Statue to Bismarck
When I was walking toward the Hauptbahnhoft (Railway Station) I came across a monument to the Father of Modern Germany Otto Von Bismarck.
Otto von Bismarck was born in Brandenburg in 1815. In 1862 he became President of Prussia. Over the next few years Bismarck helped to reorganize Germany under the leadership of Prussia
Bismarck he introduced the world's first modern welfare scheme which provided sickness, accident and old age benefits
A famous quote by Bismark is:
When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of putting it into practice
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Inside St. Marien
St. Marien, ranking 3rd among Germany's biggest churches, used to be the church of the city's rich hanseatic merchants. It was built around the end of the 13th century and finished in 1350. The church served as a model for most of the larger gothic-style cathedrals in the Baltic countries and Scandinavia. It was destroyed by Allied bombardments in WW II but completely and truthfully rebuilt in the years after the war. St. Marien's organ is the worlds largest mechanical one.
The interior used to be plain white until a few years ago when the original ornamental frescos were recreated. The result is a bit controversial -- many people, including myself, think that the simplistic white actually looked better being a better match for the church's overall appearance.
You can judge yourself what looks nicer, compare the frescos of St. Marien with the whitewashed walls of the Lübeck Dom (Cathedral) situated at the southern end of the old town.
Internet and Information Center
The Welcome Center is located next to the Holstentor, and provides an excellant information center and the staff are happy to assist you with any enquiries and questions you may have.. The best thing about the place is they have Internet access, which is a must for all VT'ers. The center also has a Cafe...
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Monument to Kaiser Wilhelm II
On the Konrad Adenauer Str are two monuments one to Otto Von Bismark, and one to Wilhelm II on horseback. Kaiser Wilhelm II, the son of Emperor Frederick II and Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria, was born in Berlin in 1859. He loathed parliamentary democracy, acted as an autocratic monarch. A strong opponent of socialism, Wilhelm was a passionate supporter of German militarism and imperialism. After the loss of the Great War to the Allied Armies he was forced to abdicate on 9th November, 1918. He fled the country with the rest of his family and lived in Holland for the rest of his life He died in 1941.
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St. Jacobi -- the church of the sea- and fishermen was the only one of Lübeck's large cathedrals to escape destruction in 1942s catastrophic aerial bombardment. It is famous for its historic organ -- if you have a classic Bach CD with a terrific realistic and spherical sound, chances are pretty good it was recorded here! If you don't have a CD yet but want a good classical recording for testing your surround sound stereo system, well this is what to look out for! When in Lübeck, watch out for classical concerts in this church so you can sample the incredible acoustics.
Really an impressive building, quite unique and typical of the Hanseatic architecture at the same time with Lübeck characteristic brick-work with alternating rows of red unglazed and black glazed bricks.
The north wing is dated 13th century and it's characteristic with its two big holes to lessen wind resistance and its spire-topped turrets. There is also a renaissance "loggia" made by white stone in the front of the building facing the Markt.
But the most interesting part of the Rathaus is the East wing (called Neue Gemach) , built in the 14th century with again big holes, turrets and wonderful coat of arms.
Lübeck's most famous landmark is the Holstentor, the big gate opening to the old town. It was built in the 15th century and its two sturdy circular towers with turret roofs, joined by a gabled centre section, became the town emblem.
There on the street are some nice models of the Holstentor and the other 3 former gates which were destroyed in the past, so you can have an idea of the incredible city-wall protection there was in Lübeck in the past
On the Trave river waterfront, just right of the Holstentor there is a row of wonderful old gabled buildings called the Salzspeicher (salt warehouses).
They were built during 16th and 17th centuries and used to store the salt coming from Lüneburg going on the way to Scandinavia.
The Heiliggeist-Spital (Holy Spirit Hospital)
This is one of Europe's oldest purpose-built social welfare edifices and quite generally one of the Middle Ages most important monumental buildings. Having been thoroughly modernized in recent times, the hospital now houses a senior citizens home retaining its original purpose as a welfare building. The large storage cellars in the basement provide room for two popular restaurants sadly inaccessible for wheelchair users.
I was told the old hospital church is the venue for a very nice medieval christmas market selling arts and crafts -- so this is where the nice stands are!!!
Just behind the Rathaus you can find Lübeck's biggest and finest church, the Marienkirche. It's clear that both the Rathaus and the Marienkirche belong to the same architectural group. It was build between the 13th and 14th centuries in French Gothic style, but of course made by red bricks, in the typical Hanseatic style.
It was severely damaged during WWII bombing, and the ruins of the bells are still present inside the church.
The interior of the church is very light and it's incredibly cold inside it!
The Queen Of The Hanse - guided tours
Luebeck is a district-free city in the state Schleswig-Holstein with a population of around 214.000. It is the second biggest city in that state, which lies in North Germany. The city is positioned at the Trave river with the largest German port on the Baltic Sea. The old part of the town is an islet which is enclosed by the Trave river.
Luebeck has a medieval environment and many sites of cultural and historical interest. For example, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, this city is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Visitors will certainly feel a sense of delight while visiting the Holsten Gate (Holstentor), which is a colossal, 15th-century fortification. Its twin towers are certainly its illustrious landmark, and one will find its picture on most post cards.
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Leaning towers of the Holstentor
The heavy bricky towers of the Holstentor were constructed about 600 years ago but the land was not very stable. As a result, over the years the towers of the gate have been leaning towards the front making it a leaning tower! I was told that since construction, they have gone underground by 2-3 feets. The photo (taken during return) makes this very evident.
This house belonged to the family of Thomas Mann who immortalized Lübeck in his novel "The Buddenbrooks". It was acquired by the state after having passed through several hands and now hosts a museum about the lives and works of Thomas and Heinrich Mann.
Konrad Wilhelm II
at Lindenplatz opposite to the statue of Otto Von Bismark, is the statue of Konrad Wilhelm II on horseback. Kaiser Wilhelm II was the son of Emperor Frederick II and Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria and was born in Berlin in 1859. He was a monarch and severely opposed socialism. The defeat at the war against the Allied Armies made him fly away the country with his family. He is said to have spent the later part of his life till death in 1941 in holland.
After crossing the bridge, we crossed the road, walked about 20 steps and we were in front of a beauty. The Holstentor was an overwhelming experience. The Holstentor is a big gate opening to the old town of Luebeck. It was built between 1464 and 1478 by the council architect Hinrich Helmestede following the example of Flandric Bridge gates. It was the middle gate of the four town gates. The city was then well protected with walls and the Holstentor was one of the gates through which entry had to be made from outside. Inside the Holstentor is a museum. Like many cities in Germany, Luebeck was also heavily bombed during the World War II but thankfully, the Holstentor escaped any damage. The gate was reconstructed between 1863 and 1871 and then again between 1933 and 1934. It is a thing to remember all life. (More photos in my Travelogue)
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