Welcome to Lübeck


Wolfgang Jargstorff


Lübeck is the Queen of the Hanseatic League! Go on a voyage of discovery through the historic Old Town. Lübeck's  medieval centre was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. This was the first time that an entire Old Town in Northern Europe ever received this award.


Set off and discover the narrow winding streets, the hidden alleys and courtyards of the UNESCO world heritage site. And don't forget: Take a look heavenwards and marvel at the famous seven spires:

Lübeck was founded in 1143 as the first western city on the Baltic Sea coast and is a shining example of the character of the Hanseatic League members in the Baltic region.


Its distinct and unique city skyline with the seven church towers, its systematically constructed city layout and the original historic buildings in the Old Town were reason enough for the UNESCO committee to grant the historic island with its status as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987.


The rich substance of valuable historic buildings from the different ages can still be admired. The Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical buildings, the alleys, churches, monasteries and fortifications all blend together to create a uniquely uniform image - nestling in a bed of water and green!


The area under UNESCO protection comprises Lübeck's major buildings: The Town Hall complex, the Castle Monastery, the Koberg - a completely preserved quarter dating from the late 13th century - with St. Jacob's Church, Hospital of the Holy Spirit and all the buildings between "Glockengießerstraße" and "Aegidienstraße", the quarter of patrician houses dating from the 15th and 16th centuries between St. Peter's Church and the Cathedral, the Holsten Gate and the salt warehouses on the left bank of the River Trave.


More than 1,000 listed buildings, numerous courtyards and alleys dating from the Middle Ages and several monumental buildings bear witness to former times. The unforgettable views across the expanse of the harbour, the picturesque Cathedral quarter and the overgrown remains of the city walls demonstrate to the observer just why UNESCO granted Lübeck's Old Town its status.


Even the Old Town's archaeological underground is part of the world heritage site as this documents the significance of the city in the history of settlements. An old Slavic settlement with fortifications dating back several centuries was discovered on the city's hill. History is revealed with every dig of the spade.


Witnesses to the past are seeing the light of day in the Hanseatic town again. Such as the wooden doll which fell into a cloaca around 1300, or a slate pencil used by a pupil poring over his work at St. Jacob's in 1370 and much more besides.


Being a UNESCO world heritage site is a great honour for the Hanseatic city of Lübeck but it also brings an obligation to become actively involved in the preservation and care for the Old Town with it.



UNESCO has its headquarters in Paris and was founded in London as a specialised UNO organisation in 1945. A partnership was formed with the international "Convention for the protection of cultural and natural heritage of the world" in 1975 and came into force to preserve the cultural heritage of mankind as a whole and for the conservation of global biodiversity To this end, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) has drawn up a list of all the archaeological sites and national parks to be protected.


In 2015, the list of world heritage sites contains 40 monuments in Germany.

Further information can be found at www.unesco-welterbe.de


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