Discover the Hanseatic history of Lübeck

Duration: around 90 minutes, excluding stops at:

Holsten Gate, Salt warehouses, Kolk, St. Peter's, the Cathedral, St. Anne's art gallery and museum, St. Gille's church, Füchtingshof, Glandorpsgang, Günter-Grass-House, St. Catherine's church, Behnhaus and Drägerhaus museum, Hospital of the Holy Spirit, St. Jakob's, Burgtorgate, the Seamen's Guild, Bäckergang, Museum Harbour, Buddenbrook-House, St. Mary's church, the Town Hall, Café Niederegger

This guided walk takes you around the town's many architectural gems, reflecting the unique brick-built style that is characteristic of Lübeck.

Start your Hanseatic discovery tour at the HOLSTEN GATE, Lübeck's famous landmark. Cross the river "Trave" behind the imposing SALT WAREHOUSES and then turn right into "An der Obertrave". After 250 m, take a left into "Kleine Petersgrube". This small street leads you to "Kolk", one of Lübeck's many narrow and picturesque passageways. On your left you'll find the FEY PUPPET MUSEUM which displays a fascinating collection of marionettes and glove puppets spread over four floors. Continue right, along "Kolk" until you reach "Große Petersgrube", the only street where the historic facades are still preserved. This street has examples of all the different architectural styles found in the Hanseatic town: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Late Baroque, Classicism.
To the North, the steeple of ST. PETER'S CHURCH towers above you. Climb the stairas to the tower for an unparalleled view over the rooftops of this picturesque town with its millions of red bricks. Back on the ground, your tour continues with a right turn down "Schmiedestraße", "Pferdemarkt" and "Parade". Past the Catholic provost Church of the Sacred Heart you walk to the next architectural milestone: in one of the most quiet corners of the Old Town is the CATHEDRAL, the oldest church in the parish and one of Northern Europe's largest brick vault churches.
Turn left into "Fegefeuer", and at the end of the street cross "Mühlenstraße" and walk into "St.-Annen-Straße". Here you will find ST. ANNE'S ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM, located in the former St. Anne's convent. A few steps further on is ST. GILLE'S, Lübeck's smallest church, tucked away in a sleeply corner of the Old Town. Now follow "St.-Annen-Straße" into "Balauerfohr" and turn left into HÜXSTRAßE, Lübeck's beautiful shopping street. There are lots of cafés here, so it's a good place to take a break. We then continue our tour and turn right to walk along "Königstraße", and then immediately right again down "Fleischhauerstraße" as far as "Bei St. Johannis". Turn left here and continue down this street until it turns into "Tünkenhagen", then turn left into "Glockengießerstraße".
From "Glockengießerstraße" you can access two of Lübeck's loveliest courtyards, social housing built for the poor: GLANDORPSGANG, founded in 1612, and FÜCHTINGSHOF, which dates back to 1639. A little further down the street the GÜNTER-GRASS-HOUSE  shows works of the renowned writer, painter and sculptor. Heading towards Königstraße, the church of ST. CATHERINE'S is on your left. The gables of this church are decorated with three famous sculptures by Ernst Barlach. Keep going left, heading north now, to reach the BEHNHAUS/ DRÄGERHAUS MUSEUM with its attractive art collection.

On your lefthand side is ST. JACOB'S CHURCH, a three-nave brick building dating back to 1334 which is the sailors´and seafarers´ church. The sinking of the four-mast barque, the "Pamir", in 1957, is commermorated here with a salvaged lifeboat. A few more paces brings you to the gates ot the gates of the HOSPITAL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (HEILIGEN-GEIST-HOSPITAL), one of Europe´s first hospitals, built in Gothic style. Continuing straight on, you arrive at BURGTOR GATE. To the left of the BURGTOR lies the Castle Monastery Cultural Forum - now Lübeck's lively arts centre. Turn back and turn right into the small street "Hinter der Burg" which leads into "Kleine Burgstraße" and then into "Breite Straße". At the corner of "Engelsgrube" lies the SEAMEN'S GUILD, Lübeck's oldest and most famous restaurant. Turn right into "Engelsgrube", named after Lübeck's English trading partners from the mercantile era, and, after a few steps, a little path on your left takes you into "Bäckergang". Don't worry when you discover the narrow entrance: this alleyway leads into "Fischergrube", where a right turn takes you to "An der Untertrave". From here your can see the HARBOUR MUSEUM: a lively harbour with restored and seaworthy traditional sailing vessels. The masts reach skyward against a backdrop of the historical facades of old patrician houses. Stroll down "An der Untertrave" to "Mengstraße", turn left and keep a lookout for number 4. This is the BUDDENBROOK-HOUSE - once owned by the grandparents of the Nobel prize laureat Thomas Mann. Now the buidling houses a museum on the life and art of the Mann family. Opposite the Buddenbrook-House is St. MARY'S, the world's tallest brickstone church. Germany's third largest church is a model for numerous Gothic brick churches in the Baltic region and houses the world's largest mechanical organ. The church bells crashed to the ground during a bombing raid in 1942 and remain there until today as a reminder of the horrors of war.

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