Friday, September 06, 2013

#566 Lubeck, Germany

Another country, another Hanseatic League city!

Lubeck was founded in 1143 and is known for being the capital of the Hanseatic League for centuries.   It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1987.
"L├╝beck – the former capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League – was founded in the 12th century and prospered until the 16th century as the major trading centre for northern Europe. It has remained a centre for maritime commerce to this day, particularly with the Nordic countries. Despite the damage it suffered during the Second World War, the basic structure of the old city, consisting mainly of 15th- and 16th-century patrician residences, public monuments (the famous Holstentor brick gate), churches and salt storehouses, remains unaltered." - UNESCO World Heritage description

On this ideal, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day, we're eager to see the brick gothic architecture that was built early in this city's history.  So we hire a Lubeck tour guide for a 2-hour architectural walking tour, invite some friends to join us, and head out for the 45-minute train ride north from Hamburg to Lubeck.

Kelly might tell you that his Lubeck favorites include the Holsten gate, the brick gothic architecture, the cobblestone streets, the majestic ginkgo tree, the 3D map in the Coal Market Square, and the bratwurst.

But I'm writing this blog post, so I'll tell you that my Lubeck favorites include the marzipan, the public library, and the seamen's guildhall.

Cafe Niederegger is our first stop in Lubeck.  We must have been the last to discover that Lubeck is famous for its marzipan.  What a plus! This cafe has been making their marzipan for more than 200 years and they do it right!

The current public library was built in 1926 though it had previously existed in the former sleeping hall of Catherine's monastery (Scharbau hall).

The seamen's guildhall was built in 1535 as a meeting house for the seamen and skippers.  They would come here to enjoy their labskaus or sailor's stew of salted meat or corned beef, potatoes, and onions.

Yours in loving Lubeck,

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