In medieval times Lubeck was the capital of a group of powerful Northern European states called The Hanseatic League. Back then the Hanseatic League controlled the trade in everything from Russian Prostitutes to Yorkshire Puddings, so Lubeck was a very important city in its day. If it had still been quite so important in 1940 then Lubeck would probably have suffered the same fate as nearby Hamburg i.e. getting blitzed to buggery by England’s Bomber Harris. Fortunately for Lubeck by then neither Russian Prostitutes nor Yorkshire Puddings were considered vital war industries, so the English gave it a miss.
All of this means that Lubeck has retained its medieval charm and thus it is one of Germany’s oldest cities that still actually looks old.
It also claims to be the home to marzipan, although considering that the stuff was actually invented in Persia it is a bit of a dubious claim. Anyway they do have several shops selling nothing but marzipan, and in as many different flavours as you can imagine…except almond, which nobody likes apparently.
Lubeck’s most famous building is the Holsten Tor, or the Holsten Gate. It has twin towers (which makes you wonder how it did escape an aerial attack) and it also functions as the Lubeck town museum.
Hitler had other plans for it though, he was going to turn it into his Museum of Armaments. Indeed some items from early in his career were personally donated by him, a pea-shooter and a water pistol. This Museum of Armaments was one of Hitler’s top-secret wartime plans. If Bomber Harris had got wind of it, then no doubt he would have got one of his Lancaster bombers to make a small donation too.
One of the best things about Lubeck is the fact that, after all these years, the English still don’t know it is there. Consequently both Lubeck and its neighbouring summer beach towns of Travemunde and Timmendorfer are relatively untouched by replica football shirts and bad teeth. The holidaymakers tend to be mostly German, hence the food and drink is very good and very cheap.
This is because the Germans tend not to be as daft as the British when it comes to being ripped off in their own country all the time. In one of my local pubs I recently paid nearly £50 for a round of drinks comprising of two glasses of wine, a whisky and five pints of lager.
Still, I got my own back by throwing it all up later.
For my other guides to Germany click here.
Very intersting. I love Lübeck a lot especially during Christmas!