Lübeck, once the former 'Queen of the Hanseatic League', is today a modern city enclosed by historic walls. There is good reason to be proud of it, as the UNESCO has declared the intact ensemble of churches, merchants' houses, warehouses and small narrow alleys in the Old Town part of the world's cultural heritage. 'World literature and the world´s cultural heritage'—this slogan nicely combines Lübeck´s cultural treasures with one another. Not only can the old spirit of the Hanseatic League still be sensed in the Old Town, but you can also imagine the protagonists of such famous novels as Professor Unrat, Tonio Kröger and Buddenbrooks walking by. Apart from Thomas and Heinrich Mann, who certainly belong amongst the city's best known sons, many artists have lived and worked here over the centuries: the painter and sculpturer Bernd Notke, the organ player Dietrich Buxtehude, the author Ida Boy-Ed, the poet Emanuel Geibel and Günter Grass, who has only recently been awarded the Nobel prize for literature. The politician and Nobel peace prize winner Willy Brandt was born in Lübeck in 1913. He used to say 'I always carried a piece of Lübeck inside me, wherever I had to go'.
The heart of Lübeck is its Old Town, surrounded by the river Trave in the west and by the river Wakenitz in the east. The many narrow lanes and alleys are lined by old town houses with red brick facades and impressive stepped and other artistic gables, and there is a pleasant everyday bustle here. The Old Town is no decorated showcase for tourists, but the cultural, political and social centre of Lübeck. The impressive
Lübeck's many schools of further education are gathered here and there are also plenty of good reasons for the locals to go to the Old Town in the evenings—not only are the best known theatres located here, like the old
Recently, people have become aware of Lübeck´s beautiful Harbour between Holstentorbrücke and Hubbrücke again, where the
Facing the Old Town in the west is the Wallhalbinsel between Stadtgraben and Stadttrave. It is cut into two parts. In the southern part large hotels like the
The neighbourhood of St. Lorenz is located beyond the embankments. It is divided into St. Lorenz North and St. Lorenz South. St. Lorenz North spreads to both sides of the motorway behind the railway station. It is a plain residential area with industrial estates near the Trave and the western city port (Nordlandkai). The former Küsel summer cottage stands out like a relic from long gone days. It was built in 1756, when there used to be exclusive summer residences at this former suburb. Near the Lohmühle, many large DIY hypermarkets and the sports grounds can be found. The more significant local football matches take place here.
St. Lorenz South has a similar structure to the northern part. It is situated where in former times Lübeck's nurseries used to grow vegetables and shrubs. The Dräger factories have had their main branch here since 1982. Many insurance companies have settled around the main railway station and the central bus station. The IHK Lübeck also moved here recently.
The next neighbourhood further south is Buntekuh—it got its name from the brown and white cows which used to graze here until World War II. Today, multi-storey houses, major shopping centres and a large industrial estate with a motorway exit are situated on the former agricultural grounds.
The Lübeck neighbourhood Moisling is mainly an industrial estate between the river Trave and the Elbe-Lübeck-canal. It includes the villages of Genin, Niendorf (with a 1760 manor), Moorgarten and Reecke. The Jewish cemetery, which survived the Nazi regime relatively unharmed, proves that this area used to be inhabited by Jewish families.
St. Jürgen, one of Lübeck´s most popular and most sophisticated neighbourhoods, is situated in the south-east of the city, between the Wakenitz and the Elbe-Lübeck-canal. Near Hüxtertor and Mühlentor, but especially between St. Jürgenring and Ratzeburger Allee there is a relatively complete line of suburban villas, which were built here after the city gates were opened in 1884. Thanks to the save St. Jürgen and St. Georg initiative, the beautiful houses could be preserved. Their classic facades resemble the architectural variety of the period when many industrial firms were founded in Germany. The palais-like
The river Wakenitz marks the borderline to St. Gertrud, a very green neighbourhood which looks a bit like the villa district at St. Jürgen, especially around the Stadtpark. The classic and art nouveau houses here were also built beyond the town gates, when living space became scarce and the wealthy people moved to the green regions. Around the time of the industrialization, villas were grouped around the City Park and along Roeckstraße and Burgfeld. The district court is located here, which explains why many lawyers offices can be found in the surrounding streets. They caused the rent to rise considerably in this district. St. Gertrud is not just a residential but also a recreational area—the Schellbruchnature preserve, Wesloer Tannen, Lauer Holz, parts of the Wakenitz, Drägerpark and
Schlutup, originally a fishermen's village, follows further to the north-east, where the border to the former German Democratic Republic used to be. Today, it is a residential area with an industrial estate. The old town centre is grouped around the St. Andreas church built in 1436, and fish processing businesses have settled at the fish dock. Due to the former border, this neighbourhood had been slightly neglected until the reunification. Since then, it has been possible to implement plenty of new projects here, but on the other hand the area suffers from an increase in traffic. In 1993, the port around the Sweden terminal was enlarged for forestry products.
Kücknitz with the Flender shipyards (shipbuilding and repairs) and the Villeroy & Boch ceramics factory at Dänischburg is situated on the other side of the Trave, opposite Schlutup harbour. Large construction sites have been a striking characteristic of Kücknitz since World War II. This way, the formerly surrounding villages of Rangenberg, Herrenwyk and Dummersdorf became part of this neighbourhood. Recommended sights in Kücknitz are the Geschichtswerkstatt Herrenwyk and the Dummersdorfer Ufer nature preserve.
Travemünde, the city's most northern neighbourhood, is often called Lübeck's most beautiful daughter. Thomas Mann also appreciated its advantages in his days. The Gate to the North consists of Old Travemünde with historic houses around the St. Lorenz brick church, as well as the Fish Dock, and the health resort district Travemünder Strand. A promenade leads along the shores of the Trave, past the old
If you are looking for accommodation in Lübeck, there is a choice between hotels of all categories, guesthouses, B&Bs and holiday apartments. There is such a great variety that it seems reasonable to let your choice depend not only on the price category, but also on the purpose of your journey. That makes it much easier to find something suitable. This guide is an attempt to take both the hotels' standards and the advantages of their location into consideration.
Accommodation near the A1 motorway is advantageous for all those just travelling through Lübeck. There are a number of plain, inexpensive hotels near the turnoffs, like 'Hotelchen garni' on the Schönböckner Straße, 'Hotel-Restaurant Schönböcken', the hotel 'Zum Scheibenstand' on the Fackenburger Allee, 'Hotel Herrenhof' at Herrendamm, or the more comfortable hotel Zum Ratsherren next door to it. The city's only motel, 'Zur Lohmühle', is located near the Lohmühle, and the 'Hotel Ibis Lübeck', also at Fackenburger Straße near the A1.
A very comfortable and more expensive hotel with good road and rail links is the new Hotel Lübecker Hof, which belongs to the Best Western hotel chain. Its garden and sauna facilities invite you to relax and have a pleasant stay.
A large number of hotels of varied categories are gathered around Lübeck station and the adjacent central bus station. The Hotel Excelsior, the Hotel Lindenhof and the Park Hotel at Lindenhof are comfortably equipped. The hotel 'Hanseatic' can be found in a Wilhelminian brick building and it offers a 24-hour hotelomat. "Hotel Petersen" and the Baltic Hotel, both located at Hansastraße, as well as the 'Hotel Stadt Lübeck' opposite the station are a bit plainer. Only a few minutes away from the main railway station, the much quieter Holsten Residenz, a privately maintained house with a pleasant atmosphere, is situated on Visbystraße. It also offers a kitchenette for longer stays.
Two of Lübeck's most sophisticated hotels are situated in an excellent position on the Wall peninsula vis-à-vis the Old Town. In addition to a first class service and very comfortable facilities— also for businessmen—they share the advantage of being within walking distance of the city centre and having Lübeck's music hall and congress hall as their next door neighbour. Both hotels cater for leisure and business travellers alike. The Mövenpick Hotel is situated on the Stadtgraben side of Willy-Brandt-Allee. It has the 'Elysee' restaurant within its walls, which is distinguished by its excellent buffets. This hotel is considered particularly family friendly. The SAS Radisson Hotel is located on the Trave banks, so that part of the rooms are with a view of the beautiful setting of Lübeck´s Old Town brick buildings. This hotel can also be proud to have the sophisticated 'Nautilo' restaurant within its walls and offers excellent wellness facilities.
Many mid-range and plain hotels can be found in the Old Town, while there are only few first class houses like the private hotel Alter Speicher at Beckergrube. The City Trave with its stops for the passenger boats, as well as the centre of the Old Town and the City theatre are close by. The Hotel Jensen at Holsten Gate is one of the more popular and recommended houses. It is one of Lübeck's Ringhotels and frequently arranges round trips on the house's own oldtimer sailing ship. The Klassik Altstadt Hotel is another high class address with a classic romantic ambience. It calls itself a 'hotel of classic art and culture' and can be found at the Malerwinkel, with St. Peters' many alleys and lanes near the College of Music. Not far from here, at Dankwartsgrube, is located the little 'Hotel am Dom'. As you can tell by its name, the cathedral's beautiful bells can be heard here.
A small little side street near Mühlenstraße with its shops, cinemas and pubs is home to the little Hotel zur Alten Stadtmauer. A bit further away the 'Hotel Am Mühlenteich', a family business, provides its guests with a pleasant stay. The district around the St. Aegedien church with the St. Annen-Museum and the cathedral district are close by. The Gästehaus Schüsselbuden is located in the shade of St. Mary's. On the other side of the Old Town, at Koberg, the Hotel und Restaurant Schwarzwaldstuben is one of the better hotels around here. It has a nice terrace facing Koberg with a view of St. Jacob's, the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital and the Schiffergesellschaft. The City theatre and Breite Straße pedestrian precinct are also quickly reached from here. Following Burgstraße from Koberg you will get to Lübeck's oldest guesthouse 'Zum goldenen Anker' in front of the Burgtor. As a special feature pope Pius XII's 160 square metre study is available for festive occasions. Opposite here, on the Kaiserstraße, is situated the plain and inexpensive self-catering 'Altstadtquartier Lübecker Burg'. The bus to Travemünde stops right in front of the house.
Behind the Burgtor, in the neighbourhood of St. Gertrud, the very comfortable Holiday Inn faces Gustav-Radbruch-Platz with its many bus connections. Some of its rooms have a view of the Stadt-Trave and the harbour. Apart from a swimming-pool and a sauna, this hotel also offers conference rooms and banquet facilities. It caters for both leisure and business travellers, as the city centre is close by and speedy road links and public transport to Travemünde are available. The courts at Burgfeld are also reached within merely five minutes from here.
In some 20 minutes walking distance the family friendly 'Hotel Schweizerhaus' is located in the direction of Travemünde and the many recreational areas. Apart from Travemünde, Lauer Holz forest and the Schellbruch nature preserve are not far from the hotel. Also in the neighbourhood of St. Gertrud, at Roeckstraße near the Stadtpark (city park), you will find the comparatively inexpensive little Hotel Stadtpark, a Bed & Breakfast place with a modern façade, and the 'Hotel Pergola', a plain guesthouse at Adolfstraße. Further east the Bed & Breakfast Hotel is located at Chasotstraße. From here, the Old Town is still quickly reached by bus. Moreover, the river Wakenitz with Drägerpark and the open-air swimming-pool at Marli are within walking distance. Just a few side-streets away from here, at Kottwitzstraße, the 'Pension Koglin' guesthouse is to be found.
A beautiful view of the river Wakenitz and the idyllic neighbourhood of St. Jürgen are characteristics of the comfortable Hotel Wakenitzblick, which is an excellent starting point for tours of the Wakenitz, as one of the berths for the passenger ships is located right by the hotel. Lübeck´s most famous hotel with the most remarkable villa façade is situated at Kronsforder Allee. The Kaiserhof, an excellent traditional house with a first class service and interior, is maintained with lots of loving care and can be proud of a long list of celebrity guests who have had themselves spoiled here.
In the year 2000, a hotel of the French 'Etap' chain was opened at Berliner Platz. The A20 motorway—still under construction—will have a bypass close by. If you follow Kronsforder Allee to Oberbüssau, you will reach 'Friederikenhof', a stylish, family-friendly countryside hotel, which is suitable for visitors looking for a quiet place and some rest in a rural environment. A bit further south still, in Krummesse, parts of which still belong to the city of Lübeck, the 'Landhotel Klempau's Gasthof' is a family business with a recommended restaurant.
In the idyllic fishermen's village of Gothmund, nice and cozy accommodation is available at the Fischerklause.
But on to Lübeck's most beautiful daughter now—Travemünde. The first class Maritim Hotel is already visible from a great distance. With 240 rooms, it is Lübeck's largest hotel. The more traditional Kurhaus-Hotel Travemünde is very beautiful, and even provided accommodation for Thomas Mann and the high society of Lübeck and Hamburg in the old days, as they frequently came here for the house's five-course-dinner. At the beach promenade, one of Travemünde's best addresses, is located the comfortable Hotel Strandschlösschen. Other very good hotels such as the Hotel Deutscher Kaiser can be found at Vorderreihe facing the mouth of the Trave, or at the famous Kaiserallee, such as the 'Hotel Garni Villa Charlott' or the Hotel Atlantic. All these hotels are in the immediate neighbourhood of the spa house and the promenade with its many cafés and restaurants. A bit further away in the direction of Ivendorf, the Grüner Jäger is a pleasant place to stay.
Lübeck also offers several inexpensive accommodation alternatives, like the Rucksackhotelfor backpackers at the Werkhof, the CVJM-Sleep in at Große Petersgrube, the Youth Hostel at Gertrudenkirchhof and the Jugendgästehausat Mengstraße. Travemünde also provides such alternatives—the 'Haus der Naturfreunde' and the 'Jugendfreizeitstätte' are both located on the Priwall. An attractive kind of accommodation for young people is even available aboard the Passat sailing ship.
Moreover, there is a large variety of self-catering holiday homes and apartments. The historic Old Town alley houses, among them places like the Altstadtferienhaus an der Mauer, Ferien-Ganghaus Bäckergang, Ganghaus Sievers Torweg, or Altstadt Ganghaus Engelsgrube are particularly popular.
If you arrive in Lübeck without a reservation, the Lübecker Verkehrsverein has a hotline you can call +49 451 76460 for assistance when looking for accommodation. The society also has a booking service at Holstenstraße, which is available on +49 451 72300 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lübeck tourism at Strandpromenade 1 b is the central booking office for accommodation in Travemünde. The accommodation office´s phone number is +49 4502 80433 for guest rooms and +49 4502 80434 for self-catering apartments.
Lübeck, the cultural capital of the north, definitely has an extensive range of cultural activities to offer; there is a large number of museums and theatres here and the list of events during the year is a long one.
Theatre By far the most famous theatre in Lübeck is the wonderful City Theatre. The city theatre has a varied offering—opera, operettas and musicals as well as acting are on the programme. Lübeck´s theatre scene is also enriched by the Theatre Combinale, a private theatre with a range of challenging entertainment, as well as by the VITA theatre and the Theatre Partout, which offers outdoor productions now and then. Variety is provided in the form of Cabaret, Song evenings and dance theatre performances, which are also sometimes to be found in the Museum Church of St. Katharinen.
Children can get a taste of theatrical atmosphere in many places. Apart from the program at the Freilichtbühne Wallanlagen (Open air stage) in the summer, and the Lübecker Unterwasser Marionettentheater (Puppet Theatre) in the winter, the Marionettentheater Fey (Fey Puppet Theatre) and the Theater am Tremser Teich both offer exciting performances for kids.
The Christmas stories in the Stadttheater (City Theatre) are always sold out and thus booking early is recommended.
Guest ballet performances mainly take place in the nostalgically shaped Kolosseum, but some performances do also take place in the Stadttheater (City Theatre).
Museums Museums are to be found on every corner in Lübeck. The St. Annen Museum, one of the nicest museums in Germany, is located in the late Gothic buildings of the St. Annen monastery. It's not just fans of medieval religious artwork who will be inspired here, and the rooms and the garden are themselves worth a visit. The Buddenbrook House should be no less famous. It was newly opened on the 125th anniversary of Thomas Mann's birthday. Here you can learn everything about the Mann brothers and their works as well as find out information about the Buddenbrooks. Information on Lübeck's style of home furnishing can be found at the Museum for Art and Art history of the Hanseatic city in the Behnhaus/Drägerhaus. A collection of Romantic paintings, as well as German Impressionism and Expressionism of the 20th century, can be seen here. At the Holstentor, Lübeck's landmark, there is a lot of city history to discover. Lübeck's best known delicacy, the famous marzipan, is on display in the Niederegger Marzipansalon. The Museum for Nature and Environment contains, amongst other things, the skeleton of a whalebone whale which was stranded many many million years ago. Barlach sculptures decorate the façade of the Museum Church of St. Katharinen in which many art treasures are to be found, including a painting by Tintoretto. Finally there is also, apart from the Ethnological Museum, the Burgtor Monastery where the famous big Lübeck coin treasury and various art and archaeological exhibitions can be seen. Living and working nearby the former blast furnace works is the theme of the Herrenwyk Historical workshop.
Live Music Live music can be found in various locations in Lübeck. The most elegant is definitely the Music and Congress Hall in which the opening concert of the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival also takes place. In addition to this, there are also numerous live events in the Werkhof which is very informal. Lübeck's bands as well as international musicians and cabaret artists find a stage here. Jazz can be heard, and how could it be otherwise, in the Dr. Jazz Club Lübeck. There is also a whole host of clubs and pubs in Lübeck in which live music is offered. An inside name in this respect is the Flou which regularly engages musicians of varying genres. Atmosphere is created by special live music events provided in the Rider's Café, Body & Soul, Hüx, Alten Zolln and the Alte Feuerwehr.
Operettas and concerts on the open air stage in Wallanlagen are a highlight in the summer.
Lübeck's churches are just some of the locations for classical music events—it is not just organ recitals which are staged here. St. Petri, for example, often rings with the sound of gospel music. Fans of classical music will get their money's worth at the concerts given in the Lübeck Academy of Music. The cathedral courtyard is the stage for concerts, and not just in the summer—Christmas carol singing with a great atmosphere can be found around here at Christmastime.
If you are still not satisfied with the things that Lübeck has to offer, than you should make time for the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival where numerous events are held in barns, riding stables and estates in and around Lübeck, as well as for the summer festival in Eutin.
For a couple of years, children's concerts like Peter and Wolf have been lovingly staged in the Stadttheater (City Theatre).
Cinema An extensive programme of popular films is shown at the Filmpalast StadthalleFilmpalast Stadthalle. Quality films are shown at the Lichtspiele Hoffnung which is a very intimate place, seeing as it has only one cinema. The cinemas Kommunales Kino and zwei50 are similar. Films which have already been shown in the big cinemas for a while will then be shown at the Capitol.
In the summer, open air cinema evenings on the Freilichtbühne (Open air stage) in Wallanlagen enjoy a great amount of popularity.
Night Life In Lübeck you can easily leave your car at home or in a central location since many of Lübeck's discos are only a few minutes away from each other. The three Lübeck clubs Body & Soul, Queen´s Club and Hüx make up a triangle. In the traditional Body & Soul on the Elbe-Lübeck canal, a stone's throw from the Old Town, Rock and Pop is on the programme at the weekend, Black Music on Fridays and fans of alternative rock come here on Tuesdays. The small Hüx, with a sizeable regular clientele, is one of the old-established discos on the edge of Lübeck's Old Town, where Rock, Soul and Funk is played. Moreover, in the comparatively big Queen's Club, techno and hip hop is played. The Red Zone on the other side of Lübeck's Old Town, which plays mainly House, attracts Lübeck's more stylish clientele. Varying events take place here on Fridays. The Eishaus, which lies out of town, is cool, and the dominating taste in music here is again House. In the Rider's Cafe, away from the mainstream, you can hear Trance, House, Goa and Rock. If you swear by hard rock music, then the right place for you is Route 99. Outside of Lübeck, in the direction of Stockelsdorf, is the large disco Abaco. The scene in Travemünde's Nautic, where many tourists also go to dance, is stylish and chic.
Events There is always something to celebrate in Lübeck. The most famous event is the Lübeck Christmas Market which takes place in front of the Old Town Hall. The Town Hall is complemented by the Märchenwaldwhich is to be found in the shadow of the Marienkirche on the Christmas market on the Koberg. The Christmas Market in the Heiligen Geist Hospital enjoys such a crowd that you have to join a long queue in order to gain entry. Less well known but no less pleasant is the St. Petri Art and Crafts market which also takes place at Christmas. At Easter there is a people's market in the Heligen-Geist Hospital, in which art and craftwork from around the world is offered. In spring, the Spring market takes place on the Wall peninsula in front of the Music and Congress Hall. The kite festival benefits from the windy conditions in Travemünde and has already been staged successfully on the beach many times. In summer the Public and Remembrance festival is firmly marked in on the calendar, taking place on the Festival Square and with many Lübeck families accompanying the festival procession. Summer is also the time for the Schleswig-Holstein music festival, street festivals such as the Hüx street festival, the younger Friendship Party and the high quality ten day Trave Bank Festival. But what would the summer be like without the Travemünde Week in which boating enthusiasts and fans of the unique atmosphere on the Travemünde promenade celebrate the entire night long. Autumn is the time for Lübeck's Old Town Festival which takes place every two years, as well as for the Lübeck Autumn market on the Wall peninsula, something which the Lübeck youngsters particularly look forward to. If the weather in Lübeck is stormy, the cinema in Lübeck has a special event ready—the Northern film days with showings and premières of new Scandinavian and Baltic films.
There is no doubt about it that Lübeck has a heart of marzipan. But what are the ingredients for and the story behind the world-famous delicacy?
There is more than one story on the origins and the development of marzipan, and quite a few cities claim that it was their confectioner who invented the sweet. Taking a look at the countries which deliver the necessary ingredients, however, we might agree with Lübeck's Thomas Mann who wrote:
And if one takes a closer look at this sweet, this mixture of almonds, rose-water and sugar, it dawns upon one that the Orient plays a certain role here, that we might be dealing with confectionary from the harem, and that the recipe for this rich sweet, which is heavy on the stomach, came to a certain old Mr Niederegger via Venice. ('Lübeck as a spiritual life-form'1926)
Marzipan as a powerbread—an expensive and sweet medicine Initially, marzipan was not just a tempting sweet as it was not available to the general public. The mixture of almonds and sugar was said to have all thinkable curative effects: It was supposed to 'enlarge the spinal cord and the brain and fatten the body' (the latter being true to the present day, unfortunately), and have stimulating effects on the carnal desires when eaten with raisins. So it does not come as a surprise that this precious and expensive medicine was consumed in large amounts among Royals and the rich, while it was denied the common people because of medieval prescription trends.
But there also were economical reasons for the expensive price of this valuable delicacy. If you do some research in the Lübeck files of the 14th century, it becomes obvious that almond imports are quite frequently mentioned, while sugar imports are only mentioned three times, as it was still a rarity—even in the following 15th century. Sugar remained a very expensive good until new grounds for growing cane sugar were cultivated in America. But it was still such a precious luxury item that it was still only to be found on the lavishly packed dining tables of the rich and the noble.
Marzipan was only available at the pharmacist, by the way, who used to add the most dubious substances to it. Allegedly added ingredients like crushed gems and pearls were supposed to be good for the heart, while certain added spices and herbs were good for various diseases.
Marzipan was even used as a love-potion. According to a tale from Rostock, a young woman gives a precious marzipan heart with secret ingredients to the man she fancies. He dislikes the heart, however, and gives it to a pig as a treat. Imagine the young lady's horror when a love-crazed pig tried to enter her house!
From the golden sweet to works of art: Several documents provide vital proof that marzipan was consumed in Europe throughout the centuries. The value of the sweet is revealed in reports like the one which mentions that Karl IV was given gold-plated marzipan loafs on his arrival in Sienna, for example. It is likely that German people already tasted marzipan in the 15th century, but more accurate reports only date the first encounters with the sweet back to 1509. From then on marzipan was often mentioned as a dessert at royal dinners and festive occasions. But the fact that the almond mixture could not only be served as a delicious treat, but could also be used to decorate the dining-tables with the most beautiful and elaborate edible works of art was a crucial discovery in the history of marzipan. Gateaux showing historical events or a portrait of the host were no rarity. Up to the present day people take pleasure in giving each other such misleading gifts which appear to be something else—be it lobsters, sausages, fruit, poultry or bacon—there is a marzipan equivalent for all of them.
But how did marzipan get to Lübeck and what makes this almond mixture such an 'original Lübeck item'? It is hard to tell or prove exactly from when the city of Lübeck was associated with the traditional production of marzipan. We do know, however, that it only ever became an issue around 1800. The Freeport zones in the ports contributed to the production, as they made it much easier to get hold of almonds and sugar straight after they were harvested, when there was a shortage of these imported goods.
Shortly after that, the sugar production from sugar beets became another important aspect in the history of Lübeck marzipan, as did Lübeck's Mecklenburg district. From then on sugar became less expensive for Lübeck's confectioners, and on November 28th 1795 a certain Mr Maquinet placed an advertisement for his marzipan and all kinds of confectionary—with and without sugar—in the Lübeckische Anzeigen (the classified ads in those days), and asked all his friends and patrons to come, try and praise.
Around 1800, four local confectioners produced marzipan, but the pains taken to make the almond paste only paid at Christmas and other holidays. But when young Johann Georg Niederegger started his own business in 1806, marzipan slowly became very popular. When Niederegger could afford to build his own house facing the Town Hall in 1822, he had already made Lübecker Marzipan a well-known branded product, which was packed, exported and sold in Lübeck. His tender, high quality white Lübecker marzipan tasted different from the former marzipan products. Even after it was destroyed, rebuilt, changed and enlarged more than once, the Niederegger-Haus is still standing in its original place. According to marzipan lovers, a visit to the café Niederegger comes very close to a visit to paradise.
Since 1866, when it was no longer compulsory to be the member of a guild, the first machine production of marzipan began, and it developed quickly. The export business flourished, and the quality of the marzipan, as well as the skilfulness in producing all the gateaux and figures became world-famous, so that Lübecker Marzipan was awarded many prices and honours.
In 1925, a category for 'Rohmassen' (raw materials) appeared in Lübeck´s yellow pages for the first time, and the city's marzipan and baking-dough factory—today the Schwartauer Werke AG—is mentioned there. At the time they only produced and exported the raw marzipan mixture, which saved the little confectioners the painstaking work of producing it themselves.
The actual ingredients used by Lübeck's confectioners remain a well-kept secret passed on from generation to generation up to the present day. But today's marzipan is still based on almonds—sweet almonds that is—sugar and rose-water.
A tour of one of the following Lübecker Marzipan factories is highly recommended:
Carstens Lübecker Marzipan Marzipan-Land LEU MEST-MARZIPAN
translated by Susanne Schmelzer
An Old Town tour
In 1987, UNESCO declared Lübeck's Old Town part of the world's cultural heritage, and it really is worth taking a walking tour here with a bit of time to spend here and there. The Old Town is completely surrounded by water, and there are many nice places to stop and take a break.
The tour starts at St. Peter's. Look out, as you can see the entire area at a glance from here. At the bottom of the church, the Kolk with Fritz Frey's puppet theatre and some pits—small narrow alleys—leading towards the river Trave can be found. St. Jürgen Gang and the Kleine Petersgrube are also worth a look. The Kolk takes you to Große Petersgrube, where the merchant houses are perfect examples of the various historical art influences and they give you a good idea of what the typical Lübeck merchant dwellings used to look like. From the upper Trave you can now look across the city Trave and see the picturesque Salzspeicher and Holstentor behind them.
A walk along the upper Trave is next, and you will pass by the Lübeck College of Music and Malerwinkelwith its many aisles and lanes. Effengrube leads up to Lübeck´s most impressive brick building, the Dom. It is surrounded by large old trees, and there is a café inside, which is ideal for a coffee break. You should walk around the Dom once before the tour continues along Musterbahn (with a view of the Mühlenteich), Fegefeuer and Mühlenstraße. You are now in the eastern shopping street, which we cross in order to walk into the little St. Annenstraße, where the former monastery St. Annen Museum offers another nice location for a short break in its idyllic inner courtyard with nice old trees. We can go on a tour of the museum later on. St. Aegidien, the former carpenters' church, is also located in the immediate neighbourhood. Walking across Wahmstraße we follow the Balauerfort and eventually reach Glockengießerstraße, and you should plan to spend some time at Füchtings-Hof. TheMuseum church St. Katharine is located on the corner towards Königstraße. If we follow Königstraße to the west, we will pass by Behnhaus/Drägerhaus and eventually get to Koberg. Several sights are close together in this square—the seafarers' church St. Jacob's, the Schiffergesellschaft and the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital. Those who would like to take a break might do so at the Bürgergarten, which is hidden behind the Heiligen Geist Hospital, as you can enjoy a heavenly silence here.
Following Burgstraße you will get to Burgtor. The bridge behind it provides you with a grand view of Lübeck harbour and the old swing bridge. If you prefer to leave out this little excursion, you can walk up Breite Straße, where you can see the Stadttheater on the right hand side of Beckergrube, before you arrive at Buddenbrookhaus, St. Mary's and the Town Hall near St Peter's. The tour ends on the market square behind the Town Hall and takes about 3 hours, depending on the breaks taken.
Translated by Susanne Schmelzer
Green Lübeck parks, nature preserves and forests around town
If you would like to take a break in a green space, there are plenty of possibilities for this in and around Lübeck. As the historic city centre is entirely enclosed by waterways, several parks and greens are located nearby. There are beautiful lawns along the river Wakenitz in Lübeck's eastern regions. The Naturfreibad Falkenwiese (Falkenwiese open-air pool) and Marli open-air pool at the other side of the river can be found near the Old Town. Excellent bathing facilities are available in a park-like ambience here. Drägerpark with its large playground was also built in this area and is an ideal place for kids. In winter, they can ride their sledges down the slopes towards the river Wakenitz. While the children are busy playing, you can watch their parents chatting away with the cup of tea or Glühwein (mulled wine) which they have brought along. There is a path along the river, which you can follow for miles and miles through the pleasant scenery until you reach Eichholz and the bathing place der kleine See on the eastern shore, and the Müggenbush passenger ship berth on the western shore. Falkenhusen forest with the popular Waldrestaurant Absalonshorst on the river is situated in the south. The Wakenitz passenger ships stop here during their romantic tours, and lots of canoeists take a break on their way to the Ratzeburg lake.
The Stadtpark is located in the neighbourhood of St. Gertrud above the Wakenitz. It has beautiful old trees and lavish rhododendron bushes and it is not just locals who appreciate this popular place for walks, jogging tours or a quiet hour on a bench. In winter, you can ride your sledges or skate on the little pond. Within just a few minutes of walking, the Lauer Holz, a widespread area of mixed forest, begins towards the east. It is best reached on one of the small paths leading down to the forest from Heiligen-Geist-Kamp. The woods are a pleasant place in any season, but are particularly beautiful in spring when the ground below the fresh green of the beeches is covered with thousands of wood anemones. You will often encounter riders on horseback here, as the Rittbrook stables are close by.
On the other side of the Wesloer Landstraße, the area of Wesloer Tannen begins, and many hiking trails lead into the woods from Wesloer Forsthaus. Put together, Lauer Holz and Wesloer Tannen form Lübeck's largest forest and recreational area. Another recreational area, the Palinger Heide is situated even further east, outside Lübeck's city limits. Further up north, on the other side of Travemünder Allee, the Lustholz—with a somewhat controversial zoo—is located to the west of Israelsdorf.
This is where the river Trave leads us towards Travemünde in a north-eastern direction. The neighbourhood of Karlshof is the best starting point for a visit to the Schellbruch nature preserve, the Trave flats with many rare birds. The Schellbruch is one of Lübeck´s most beautiful protected areas—lots of trails lead you along moors with reeds as tall as a person, as well as along many lakes and low-lying areas. The Trave shores are particularly nice, as sailing boats and with a bit of luck one of the giant luxurious liners pass by on their way to the cruiser terminal at Lübeck port. The path with reeds and willow trees leads all the way to the former fishermen's village of Gothmund with its lovely thatched houses.
North of Kücknitz, on the other side of the Trave, a roof of leaves is spread over Waldhusen forest, and Travemünde is near. The gardens of the health resort are a nice place for walks, while the landscapes of Brodten cliffs and the Priwall nature preserve are certainly much more dramatic and genuine. The Priwall, a protected area in the north of the city, can be reached by ferry.
While there is a large choice of green spaces and parks along the Trave and the Wakenitz in Lübeck's northern and eastern regions, the situation is a bit different in the west. Apart from the embankments near the Old Town, the Elbe-Lübeck-Kanal in the south provides the most attractive area for outdoor activities. A path which leads along the canal past Büssau lock and out of the city starts at Klughafen. It is very nice for a tour, as you will see a multi-facetted, varied landscape to the left and right of the canal, as well as many rowing boats and ships competing for a position on the water.
Translated by Susanne Schmelzer
Bicycle tour 1: Along the river Wakenitz
Have no fear—it doesn't take a lifetime's experience as a cyclist to manage these tours. If you follow the outlined route, you will experience beautiful day trip locations you can't always reach by car. Equipped with a bicycle pump, a lunch bag and a good mood we will go on a nice and easy bicycle tour.
The tour starts at Kohlmarkt, the southern end of the old market square. As you can tell by the name, charcoal used to be sold here. This is where we mount the bikes and ride along Wahmstraße, Krähenstraße, Rehderbrücke, Moltkestraße and Moltkebrücke.
Here, in the neighbourhood of St. Jürgen, we turn right into Elsässer Straße at the first crossroads. The suburban villas of the 19th and 20th century didn't have to follow a certain architectural style. People wanted to live surrounded by greenery and enjoy the beauty of nature and thus you can admire some dreams made of brick and stone in this street. Towards the end of the street, there is a sign pointing the way to a hiking trail marked with an X. Make sure your brakes are working as we follow this pretty sloping trail, or you might end up in the river Wakenitz. As we go underneath Wallbrechtbrücke, it gets a bit noisy again. The bridge got its name from the chief architect Wallbrecht, who had the Moltkebrücke built for the 'German-Northern Trade and Industries Exhibition' in 1895 at his own expense, and he even let the event take place on his own field on Marli for free.
Now we are on a quiet passage but we must pay attention, as there are many little bends as we drive through the allotments. The quiet and relaxing atmosphere is ideal for a rest on one of the benches or lawns. You may even go swimming here, but the embankment makes it a bit difficult to get out of the water again.
Behind a large field there is a road to the left, which leads us to a housing estate. We turn right into 'Am Schaar' here, but are lead back onto the hiking trail at the end of this street. It takes us on to Kaninchenbergweg (rabbit hill lane), where we turn left and then right into 'Bei den Pappeln'. We follow this road until we catch sight of a swimming pool. We now have to decide whether we want to take the same way back to Lübeck, or if a shortcut via Ratzeburger Allee sounds like a good idea. In that case we turn right into the hiking trail on leaving the swimming pool, cross the bridge to the allotments and go straight on, until Ratzeburger Landstraße crosses the trail. We turn right there and will soon see the seven naves of Lübeck ahead of us.
translated by Susanne Schmelzer
Bicycle tour 2: Along the Elbe-Lübeck canal to Krummesse
We start our tour at Holstentorplatz, turn right into Possehlstraße and go straight on until we see Wielandbridge to the right of the zebra crossing. We ride along Wielandstraße, turn left into Lachswehrallee and cross the street. From Lachswehrbridge we go left, down to the canal and past Lübeck's public garden 'Auf der Lachswehr'. Originally, there used to be a weir for fishing here but the grounds often changed hands, and the weir lost its purpose as late as in the 17th century, when fishing didn't pay any more. In 1695, a café with an open-air terrace was opened on the premises and became a day trip location for the less wealthy families of Lübeck. The building you can see here today was built in 1777, and people didn´t start building residential houses along this avenue lined by lime trees before the 19th century. We now follow the hiking and bicycle trail, past the motorboat berths and the allotments.
The neighbourhood of Genin comes into sight on the other side of the water, and towards the shore plenty of old and more recent industrial estates are located. You can see and smell the Erasco canning-factory for miles, so we proceed quickly across the river Trave and along the neighbourhood of Moisling, until we reach Krummesse. On our way we pass poplar trees, lawns and fields, while the odd house can be spotted among the reed on the other side of the water. We can see the unique locks of the Elbe-Lübeck canal, which open, close and pump up the water solely by an intelligent system for compressing and releasing water pressure. As we arrive in Krummesse, it is time for a rest at one of the many cafés alongside the canal or in town. In good weather, this place is also ideal for a picnic. It is recommended that less experienced cyclists choose the same way for their return journey, while those who are still fit and who carry decent cycle maps with them may have a go at the tour to Rothausen and Oberbüssau via Kannen Bruch. At Niederbüssau we return to the Elbe-Lübeck canal and go back to Lübeck.
translated by Susanne Schmelzer
Jogging tour 1: A little round trip of the city
If you decide to go on a jogging tour in the early hours of the morning, it can be a unique experience to explore Lübeck and stay fit at the same time. This is an easy tour without any major hilly areas and only short passages of running on asphalt. Fresh air and greenery abound.
This tour takes about 40 minutes and takes us on a little round trip of the city. The tour starts at Breite Straße and first of all leads us to the left, into Pfaffenstraße, then straight on into Glockengießerstraße and all the way along that street. This is where we cross the street and get to the water at Klughafen. The harbour got its name after Mayor Dr. Heinrich Klug, who opened the Elbe-Lübeck-canal to shipping traffic on June 16th 1900, while the emperor Wilhelm II was present. A hiking trail appears on the right, and we leave the street behind to follow the artificial stream. The first bridge we pass is Hüxtertorbrücke, which was built to connect the city centre with the suburbs in 1898. A few minutes later, Rehderbrücke and Mühlenbrücke come into sight as well.
The cross-roads ahead are of no importance for us, and we keep running along the side of the water until the remains of an old wall and an arch appear to our right. These are the ruins of the old Kaiserturm, which was part of the city's fortress. Today's School of Navigation was built on its remaining walls in 1826. The school was founded in 1801.
On passing the next bridge, Wipperbrücke, a former bascule bridge, we leave the city centre behind. Ahead of us, we will discover the old embankment with the open-air stage and can afford a short break to enjoy the beautiful panorama of the Mühlendammand the Dom. After this brief stop we continue running alongside the water with the nice view of the Elbe-Lübeck canal, the berths for sailing and motor boats and the allotments in front of us.
Behind Possehlbrücke we have reached the furthest point of the tour, and we will now run past Wielandbrücke and towards Wallbrücke. If you like, you can take another break here and enjoy the lovely sight of the narrow houses which the Srecknitz seamen used to live in. They went from the upper Trave down to Lüneburg, in order to bring shiploads of a precious white substance to Lübeck—salt. It takes some power of imagination to picture the smell of salt on their old boats, but it is worth a try! Enough daydreaming—on we go now!
We turn left to run in the shade provided by the trees and listen to the rustling leaves. The city is slowly awaking, and it is quite an experience to see it so peaceful and still. But we are now approaching Puppenbrücke. This former bascule bridge had to be widened and replaced by a concrete bridge due to increasing traffic. After it was finished in 1773, the "dolls" were added to it in 1774. The figures were built by Lübeck´s sculpturer Dietrich Jürgen Boy, who made them according to sketches drawn by the city´s famous architect Soherr.
Behind the Mövenpick Hotel we run across the car park between the SAS Radisson Hotel, and the Music hall and Congress centre until we arrive at Holstenhafen and cross the pedestrian bridge. The city awakes and gets busy. Time to round off our little morning tour. We have seen many bridges and nice views. Let's cross the street at the traffic lights and run up Beckergrube until we reach our starting point—Breite Straße. Ok, how about a good breakfast at the Stadtbäckerei (bakery) now?
translated by Susanne Schmelzer
Jogging tour 2: The Wakenitz run
This tour takes about 50 minutes and could be called 'The Wakenitz run': So if you would like to combine keeping fit with exploring Lübeck, you can now prepare yourself for the run which starts at Breite Straße. We turn left into Pfaffenstraße, run straight on into Glockengießerstraße up to the stream, where we cross the pedestrian bridge. This is where we reach a street called An der Falkenwiese (at the falcon lawns) and walk down to the river Wakenitz. The name of this lawn is actually connected to falcons. In Medieval times, falcons for hunting were kept on the grounds in front of the Hüxter gate. The birds were both valuable trade objects and luxurious gifts for dukes and kings. Before we reach the open-air swimming-pool at Falkenwiese, we turn right. On entering Falkenstraße we have reached the neighbourhood of St.Jürgen. The Holy Jürgen was patron saint of the lepers, and he symbolises victory over evil (the disease), which is illustrated by the image of him killing a dragon.
So we now run through the greens for a bit in the patron saint's care, and then up the road until we reach Moltkebrücke, which got its name from Marshall von Moltke, who spent his teenage years (1803-1809) in Lübeck and was admitted as a freeman in 1871.
After crossing the bridge we will continue to the left towards the end of Jürgen-Wullenwever-Straße. This street is lined by villas with a view over the river Wakenitz and the Old Town. It was built on the upper grounds in 1894 and named after the councillor and mayor of 1533. We turn left from here, run towards the water and see a well-kept piece of lawn lined by poplars behind the allotments. The 'Tor der Hoffnung' (gate of hope), a residential block in the shape of a horseshoe, built and partly financed by Rudolf Groth in 1936.
A bit further away, the open-air swimming-pool of Marli can be found. It has a little sandy beach and is a very popular bathing place with the children living on Marli. There is an explanation for living on Marli instead of in Marli, which is as follows—a French commander stationed in Lübeck had bought some land and built his summer cottage with a park-like garden there. He named the place after his hometown Marly (near Paris), and his idea was to turn the estate into a recreational area for the people of Lübeck by adding several fishing ponds and some 5 000 partly exotic trees. But the project failed, and the premises had to be sold in a compulsory auction after he died. Let's leave this place of bad investment, run along the water and turn left into Roeckstraße. This street is also named after a mayor, namely Dr. Karl Ludwig Roeck, who died in 1869. Near No.50 we discover the old stone cross which used to mark the crossroads which had a road to Mecklenburg. It showed pilgrims of the 14th and 15th century the way to Wilsnach at the Priegnitz, a place of pilgrimage.
We have now reached the neighbourhood of St.Gertrud, by the way, where fans of architecture can admire various styles of houses. The Stadtpark, which is now to the left, invites us to take a break.
At the end of the street we reach Gustav-Radbruch square, where the central bus station is located. Those who are tired can take the bus back to the city centre, and will ask themselves, like everybody else does, if the bus will fit under the Burgtor. Those who are still fit, however, will also manage the last bit of the tour—run through the Burg gate, along Große Petersgrube and up until you reach Koberg.
It is now only a short distance until we arrive at the Stadtbäckerei (bakery), where freshly baked rolls await us as a reward for staying the course.