• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector

    Hanseatic City of Lübeck

  • Historical Function

    Trade (metropolis of the Hanseatic League).

Location and site

Located in the Holstein Isthmus and 50 km. from Hamburg, this Trave River estuarine city opens onto the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe.

Urban Morphology

Two longitudinal axes dating to the foundation of Lübeck cross the city, which is enclosed by waterways. The large public square which housed the market and the Cathedral also accommodated the old city hall. Streets of varied width, often sinuous, form a network around this square, and retreat from one block to the next.

Despite the devastation of the city during the Second World War, and a series of reconstructions and modifications, the Hanseatic city of Lübeck maintains its streetscapes of superb patrician dwellings of the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as its monumental quarter, located on the north bank of the Trave River. These buildings - including the famous brick gate, the Holstentor, and the salt attics - testify to the power of the Hanseatic League; the heart of the medieval city still bears traces of the 1942 bombardments. As a whole, the city is harmonious in its form and its brick colour.

Registration Criteria

The City of Lübeck, by its most authentic areas, summarizes "the international importance of the Hanseatic League and its place in the history of maritime commerce." (IV)

Historical Reference

  • From the time of its foundation by Heinrich the Lion on the site of a Roman castrum, Lübeck developed around a large rectangular market place.
  • In 1226 A.D., under the reign of Emperor Frederick II, Lübeck became a free imperial city.
  • By 1241, Lübeck, as an established trading post, co-founded with Hamburg the Hanseatic League, an alliance made up initially of German merchants and then of cities. Established during the urban Renaissance of the West, it gradually controlled maritime trade in Northern Europe.
  • The Hanseatic League enjoyed its heyday around the 14th century. At that time, Lübeck served as the seat of its Assembly. The city flourished until the end of the 16th century.
  • Following difficulties that began in the 15th century when competitors appeared on the market, the Hanseatic League started to decline slowly despite various efforts to restore itself. The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) was fatal for the League.
Mr. Jan Lindenau
Mayor of Lubeck
Hansestadt Lübeck
City Hall, Rathaus, Breite Str. 62
D 23 539 Lübeck, Germany
+49.451 122.1001
+49.451 122.1009
Ms. Christine Koretzky
Heritage Management of Luebeck
Hansestadt Lübeck
5.610 Stadtplanung, Mühlendamm 12
23552 Lübeck, Germany
0451/12261 27
Lübeck: Altstadt from Trave Rivers
Lübeck: St. Mary's Church
Lübeck: Church of St Peter
Lübeck: Innenstadt Panorama
Lübeck: Holstentor
Lübeck: Innenhof
Lübeck: Holstentor