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Günter Grass, eminent author and Nobel laureate most famous for his 1959 novel The Tin Drum, was born in Danzig but has been a resident of Lübeck for many years now. Consequently, the city established a museum in his honor in 2002. The permanent exhibition is dedicated to Grass' oeuvre as a litterateur, painter and sculptor. In temporary exhibitions, the works of other multi-talented artists are spotlighted; special events such as lectures and movie screenings are held frequently. Through a sculpture garden, the museum is connected to the Willy-Brand-Haus. The building itself, thoroughly renovated, is an early 19th-century neo-classical town house and well worth seeing in itself. -Oliver Henkel
The Königstraße is the little sister of Breite Straße – a bit less prominent, but by no means less attractive for shoppers. Here, the omnipresent chain retailers you would find in every shopping district are clearly outnumbered by significantly more interesting individual stores, from florists to bakeries. Since the street suffered less damage in World War II than its nearby counterpart, it also has more historical buildings to offer to the sightseer. Particularly notable is the Romanesque brick house of the Löwen Pharmacy at the corner Dr.-Julius-Leber-Straße, built in 1230 and thus the oldest surviving secular building in Lübeck. Also worth extra attention are the town palais No. 21, with a Rococo facade from 1770, which today houses the Willy Brandt Museum; and the elegantly plain neoclassical Reformed Church from 1826. -Oliver Henkel
Erected between 1251-1350, St. Marien church, with its 160m-high steeples, was intended as a display of the city's prosperity and became a prototype for numerous other churches in the Baltic region. Originally Catholic, St. Marien became Protestant as a result of the Reformation in the 16th century.
The Heiligen-Geist-Hospital at Koberg certainly belongs among the major Old Town sights. Lübeck's wealthy merchants designed the building to be a home for the poor and sick in 1280, and it still has an old people's home within its walls today. Built from 1276-1286, the beautiful brick building with its 5 spires is one of Europe's oldest hospitals. Originally a civil social institution, it was later run by the church. A church with remarkable mural paintings also belongs to the large complex, as does the so called "long house" which used to be the dormatory. There are several nice retaurants beneath the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital, and in winter a very picturesque christmas market with lots of handcrafted products takes place here.
Extending over the centuries, the imposing town hall is a patchwork of different architectural styles. The original building dates from 1230. The Lange Haus (Long House) was added in 1298 and extended in 1442 with an ornate main hall. The last major change was made in 1570, with a stylish Dutch renaissance-style limestone building erected on the wing facing Breite Straße. The town hall is still the seat of the city council and can be visited in guided tours. The rococo Audienzsaal (reception hall) from 1760 is particularly impressive. Call for information on tours.
The private brewery of the Braukeller is located in a historic building, which has been put under a preservation order. Tasty food and a nice brew are served within the 13th century walls. The Brauberger has got nothing to hide. Apart from wooden benches, impressive copper vats and the mash house are right there inside the restaurant. A mainly young crowd enjoys a chat and a drink here, and a certain amount of beer is known to contribute to a certain cheerfulness. There is a large hot buffet with classic German meat dishes such as meat loaf, sucking pig and the like, but there are also salads. The emphasis remains on the home-brewed barley juice, however, which you can also draw from the barrel yourself.
There are streets named after the German word for castle (Burg), a former monastery, even an old town gate - but where is the castle itself? It's no use searching for it - the castle disappeared as early as in 1225. Danish soldiers controlled occupied Lübeck from their fortress for 23 years and when they left, the Lübeckers tore down the castle - except for the gate which now served as the northern town gate. Around the Danish centre, a Romanesque building was erected, and in 1444 it was given the Gothic face we can see today. Only the roof seems a bit unusual because of the curved Baroque copper cap which replaced the high Gothic roof. Some clumsy artillery soldier - the Burgtor used to be an artillery tower - set the Gothic roof on fire in 1685. As the only one of all the Lübeck town gates, the Burgtor was part of military action.
Hidden in one of the alleys near the St. Petri Church is the Lübeck Museum of Theatre Puppets. With more than 1000 puppets from international theatres in Africa, Asia and Europe. Spread in 5 houses that feature a variety of puppets from historic and modern theaters, which date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Barrel organs are also on display here. There is a shop and cafeteria as well that is child friendly as well.
Today satellites and other modern navigation devices guide the ships through the waters of the Baltic Sea but of course it wasn't always like that. For many decades lightships were stationed far off the coast - floating lighthouses with crews marking rocks and showing the way to the vessels. The "Fehmarnbelt" was one of those lightships. Built as a three-mast-schooner in 1908 she was fitted with a Diesel engine and a signal light device in 1931 and afterwards stationed at several positions in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Her last station was the Fehmarnbelt strait where she was stationed from 1965 onwards until her time was over in 1984. A fully automatic light buoy took her place and she was to be wrecked. But the private society "Feuerschiff für Lübeck" rescued her. She was restored and then found her last port in the Holstenhafen harbor. There are only few lightships left today so the "Fehmarnbelt" is an important reminde r of technology. The ship is open to visitors.
Museumshafen is a port museum in Lubeck that is located in the Northwestern area of the city. It showcases ships, barges and other vessels to avid tourists. The museum is a fine place to witness many rare and beautiful ships that are kept in a good condition. Some of the exhibits include historical ships like Rikke, Krik Vig and Sirius.