I was looking forward to a visit to Lübeck, also called the Queen of the Hanseatic League. Lübeck’s Altstadt or Old Town has around 1,800 historic buildings in the national registry, and is located on an island that is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
I checked in the waterfront Hotel Excellent in the Old Town early afternoon. I was assigned a nice clean room with high ceilings on the second floor with lake view. I found out that this historic Hotel was a City Guard building more than a century ago
Hotel Excellent is in a quiet location near the Trave river and only a few meters from Lübeck Cathedral. The Hotel has elegant rooms behind a historic facade. On the first floor is outstanding Argentinian-Brazilian inspired Steakhouse with an amazing dining room, where I also had my breakfast buffet in the morning.
The hotel was ideally located to let myself drift carefree through the Altstadt to take in the history, discovering the art and culture that I found sometimes in unexpected places.
Lübeck is home to numerous sights and museums that I was able to explore on foot. Many Restaurant on the side of the street invited me to sit down and linger. In the shadow of the mighty five city churches, I found hidden corridors and backyards that tell living stories. I was able to discover the cultural diversity and the architectural epochs of this medieval town and its buildings.
The Churches seven towers shape the city skyline more than anything else.They were built brick by brick by many generations. Today they are loved and admired. The five main churches: Dom, St. Aegidien, St. Jakobi and St. Marien founded a church congregation association in 2004 that was designed together with St. Petri.
The Lübeck Town Hall is located in the heart of the old town and is one of the most famous brick Gothic buildings. With its impressive facade, it resembles a fairytale castle. Architectural fashion and style from three centuries were responsible for the current shape of the building. Since 1226, components have been added again and again, conversions and expansions have taken place such as the addition of the sandstone arbor and the elevation of the display wall with its distinctive wind holes, as well as the bay window.
Even today, 800 years later, the Town Hall still fulfills its role as the administrative seat and meeting place for the citizens of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. The physical well-being is also taken care of.
I walked down the stairs to the Ratskeller restaurant and sat down for a beer. I admired the vaulted cellar which is one of the oldest in northern Germany. It served as the city’s sociable meeting place.
The Holsten Gate
Lübeck’s famous landmark is the The Holsten Gate. It is one of the most popular photo opportunities in all of Northern Europe. I left my hotel in the morning after breakfast and walked twenty minutes on a busy shopping street until I saw this massive thick red brick gate with double towers.
The imposing Gothic city gate was once a symbol of power and an important part of the city fortifications, that were supposed to protect the rich Hanseatic city from enemy attacks.
An inscription at the Holsten Gate has the Lübeck motto “Concordia domi foris pax” meaning Harmony inside, Peace outside
On the large green areas in front of the gate I sat down on a park bench and made plans for the rest of my days. I noticed many people that were persuaded to take a selfie at the two Iron Lions, which are life-size and guarding the steps to the Holsten Gate. This Lübeck Holsten Gate is a landmark and adorns countless postcards, Marzipan cakes, postage stamps and even 2 Euro coins.
Lübeck Marzipan, a sweet Almond paste
On my third day I visited the Niederegger Marzipan Museum at the Hüxstraße 4. It is located on the 2nd floor of at the Café Niederegger where I indulged on a Marzipan Torte. I was taken a long journey through time about this almond specialty the history over many centuries, from its oriental origins to the Hanseatic city of Lübeck.
While there, I was shown a wonderful film about the Niederegger Marzipan production.The unmistakable attraction in the Museum are twelve life-size personalities made from Marzipan.
The Niederegger Marzipan Museum can be visited at any time during opening hours. Admission is free.
Beach, wind and sea, Lübeck’s most beautiful Baltic sea resort is Travemünde where I spent a half day. The old town center is shaped by a Spa town architecture from the turn of the century. The four-masted barque harbour proudly welcomed me with the incoming ships, a maritime atmosphere that can be experienced relaxed from the promenades.
Timmendorfer Strand: It took a 15 min. drive to the western coast of the Baltic Sea to stay and relax a little while. The 7km beach is the main attraction, there is also a nude beach (for anyone interested). It was to cold for me, around 50F and drizzly that day. Instead I walked down the strip of shops and restaurants. There are also spas and a golf course.
I sat down at the beach and had a fish fillet with potato salad overlooking the Baltic sea
I concluded my day trip to the beaches at the Baltic sea and drove back the 40 minutes to my hotel in Lübeck
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