
River Trave in Lübeck


Humans settled in the area around what today is Lübeck after the last Ice Age ended about 9700 BCE. Several Neolithic dolmens can be found in the area.

Around AD 700, Slavic peoples started moving into the eastern parts of Holstein, an area previously settled by Germanic inhabitants who had moved on in the Migration Period. Charlemagne (Holy Roman Emperor 800–814), whose efforts to Christianise the area were opposed by the Germanic Saxons, expelled many of the Saxons and brought in Polabian Slavs allies. Liubice (the place-name means "lovely") was founded on the banks of the River Trave about four kilometers (2.5 miles) north of the present-day city-center of Lübeck. In the 10th century it became the most important settlement of the Obotrite confederacy and a castle was built. In 1128 the pagan Rani from Rügen razed Liubice.

In 1143 Adolf II, Count of Schauenburg and Holstein, founded the modern town as a German settlement on the river island of Bucu. He built a new castle, first mentioned by the chronicler Helmold as existing in 1147. Adolf had to cede the castle to the Duke of Saxony, Henry the Lion, in 1158. After Henry's fall from power in 1181 the town became an Imperial city for eight years. Emperor Barbarossa (reigned 1152–1190) ordained that the city should have a ruling council of twenty members. With the council dominated by merchants, pragmatic trade interests shaped Lübeck's politics for centuries. The council survived into the 19th century. The town and castle changed ownership for a period afterwards and formed part of the Duchy of Saxony until 1192, of the County of Holstein until 1217, and of the kingdom of Denmark until the Battle of Bornhöved in 1227.

Stadssigill foer staden Luebeck
Lübeck's seal, 1280

Hanseatic city

Around 1200 the port became the main point of departure for colonists leaving for the Baltic territories conquered by the Livonian Order and, later, by the Teutonic Order. In 1226 Emperor Frederick II elevated the town to the status of an Imperial Free City, by which it became the Free City of Lübeck.

Import/exports by sea: valued in 000s Lübeck marks, 18 Mar 1368–10 Mar 1369
Goods Principal origin Imports Exports Total
Cloth Flanders 120.8 39.7 160.5
Fish Scania 64.7 6.1 70.8
Salt Luneburg - 61.6 61.6
Butter Sweden 19.2 6.8 26
Skins, furs Russia, Sweden 13.3 3.7 17
Grain Prussia 13 0.8 13.8
Wax Russia, Prussia 7.2 5.8 13
Beer Wendish towns 4.1 1.9 6
Copper Sweden, Hungary 2.2 2.4 4.6
Iron Sweden, Hungary 2.4 2.2 4.6
Oil Flanders 2.7 1.5 4.2
Flax Livonia, North Germany 0.4 3 3.4
Foodstuffs passim 2.2 1.2 3.4
Silver Sweden 0.7 2 2.7
Wine Rhineland 1.3 0.9 2.2
Various 39.9 16.6 56.5
Unclassified 41 49 90
Total (rounded) 338.9 206.9 545.8[4]

In the 14th century Lübeck became the "Queen of the Hanseatic League", being by far the largest and most powerful member of that medieval trade organization. In 1375 Emperor Charles IV named Lübeck one of the five "Glories of the Empire", a title shared with Venice, Rome, Pisa and Florence.

Movements of 680 ships entering/leaving port
Arrivals % Origin, destination Departures %
289 33.7 Mecklenburg-Pomerania 386 42.3
250 28.8 Skania 207 22.8
145 16.8 Prussia 183 20.1
96 11.2 Sweden 64 7
35 4.3 Livonia 43 4.7
28 3.2 Fehmarn 27 3
12 1.6 Bergen - -
3 0.4 Flanders 1 0.1
858 100 911 100[5]

Several conflicts about trading privileges resulted in fighting between Lübeck (with the Hanseatic League) and Denmark and Norway – with varying outcome. While Lübeck and the Hanseatic League prevailed in conflicts in 1435 and 1512, Lübeck lost when it became involved in the Count's Feud, a civil war that raged in Denmark from 1534 to 1536. Lübeck also joined the pro-Lutheran Schmalkaldic League of the mid-16th century.

Exports of butter (tons) and copper (schiffspfund) from Stockholm to Lübeck and Danzig[6]
Butter Copper
Year Lübeck % Danzig % Lübeck % Danzig %
1368 2000 460
1369 900 530
1400 247 45
1492 76 1250
1493 - 2849
1494 - 1906
1495 - 435
1559 1254 89 150 11 -
1572 1350 74 252 14 564 94 3 0.5
1582 1224 86 105 10 803 85 59 6.2
1583 1133 77 165 11 2153 70 122 4
1584 909 74 177 14 2415 69 49 1.4
1591 742 74 170 17 1487 74 247 12
1600 - - 56 5 - - 1 0
1610 64 47 7 5 1411 83 18 1.1
1620 659 76 50 6 7434 86 12 0.1[7]

After its defeat in the Count's Feud, Lübeck's power slowly declined. The city remained neutral in the Thirty Years' War of 1618–1648, but the combination of the devastation from the decades-long war and the new transatlantic orientation of European trade caused the Hanseatic League – and thus Lübeck with it – to decline in importance. However, even after the de facto disbanding of the Hanseatic League in 1669, Lübeck still remained an important trading town on the Baltic Sea.

Nuremberg chronicles f 265-66 (Lubeca)
Lübeck in 1493

Old traditions, new challenges

Franz Tunder was the organist in the Marienkirche. It was part of the tradition in this Lutheran congregation that the organist would pass on the duty in a dynastic marriage. In 1668, his daughter Anna Margarethe married the great Danish-German composer Dieterich Buxtehude, who was the organist at the Marienkirche in Lübeck until at least 1703. Some of the greatest composers of the day came to the church to hear his renowned playing.

In the course of the war of the Fourth Coalition against Napoleon, troops under Bernadotte occupied the neutral Lübeck after a battle against Blücher on 6 November 1806. Under the Continental System, the State bank went into bankruptcy. In 1811, the French Empire formally annexed Lübeck as part of France; the anti-Napoleonic Allies liberated the area in 1813, and the Congress of Vienna of 1815 recognised Lübeck as an independent Free City.

The writer Thomas Mann was a member of the Mann family of Lübeck merchants. His well-known 1901 novel Buddenbrooks made readers in Germany (and later worldwide, through numerous translations) familiar with the manner of life and mores of the 19th Century Lübeck bourgeoisie.

Lubeka kolorowa litografia książkowa XIVw
Lübeck, 16th century
Lübeck in 1641

In 1937, the Nazis passed the so-called Greater Hamburg Act, which merged the city of Lübeck with Prussia.

During World War II (1939–1945), Lübeck became the first German city to suffer substantial Royal Air Force (RAF) bombing. The attack of 28 March 1942 created a firestorm that caused severe damage to the historic centre. This raid destroyed three of the main churches and large parts of the built-up area; the bells of St Marienkircke plunged to the stone floor.[8] Germany operated a POW camp for officers, Oflag X-C, near the city from 1940 until April 1945. The British Second Army entered Lübeck on 2 May 1945 and occupied it without resistance.

On 3 May 1945 one of the biggest disasters in naval history occurred in the Bay of Lübeck when RAF bombers sank three ships: the SS Cap Arcona, the SS Deutschland, and the SS Thielbek – which, unknown to them, were packed with concentration camp inmates. About 7,000 people died.

Lübeck's population grew considerably – from about 150,000 in 1939 to more than 220,000 after the war – owing to an influx of ethnic German refugees expelled from the so-called former Eastern provinces of Germany in the Communist Bloc. Lübeck remained part of Schleswig-Holstein after World War II (and consequently lay within West Germany). It stood directly on what became the inner German border during the division of Germany into two states in the Cold War period. South of the city, the border followed the path of the river Wakenitz, which separated the Germanies by less than 10 m (32.81 ft) in many parts. The northernmost border-crossing was in Lübeck's district of Schlutup. Lübeck spent decades restoring its historic city centre. In 1987, UNESCO designated this area a World Heritage Site.

Lübeck became the scene of a notable art scandal in the 1950s. Lothar Malskat was hired to restore the medieval frescoes of the cathedral of the Marienkirche, which were discovered after the cathedral had been badly damaged during World War II. Instead he painted new works which he passed off as restorations, fooling many experts. Malskat later revealed the deception himself. Günter Grass featured this incident in his 1986 novel The Rat.

HL Damals – Hafenstraße 52
The house after the attack

On the night of 18 January 1996 a fire broke out in a home for foreign refugees, killing 10 people and severely injuring more than 30 others, mostly children. Most of the shelter's inhabitants thought it was a racist attack, as they stated that they had encountered other overt hostility in the city.[9] The police and the local court were criticized at the time for ruling out racism as a possible motive before even beginning preliminary investigations.[10] But by 2002, the courts found all the Germans involved[11] not guilty; the perpetrators have not been caught.[12]

In April 2015, Lübeck hosted the G7 conference.[13]


In 2015 the city had a population of 218,523. The largest ethnic minority groups are Turks, Central Europeans (Poles), Southern Europeans (mostly Greeks and Italians), Eastern Europeans (e.g. Russians), Arabs and several smaller groups. As in numerous other German cities, there is also a growing Afro-German community.[14] Population structure:[15]

Rank Nationality Population (31.12.2017)
1  Turkey 4,440
2  Poland 2,475
3  Syria 2,025
4  Iraq 955
5  Afghanistan 840

Main sights

Luebeck-Rathaus am Markt von Suedwesten gesehen-20100905
Town Hall
Dom zu Lübeck im Winter
Lübeck Cathedral and historic buildings at the Obertrave
Luebeck-Heiligen-Geist-Hospital von Westen gesehen-20100905
Hospital of the Holy Spirit, one of the oldest social institutions of Lübeck (1260)
A house in Lübeck
A typical crow-stepped gabled town house


Much of the old town has kept a medieval appearance with old buildings and narrow streets. At one time the town could only be entered via any of four town gates, of which today two remain, the well-known Holstentor (1478) and the Burgtor (1444).

The old town centre is dominated by seven church steeples. The oldest are the Lübecker Dom (the city's cathedral) and the Marienkirche (Saint Mary's), both from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Built in 1286, the Holy Spirit Hospital at Koberg is one of the oldest existing social institutions in the world and one of the most important buildings in the city. The Holy Spirit Hospital is in parts an old and nursing home. Historic parts can be visited.

Other sights include:

Like many other places in Germany, Lübeck has a long tradition of a Christmas market in December, which includes the famous handicrafts market inside the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital (Hospital of the Holy Spirit), located at the northern end of Königstrasse.


Lübeck has many small museums, such as the St. Anne's Museum Quarter, Lübeck, the Behnhaus, the European Hansemuseum, and the Holstentor. Lübeck Museum of Theatre Puppets is a privately run museum. Waterside attractions are a lightvessel that served Fehmarnbelt and the Lisa von Lübeck, a reconstruction of a Hanseatic 15th century caravel. The marzipan museum in the second floor of Café Niederegger in Breite Strasse explains the history of marzipan, shows historical wood molds for the production of marzipan blocks and a group of historical figures made of marzipan.

Food and drink

Lübeck is famous for its marzipan industry. According to local legend, marzipan was first made in Lübeck, possibly in response either to a military siege of the city or a famine year. The story, perhaps apocryphal, is that the town ran out of all food except stored almonds and sugar, which were used to make loaves of marzipan "bread".[16] Others believe that marzipan was actually invented in Persia a few hundred years before Lübeck claims to have invented it. The best known producer is Niederegger, which tourists often visit while in Lübeck, especially at Christmas time.[17]

The Lübeck wine trade dates back to Hanseatic times. One Lübeck specialty is Rotspon (listen ), wine made from grapes processed and fermented in France and transported in wooden barrels to Lübeck, where it is stored, aged and bottled.[18]


Lübeck has three universities, the University of Lübeck, the Lübeck Academy of Applied Sciences, and the Lübeck Academy of Music. The Graduate School for Computing in Medicine and Life Sciences is a central faculty of the University and was founded by the German Excellence Initiative. The International School of New Media is an affiliated institute of the University.

Notable people

C.F.Heineken 1726
Ephraim Carlebach
Ephraim Carlebach 1936


Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt in 1980


Friedrich Overbeck 011
JF Overbeck, self portrait with family 1820
Dieterich Buxtehude



WP Robert Christian Ave-Lallemant
Robert Christian Ave-Lallemant in 1851


Heinrich Thomas Mann
Heinrich (left) and Thomas Mann in 1902


The skyline of the old town as seen from North
Hauptbahnhof Lübeck 239-zh
Lübeck main station (Lübeck Hbf)
Standesamt lübeck
Many mansions are built near the waters in St. Gertrud and St. Jürgen
The beach of Travemünde

The city of Lübeck is divided into 10 zones. These again are arranged into altogether 35 urban districts. The 10 zones with their official numbers, their associated urban districts and the numbers of inhabitants of the quarters:

  • 01 City centre (~ 12,000 Inhabitants)

The Innenstadt is the main tourist attraction and consists of the old town as well as the former ramparts. It is the oldest and smallest part of Lübeck.

  • 02 St. Jürgen (~ 40,000 Inhabitants)
    • Hüxtertor / Mühlentor / Gärtnergasse, Strecknitz / Rothebek, Blankensee, Wulfsdorf, Beidendorf, Krummesse, Kronsforde, Niederbüssau, Vorrade, Schiereichenkoppel, Oberbüssau

Sankt Jürgen is one of three historic suburbs of Lübeck (alongside St. Lorenz and St. Gertrud). It is located South of the city centre and the biggest of all city parts.

  • 03 Moisling (~ 10,000 Inhabitants)
    • Niendorf / Moorgarten, Reecke, Old-Moisling / Genin

Moisling is situated in the far South-West. Its history dates back to the 17th century.

  • 04 Buntekuh (~ 10,000 Inhabitants)

Buntekuh lies in the West of Lübeck. A big part consists of commercial zones such as the Citti-Park, Lübeck's biggest mall.

  • 05 St. Lorenz-South (~ 12,000 Inhabitants)

Sankt Lorenz-Süd is located right in the South-West of the city centre and has the highest population density. The main train and bus station lie in its Northern part.

  • 06 St. Lorenz-North (~ 40,000 Inhabitants)
    • Holstentor-North, Falkenfeld / Vorwerk / Teerhof, Großsteinrade / Schönböcken, Dornbreite / Krempelsdorf

Sankt Lorenz-Nord is situated in the North-West of Lübeck. It is split from its southern part by the railways.

  • 07 St. Gertrud (~ 40,000 Inhabitants)
    • Burgtor / Stadtpark, Marli / Brandenbaum, Eichholz, Karlshof / Israelsdorf / Gothmund

Sankt Gertrud is located in the East of the city centre. This part is mainly characterized by its nature. Many parks, the rivers Wakenitz and Trave and the forest Lauerholz make up a big part of its area.

  • 08 Schlutup (~ 6,000 Inhabitants)

Schlutup lies in the far East of Lübeck. Due to forest Lauerholz in its West and river Trave in the North, Schlutup is relatively isolated from the other city parts.

  • 09 Kücknitz (~ 20,000 Inhabitants)
    • Dänischburg / Siems / Rangenberg / Wallberg, Herrenwyk, Alt-Kücknitz / Dummersdorf / Roter Hahn, Poeppendorf

North of river Trave lies Kücknitz. It is the old main industrial area of Lübeck.

  • 10 Travemünde (~ 15,000 Inhabitants)
    • Ivendorf, Alt-Travemünde / Rönnau, Priwall, Teutendorf, Brodten

Travemünde is located in the far North-East of Lübeck at the Baltic Sea. With its long beach and coast line, Travemünde is the second biggest tourist destination.

International relations

Lübeck is twinned with:

Lubec, Maine, the easternmost town in the United States, is named after Lübeck.

See also


  1. ^ "Alle politisch selbständigen Gemeinden mit ausgewählten Merkmalen am 31.12.2018 (4. Quartal)". DESTATIS. Archived from the original on 10 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Statistikamt Nord – Bevölkerung der Gemeinden in Schleswig-Holstein 4. Quartal 2017 (XLS-file)". Statistisches Amt für Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein (in German).
  3. ^ Vehicles registered between 1937 and 1956 were given prefixes valid for all of Schleswig-Holstein: "I P" (1937–1945), "S" (1945–1947), "SH" (1947 only), "BS" (1948–1956).
  4. ^ G.Lechner, Die Hanischen Pjundzollistern des Jahres 1368 (1935), pp.48, 198
  5. ^ G.Lechner, Die Hansischen Pjundzollisten des Jahres 1368 (1935), pp.66
  6. ^ Exports of butter, copper, osmund (a high quality iron) and pig iron. Units of iron were in lasts; there were 12 lasts to 1 schiffspfund.
  7. ^ Pfundzollbucher of Lübeck
  8. ^ http://www.luebeck-tourism.de/discover/sights/churches-in-luebeck/st-marys.html
  9. ^ "Brandspuren im Gesicht, Ermittlungen zur Lübecker Asylheim-Katastrophe", Der Spiegel, 23/1996, 3 June 1996.
  10. ^ Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 5 March 2005
  11. ^ http://www.dokfest-muenchen.de/filme_view_web.php?fid=275&lang=en
  12. ^ In 2015 there was another fire at a refugee home, this time at Troglitz - http://www.Troglitz.panteres.com/2015/04/05/fire-in-refugee-home-troglitz-is-everywhere/
  13. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/g7-gipfel-in-luebeck-die-beschluesse-a-1028769.html
  14. ^ "A I 2 - vj 4/10 S" (PDF). Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Sacirbey, Omar (6 Jun 2012). "A culinary treasure in marzipan in Lubeck, Germany". Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  17. ^ Woolsey, Barbara (28 Nov 2015). "Germany's Sweet Spot Is This Marzipan Factory". Vice. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  18. ^ Matthews, Patrick (21 Jan 2013). "German retailers call on EU to protect Rotspon". Decanter. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  19. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 14, Laurentius Surius retrieved 21 March 2018
  20. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 11, Francke, August Hermann retrieved 21 March 2018
  21. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 18, Mosheim, Johann Lorenz von retrieved 21 March 2018
  22. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 13, Heinecken, Christian Heinrich retrieved 21 March 2018
  23. ^ Centre for Global Negotiations, Biography of Willy Brandt retrieved 21 March 2018
  24. ^ Benjamin von Block, RKD, NL retrieved 23 March 2018
  25. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15, Kneller, Sir Godfrey retrieved 21 March 2018
  26. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 20, Overbeck, Johann Friedrich retrieved 21 March 2018
  27. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 23 March 2018
  28. ^ Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 3, Baltzar, Thomas retrieved 21 March 2018
  29. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 10, Fehling, Hermann von retrieved 21 March 2018
  30. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 7, Curtius, Ernst retrieved 21 March 2018
  31. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 7, Curtius, Ernst retrieved 21 March 2018
  32. ^ Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography, Behrens, James retrieved 23 March 2018
  33. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 11, Geibel, Emanuel retrieved 21 March 2018
  34. ^ Hassinen, Raino. "Kotka - International co-operation: Twin Cities". City of Kotka. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  35. ^ "La Rochelle: Twin towns". www.ville-larochelle.fr. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  36. ^ "Kontakty partnerskie Miasta Szczecin". Urząd Miasta Szczecin (in Polish). Archived from the original on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013.


  • Zimmern, Helen (30 November 2005). Hansa Towns. Adamant Media Corporation. ISBN 1402184832.
  • Colvin, Ian Duncan (9 July 2012). The Germans in England 1066-1598. Forgotten Books. ASIN B008QQ2ZGC.
  • Nicolle, David (20 April 2014). Forces of the Hanseatic League. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1782007792.

External links

Battle of Lübeck

The Battle of Lübeck took place on 6 November 1806 in Lübeck, Germany between soldiers of the Kingdom of Prussia led by Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, who were retreating from defeat at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt, and troops of the First French Empire under Marshals Murat, Bernadotte, and Soult, who were pursuing them. In this War of the Fourth Coalition action, the French inflicted a severe defeat on the Prussians, driving them from the neutral city. Lübeck is an old Baltic Sea port approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) northeast of Hamburg.

After their shattering defeat in October by Napoleon at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt, the Prussian armies withdrew to the east bank of the Elbe River and marched northeast in an attempt to reach the Oder River. Aiming to annihilate his opponents' forces, Napoleon launched his Grande Armée in a headlong pursuit. A large portion of the fleeing Prussians took refuge in the fortress of Magdeburg where they were surrounded. Another large segment was intercepted and destroyed in the Battle of Prenzlau. This event triggered a series of capitulations of Prussian troops and fortresses.

Blocked from reaching the Oder, Blücher turned and raced to the west, chased by Murat, Bernadotte, and Soult. After a number of well-fought rear guard actions, Blücher's troops forced their way into the neutral city of Lübeck where they took up defensive positions. Bernadotte's soldiers broke through the city's northern defenses and overwhelmed the troops facing Murat and Soult. Blücher barely escaped from the city, though most of his staff was captured and Prussian casualties were enormous. The French brutally sacked Lübeck during and after the fighting. The next day, the French trapped the surviving Prussians against the Danish frontier and compelled Blücher to surrender.

The French captured a small Swedish force during the battle. Bernadotte's respectful treatment of its officers and soldiers led to that Scandinavian nation offering its crown to the French marshal, almost four years after this battle.

Bishopric of Lübeck

The Prince-Bishopric of Lübeck, (German: Hochstift Lübeck; Fürstbistum Lübeck) or Bishopric of Lübeck, was an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire until 1803. Originally ruled by Roman-Catholic bishops, after 1586 it was ruled by lay administrators and bishops who were members of the Protestant Holstein-Gottorp line of the House of Oldenburg. The prince-bishops had seat and vote on the Ecclesiastical Bench of the College of Ruling Princes of the Imperial Diet.

The Prince-Bishopric of Lübeck, a secular state, should not be confused with the Diocese of Lübeck, which was larger and over which the bishop exercised only pastoral authority.

Bombing of Lübeck in World War II

During World War II, the city of Lübeck was the first German city to be attacked in substantial numbers by the Royal Air Force. The attack on the night of 28 March 1942 created a firestorm that caused severe damage to the historic centre, with bombs destroying three of the main churches and large parts of the built-up area. It led to the retaliatory "Baedeker" raids on historic British cities.

Although a port, and home to several shipyards, including the Lübecker Flender-Werke, Lübeck was also a cultural centre and only lightly defended. The bombing on 28 March 1942 was the first major success for RAF Bomber Command against a German city, and followed the Area Bombing Directive issued to the RAF on 14 February 1942 which authorised the targeting of civilian areas.

Deutsche Flugzeug-Werke

Deutsche Flugzeug-Werke, usually known as DFW was a German aircraft manufacturer of the early twentieth century. It was established by Bernhard Meyer and Erich Thiele at Lindenthal in 1910, and initially produced Farman designs under licence, later moving on to the Etrich Taube and eventually to its own designs. One of these, the DFW C.V reconnaissance aircraft, was produced to the extent of several thousand machines, including licence production by other firms. Plans to develop civil aircraft after the war proved fruitless, and the company was bought by ATG shortly thereafter.

Fehmarnbelt Lightship

The Fehmarnbelt Lightship (German: Feuerschiff Fehmarnbelt) was built in 1906-1908 at Brake on the River Weser and entered service in 1908 as the lightship Außeneider. Until 1945 it was moored at the position known as Außeneider guarding the estuary of the river Eider on the North Sea coast. In the years from 1956 to 1965 it was a reserve lighthouse in the Baltic Sea and then from 1965 to 1984 it was positioned under its present name in the Fehmarn Belt.

Today it belongs to a charitable society and its home port is the Lübeck museum port in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck, where it spends the winter months at least. The ship is preserved in working condition and during the summer it is taken to sea in order to test all facilities under sea conditions. Visits on board the lightship are permitted.

Free City of Lübeck

The Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck (German: Freie und Hansestadt Lübeck, Danish: Lybæk) was a city-state from 1226 to 1937, in what is now the German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Hanseaten (class)

The Hanseaten (German: [hanzeˈaːtn̩], Hanseatics) is a collective term for the hierarchy group (so called First Families) consisting of elite individuals and families of prestigious rank who constituted the ruling class of the free imperial city of Hamburg, conjointly with the equal First Families of the free imperial cities Bremen and Lübeck. The members of these First Families were the persons in possession of hereditary grand burghership (Großbürgerschaft) of these cities, including the mayors (Bürgermeister), the senators (Senatoren), joint diplomats (Diplomaten) and the senior pastors (Hauptpastoren). Hanseaten refers specifically to the ruling families of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen, but more broadly, this group is also referred to as patricians along with similar social groups elsewhere in continental Europe.

The three cities since the Congress of Vienna 1815 are each officially named the "Free and Hanseatic City Hamburg" (Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg), the "Free Hanseatic City Bremen" (Freie Hansestadt Bremen) and the "Free and Hanseatic City Lübeck" (Freie und Hansestadt Lübeck), since 1937 merely the "Hanseatic City Lübeck" (Hansestadt Lübeck).Hamburg was one of the oldest stringent civic republics, in which the Hanseatics preserved their constitutional privileges granted in 1189 by Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, until the German Revolution of 1918–19 and the Weimar Constitution. Hamburg was strictly republican, but it was not a democracy, but rather an oligarchy.

The Hanseaten were regarded as being of equal rank to the (landed) nobility elsewhere in Europe, although the Hanseaten often regarded the (rural) nobility outside the city republics as inferior to the (urban and often more affluent, and in their own view, cultivated) Hanseaten. Thomas Mann, a member of a Lübeck Hanseatic family, portrayed this class in his Nobel Prize-winning novel Buddenbrooks (1901), for which he received the 1929 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Hanseatic League

The Hanseatic League (; Middle Low German: Hanse, Düdesche Hanse, Hansa; Standard German: Deutsche Hanse; Latin: Hansa Teutonica) was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.

Hanse, later spelled as Hansa, was the Old High German word for a convoy, and this word was applied to bands of merchants traveling between the Hanseatic cities - whether by land or by sea.Merchant circles established the league to protect the guilds' economic interests and diplomatic privileges in their affiliated cities and countries, as well as along the trade routes which the merchants used. The Hanseatic cities had their own legal system and operated their own armies for mutual protection and aid. Despite this, the organization was not a state, nor could it be called a confederation of city-states; only a very small number of the cities within the league enjoyed autonomy and liberties comparable to those of a free imperial city.

Lübeck Airport

Lübeck Airport (IATA: LBC, ICAO: EDHL) is a minor German airport located 8 km (5.0 mi) south of Lübeck, the second-largest city in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, and 54 km (34 mi) northeast of Hamburg. Until all scheduled air traffic ceased on 15 April 2016, it was the secondary airport for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, after the much bigger Hamburg Airport, and was used for low-cost and some occasional charter traffic. The airport was therefore sometimes called "Hamburg Lübeck" for marketing purposes.

Lübeck law

The Lübeck law (German: Lübisches (Stadt)Recht) was the constitution of a municipal form of government developed at Lübeck, now in Schleswig-Holstein, after it was made a free city in 1226. The law provides for self-government. It replaced the personal rule of tribal monarchs descending from ancient times or the rule of the regional dukes and kings that had been established by Charlemagne. The latter held all of his aristocratic vassals personally responsible for the defence, health and welfare of the tribesmen settled on their estates, including the towns. The Lübeck Law in theory made the cities to which it applied independent of royalty.

Lübeck set about spreading its form of government to other cities around the Baltic Sea. Eventually about 100 adopted a government based on the law. It still serves as a foundation for German town laws in many of those cities. Later in the 13th century, cities predominantly governed by the Lübeck Law formed into a powerful trade association, the Hanseatic League, which amounted to a quasi-confederacy with headquarters at Lübeck. However, by the 15th century, major kontore and smaller trading posts of the Hanse, which was then at the high point of its influence, spread throughout northern Central Europe and the British Isles, from London to Veliky Novgorod and from Trondheim to Frankfurt, dominating trade far beyond German-speaking regions and also far beyond the cities where Lübeck law was in force.

An official Lübeck law transcript was never available or used until the revised edition of 1586 was printed by printer Johann Balhorn. Lübeck was a leader in the German cities that gave rights to town citizens and overturned aristocratic privilege. Lubeck law is the basis for the Dortmund code in Westphalia, the Goslar code in Saxony, and the Magdeburg rights in East-Central and East European towns. References to 'German Law' in the Middle Ages mean laws that were derived from the Lübeck law at root.Lübeck law was prevalent throughout cities in Northern and Northeastern Germany (Niederdeutschland) until 1900, when the modern German civil code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) was implemented.

Lübeck martyrs

The Lübeck Martyrs were three Roman Catholic priests – Johannes Prassek, Eduard Müller and Hermann Lange – and the Evangelical-Lutheran pastor Karl Friedrich Stellbrink. All four were executed by beheading on 10 November 1943 less than 3 minutes apart from each other at Hamburg's Holstenglacis Prison (then called Untersuchungshaftanstalt Hamburg-Stadt, in English: Investigative Custody Centre of the City of Hamburg). Eyewitnesses reported that the blood of the four clergymen literally ran together on the guillotine and on the floor. This impressed contemporaries as a symbol of the ecumenical character of the men's work and witness. That interpretation is supported by their last letters from prison, and statements they themselves made during their time of suffering, torture and imprisonment. "We are like brothers," Hermann Lange said.

Old Salt Route

The Old Salt Route was a medieval trade route in northern Germany, one of the ancient network of salt roads which were used primarily for the transport of salt and other staples. In Germany it was referred to as Alte Salzstraße.

Salt was very valuable at that time; it was sometimes referred to as "white gold." The vast majority of the salt transported on the road was produced from brine near Lüneburg, a city in the northern central part of the country and then transported to Lübeck, a major seaport on Germany’s Baltic coast.

Passat (ship)

Passat is a German four-masted steel barque and one of the Flying P-Liners, the famous sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. She is one of the last surviving windjammers. (The name "Passat" is German for trade wind.)

Postage stamps and postal history of Lübeck

Soon after the German Hanseatic League (1241) was founded, regulated messenger routes were developed. In Lübeck, the conveyance of correspondence by letter was supervised by the mercantile council of the Scania Market (Schonenfahrer), which also appointed the messenger master (postmaster) and the remainder of the personnel.

Around 1579, the Reichspost of Thurn und Taxis arrived in Lübeck. It existed beside the Hanseatic post, which led to minor tensions. In 1683, they were joined by the post offices of Platen, later Hannover (until 1844), and Wismar. Together with the Danish post, these were merged into the Schütting-post.

During the French era, Napoleon united the three Hanseatic cities and northwestern Germany with France under the name Bouches-de-l'Elbe by the decree of December 13, 1810. It was the era of the Continental System against Great Britain.

The Scanian merchants took over the postal system again. However the postal administration now worked for the city treasury. The Scanian merchants received an annual payment of 2,000 Lübeck Courantmarks.

In 1848 apart from the city post office, there were a Taxis letter post, riding and errant posts of Mecklenburg, Hannover (until 1845), and Denmark, as well as a Prussian post office.

When the job of a deputy of the postal department had to be newly filled, the choice was made for the Mecklenburg-Strelitz grand ducal postmaster Carl Hermann Lebrecht Lingnau, who received the title of postal director on April 1, 1851. The lower officials were called the "Litzenbrüder".

At the postal congress in Berlin (1851), a treaty between Lübeck and Thurn und Taxis was signed for January 1, 1852, which exactly established the responsibilities. The Danish post was dealt with in a similar way. The construction of the Lübeck-Büchener Railway was permitted and in return, the Royal Danish Chief Post Office was allowed in Lübeck.

During the transition of the postal administration to the North German Confederation on January 1, 1868, the city post office became the chief post office of the North German postal district and Mr. Lingnau became chief postal director. The Danish post office, as well as Thurn und Taxis, closed their posts. There were two stable post offices and seven letter collections in Lübeck for 50,339 inhabitants. The currency was the Lübeck Courant = 16 Shilling, where 1 shilling was equivalent to 2 Sechsling.


Schleswig-Holstein (German: [ˈʃleːsvɪç ˈhɔlʃtaɪn]) is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig. Its capital city is Kiel; other notable cities are Lübeck and Flensburg.

Also known in more dated English as Sleswick-Holsatia, the region is called Slesvig-Holsten in Danish. The Low German name is Sleswig-Holsteen, and the North Frisian name is Slaswik-Holstiinj. Historically, the name can also refer to a larger region, containing both present-day Schleswig-Holstein and the former South Jutland County (Northern Schleswig; now part of the Region of Southern Denmark) in Denmark.


Travemünde (German: [ˈtʁaːvəmʏndə] (listen)) is a borough of Lübeck, Germany, located at the mouth of the river Trave in Lübeck Bay. It began life as a fortress built by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, in the 12th century to guard the mouth of the Trave, and the Danes subsequently strengthened it. It became a town in 1317 and in 1329 passed into the possession of the free city of Lübeck, to which it has since belonged. Its fortifications were demolished in 1807.

Travemünde has been a seaside resort since 1802, and is Germany's largest ferry port on the Baltic Sea with connections to Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia and Estonia. The lighthouse is the oldest on the German Baltic coast, dating from 1539. Another attraction of Travemünde is the Flying P-Liner Passat, a museum ship anchored in the mouth of the Trave.

The annual Travemünder Woche is a traditional sailing race week in Northern Europe.

The annual Sand festival in Travemünde is known as the Sand World.

Treaty of Stettin (1570)

The Treaty of Stettin (German: Frieden von Stettin, Swedish: Freden i Stettin, Danish: Freden i Stettin) of 13 December 1570, ended the Northern Seven Years' War fought between Sweden and Denmark with her internally fragmented alliance of Lübeck and Poland. It also settled Swedish, Danish and Holy Roman Imperial claims regarding the Livonian War. Unfavourable for Sweden, it assured Danish hegemony in Northern Europe for a short period. Yet, because of its inconclusiveness it did not prevent further warfare between Denmark-Norway and Sweden ending only in the 1720s.

University of Lübeck

The University of Lübeck is a research university in Lübeck, Northern Germany which focuses almost entirely on medicine and sciences with applications in medicine. In 2006, 2009 and 2016, the University of Lübeck was ranked No. 1 in medicine among all universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland according to the CHE Hochschulranking. In Computer Science and Molecular Life Science, the University was ranked No. 2 in the 2009 evaluation.

VfB Lübeck

VfB Lübeck is a German association football club playing in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein in the country's north. In addition to its football side the 1,000 member sports club also has departments for badminton, women's gymnastics, handball, and table tennis.

Places adjacent to Lübeck
Cities in Germany by population
Members of the Hanseatic League by quarter
Other cities
Flag of Schleswig-Holstein Urban and rural districts in the state of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany Flag of Germany
Urban districts
Rural districts

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