Lübeck

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Lübeck
Holstentor, emblem of the city
Holstentor, emblem of the city
Flag of Lübeck
Flag
Coat of arms of Lübeck
Coat of arms
Lübeck   is located in Germany
Lübeck
Lübeck
Coordinates: 53°52′11″N 10°41′11″E / 53.86972°N 10.68639°E / 53.86972; 10.68639Coordinates: 53°52′11″N 10°41′11″E / 53.86972°N 10.68639°E / 53.86972; 10.68639
Country Germany
State Schleswig-Holstein
District Urban districts of Germany
Government
 • Mayor Bernd Saxe (SPD)
 • Governing parties CDU
Area
 • Total 214.13 km2 (82.68 sq mi)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 212,958
 • Density 990/km2 (2,600/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 23501−23570
Dialling codes 0451, 04502
Vehicle registration HL (1906–1937; since 1956)[2]
Website www.luebeck.de
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Lubeck panorama.JPG
Aerial view of the old town

Type Cultural
Criteria iv
Reference 272
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1987 (11th Session)

The Hanseatic City of Lübeck (pronounced [ˈlyːbɛk], Low German [ˈlyːbɛːk]) is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. Situated on the river Trave, it was for several centuries the leading city of the Hanseatic League ("Queen of the Hanse"). Because of its extensive Brick Gothic architecture, it is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. In 2005 it had a population of 213,983.

The old part of Lübeck is on an island enclosed by the Trave. The Elbe–Lübeck Canal connects the Trave with the Elbe River. Another important river near the town centre is the Wakenitz. The Autobahn 1 connects Lübeck with Hamburg and Denmark (Vogelfluglinie). The borough of Travemünde is a sea resort and ferry port on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Its central station links Lübeck to a number of railway lines, notably the line to Hamburg.

History[edit]

Main articles: Liubice and Free City of Lübeck

Humans settled in the area around Lübeck after the last Ice Age ended about 9700 BCE. Several Neolithic dolmens can be found in the area.

Around AD 700 Slavic peoples started moving into the eastern parts of Holstein, an area previously settled by Germanic inhabitants; the latter had moved on in the course of the Migration Period. Charlemagne (Holy Roman Emperor 800-814), whose efforts to Christianise the area were opposed by the Germanic Saxons, expelled many of the Saxons and brought in Polabian Slavs, allied to Charlemagne, in their stead. Liubice (the place-name means "lovely") was founded on the banks of the river Trave about four kilometres (2.5 miles) north of the present-day city-centre of Lübeck. In the 10th century it became the most important settlement of the Obotrite confederacy and a castle was built. In 1128 the pagan Rani from Rügen razed Liubice.

In 1143 Adolf II, Count of Schauenburg and Holstein, founded the modern town as a German settlement on the river island of Bucu. He built a new castle, first mentioned by the chronicler Helmold as existing in 1147. Adolf had to cede the castle to the Duke of Saxony, Henry the Lion, in 1158. After Henry's fall from power in 1181 the town became an Imperial city for eight years.[citation needed] Emperor Barbarossa (reigned 1152-1190) ordained that the city should have a ruling council of twenty members. With the council dominated by merchants, pragmatic trade interests shaped Lübeck's politics for centuries. The council survived into the 19th century.

The town and castle changed ownership for a period afterwards and formed part of the Duchy of Saxony until 1192, of the County of Holstein until 1217, and of the kigdom of Denmark until the Battle of Bornhöved in 1227.

Lübeck's seal, 1280

Around 1200 the port became the main point of departure for colonists leaving for the Baltic territories conquered by the Livonian Order and, later, by the Teutonic Order. In 1226 Emperor Frederick II elevated the town to the status of an Imperial Free City, by which it became the Free City of Lübeck.

In the 14th century Lübeck became the "Queen of the Hanseatic League", being by far the largest and most powerful member of that medieval trade organization. In 1375 Emperor Charles IV named Lübeck one of the five "Glories of the Empire", a title shared with Venice, Rome, Pisa and Florence. Several conflicts about trade privileges resulted in fighting between Lübeck (with the Hanseatic League) and Denmark and Norway - with varying outcomes. While Lübeck and the Hanseatic League prevailed in conflicts in 1435 and 1512, Lübeck lost when it became involved in the Count's Feud, a civil war that raged in Denmark from 1534 to 1536. Lübeck also joined the pro-Lutheran Schmalkaldic League of the mid-16th century.

After its defeat in the Count's Feud, Lübeck's power slowly declined. The city remained neutral in the Thirty Years' War of 1618-1648, but the combination of the devastation from the decades-long war and the new transatlantic orientation of European trade caused the Hanseatic League - and thus Lübeck with it - to decline in importance. However, even after the de facto disbanding of the Hanseatic League in 1669, Lübeck still remained an important trading town on the Baltic Sea.

Lübeck in 1493

The great Danish-German composer Dieterich Buxtehude (born in present-day Sweden) was appointed[by whom?] as the organist at the Marienkirche in Lübeck in 1668 and served in the post until at least 1703.

In the course of the war of the Fourth Coalition against Napoleon, troops under Bernadotte occupied the neutral Lübeck after a battle against Blücher on 6 November 1806. Under the Continental System, the State bank went into bankruptcy. In 1811 the French Empire formally annexed Lübeck as part of France; the anti-Napoleonic Allies liberated the area in 1813, and the Congress of Vienna of 1815 recognised Lübeck as an independent Free City.

In 1937 the Nazis passed the so-called Greater Hamburg Act, whereby the nearby Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg expanded to encompass towns that had formally belonged to the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein. To compensate Prussia for these losses (and partly because Hitler had a personal dislike for Lübeck after it had refused to allow him to campaign there in 1932[3]), Hitler ended the 711-year-long independence of Lübeck and ensured the incorporation of almost all its territory into Schleswig-Holstein.

Lübeck, 16th century
Lübeck in 1641

During World War II (1939-1945), Lübeck became the first German city to suffer substantial Royal Air Force (RAF) bombing. The attack of 28 March 1942 created a firestorm that caused severe damage to the historic centre. This raid destroyed three of the main churches and large parts of the built-up area. Germany operated a POW camp for officers, Oflag X-C, near the city from 1940 until April 1945. The British Second Army entered Lübeck on 2 May 1945 and occupied it without resistance.

On 3 May 1945 one of the biggest disasters in naval history occurred in the Bay of Lübeck when RAF bombers sank three ships: the SS Cap Arcona, the SS Deutschland, and the SS Thielbek - which, unknown to them, were packed with concentration-camp inmates. About 7,000 people died.

Lübeck's population grew considerably - from about 150,000 in 1939 to more than 220,000 after the war - owing to an influx of ethnic German refugees expelled from the so-called former Eastern provinces of Germany in eastern Europe.

Lübeck remained part of Schleswig-Holstein after World War II (and consequently lay within West Germany). It stood directly on what became the inner German border during the division of Germany into two states in the Cold War period. South of the city, the border followed the path of the river Wakenitz, which separated the Germanys by less than 10 m (32.81 ft) in many parts. The northernmost border-crossing was in Lübeck's district of Schlutup. Lübeck spent decades restoring its historic city centre. In 1987 UNESCO designated this area a World Heritage Site.

Lübeck became the scene of a notable art scandal in the 1950s. Lothar Malskat was hired to restore the medieval frescoes of the cathedral of the Marienkirche, which were discovered after the cathedral had been badly damaged during World War II. Instead he painted new works which he passed off as restorations, fooling many experts. Malskat later revealed the deception himself. Günter Grass featured this incident in his 1986 novel The Rat.

The house after the attack

On the night of 18 January 1996 a fire broke out in a home for foreign refugees, killing 10 people and severely injuring more than 30 others, mostly children. Most of the shelter's inhabitants thought it was a racist attack, as they had encountered other overt hostility in the city.[4] The police and the local court were criticized[by whom?] at the time for ruling out racism as a possible motive before even beginning preliminary investigations.[5] The perpetrators have not been caught.

Demographics[edit]

In 2010 the city had a population of 210,232, a slight decrease since 2006. The largest ethnic minority groups are Turks, Southern Europeans (mostly Greeks and Italians), Central Europeans (Poles), Eastern Europeans (e.g. Russians), Arabs and several smaller groups. As in numerous other German cities, there is also a growing Afro-German community.[6] Population structure[7]

Rank Nationality Population (2014)
1  Turkey 4,410
2  Poland 1,915
3  Russia 686
4  Greece 602
5  Italy 549

Main sights[edit]

Town Hall
Fehmarnbelt Lightship in front of the Concert and Congress Center
Hospital of the Holy Spirit, one of the oldest social institutions of Lübeck (1260)
A typical crow-stepped gabled town house

Buildings[edit]

Much of the old town has kept a medieval appearance with old buildings and narrow streets. At one time the town could only be entered via any of four town gates, of which today two remain, the well-known Holstentor (1478) and the Burgtor (1444).

The old town centre is dominated by seven church steeples. The oldest are the Lübecker Dom (the city's cathedral) and the Marienkirche (Saint Mary's), both from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Other sights include:

Like many other places in Germany, Lübeck has a long tradition of a Christmas market in December, which includes the famous handicrafts market inside the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital (Hospital of the Holy Spirit), located at the northern end of Königstrasse.

Museums[edit]

Lübeck has many small museums, such as the St. Annen Museum, the Behnhaus and the Holstentor. Lübeck Museum of Theatre Puppets is a privately run museum. Waterside attractions are a lightvessel that served Fehmarnbelt and the Lisa von Lübeck, a reconstruction of a Hanseatic 15th century caravel.

Food and drink[edit]

Lübeck is famous for its marzipan industry. According to local legend, marzipan was first made in Lübeck, possibly in response either to a military siege of the city or a famine year. The story, perhaps apocryphal, is that the town ran out of all food except stored almonds and sugar, which were used to make loaves of marzipan "bread". Others believe that marzipan was actually invented in Persia a few hundred years before Lübeck claims to have invented it. The best known producer is Niederegger, which tourists often visit while in Lübeck, especially at Christmas time.

The Lübeck wine trade dates back to Hanseatic times. One Lübeck specialty is Rotspon, wine made from grapes processed and fermented in France and transported in wooden barrels to Lübeck, where it is stored, aged and bottled.

Education[edit]

Lübeck has three universities, the University of Lübeck, the Lübeck Academy of Applied Sciences, and the Lübeck Academy of Music. The Graduate School for Computing in Medicine and Life Sciences is a central faculty of the University and was founded by the German Excellence Initiative. The International School of New Media is an affiliated institute of the University.

Notable people[edit]

Further information: Category:People from Lübeck

Parts[edit]

The city of Lübeck is divided into 10 zones. These again are arranged into altogether 35 urban districts. The 10 zones with their official numbers, their associated urban districts and the numbers of inhabitants of the quarters:

  • 01 City center (~ 12,000 Inhabitants)
  • 02 St. Jürgen (~ 40,000 Inhabitants)
    • Hüxtertor / Mühlentor / Gärtnergasse, Strecknitz / Rothebek, Blankensee, Wulfsdorf, Beidendorf, Krummesse, Kronsforde, Niederbüssau, Vorrade, Schiereichenkoppel, Oberbüssau
  • 03 Moisling (~ 10,000 Inhabitants)
    • Niendorf / Moorgarten, Reecke, Old-Moisling / Genin
  • 04 Buntekuh (~ 10,000 Inhabitants)
  • 05 St. Lorenz-South (~ 12,000 Inhabitants)
  • 06 St. Lorenz-North (~ 40,000 Inhabitants)
    • Holstentor-North, Falkenfeld / Vorwerk / Teerhof, Großsteinrade / Schönböcken, Dornbreite / Krempelsdorf
  • 07 St. Gertrud (~ 40,000 Inhabitants)
    • Burgtor / Stadtpark, Marli / Brandenbaum, Eichholz, Karlshof / Israelsdorf / Gothmund
  • 08 Schlutup (~ 6,000 Inhabitants)
  • 09 Kücknitz (~ 20,000 Inhabitants)
    • Dänischburg / Siems / Rangenberg / Wallberg, Herrenwyk, Alt-Kücknitz / Dummersdorf / Roter Hahn, Poeppendorf
  • 10 Travemünde (~ 15,000 Inhabitants)
    • Ivendorf, Alt-Travemünde / Rönnau, Priwall, Teutendorf, Brodten

The industrial Lübeck-Herrenwyk area was until the beginning of the 1990s the location of a big metallurgical plant. The gas produced by this plant was used for making electricity in the Lübeck-Herrenwyk power station. In 1992, the Lübeck-Herrenwyk power station was demolished after the bankruptcy and demolition of the metallurgical plant and since 1994 its site houses the static inverter plant of the HVDC Baltic Cable.

International relations[edit]

Lübeck is twinned with:

Lubec, Maine, the easternmost town in the United States, is named after Lübeck.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Statistikamt Nord – Bevölkerung der Gemeinden in Schleswig-Holstein 4. Quartal 2013] (XLS-Datei) (Fortschreibung auf Basis des Zensus 2011)". Statistisches Amt für Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein (in German). 25 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Vehicles registered between 1937 and 1956 were given prefixes valid for all of Schleswig-Holstein: "I P" (1937–1945), "S" (1945–1947), "SH" (1947 only), "BS" (1948–1956).
  3. ^ "Lübeck: The town that said no to Hitler", Simon Heffer, www.telegraph.co.uk, Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Brandspuren im Gesicht, Ermittlungen zur Lübecker Asylheim-Katastrophe", Der Spiegel, 23/1996, 3 June 1996.
  5. ^ Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 5 March 2005
  6. ^ "A I 2 - vj 4/10 S" (PDF). Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.statistik-nord.de/index.php?id=552
  8. ^ Hassinen, Raino. "Kotka - International co-operation: Twin Cities". City of Kotka. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "La Rochelle: Twin towns". www.ville-larochelle.fr. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  10. ^ "Kontakty partnerskie Miasta Szczecin". Urząd Miasta Szczecin (in Polish). Archived from the original on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 

External links[edit]