|City subdivisions||35 Stadtbezirke|
|Mayor||Bernd Saxe (SPD)|
|Area||214.13 km2 (82.68 sq mi)|
|Elevation||13 m (43 ft)|
|Population||213,983 (31 December 2005)|
|- Density||999 /km2 (2,588 /sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Postal codes||23501 − 23570|
|Area codes||0451, 04502|
|Hanseatic City of Lübeck*|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Church of St Peter
|Region**||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||1987 (11th Session)|
|* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck (pronounced [ˈlyːbɛk] ( listen), older [ˈlyːbeːk]) is the second largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League ("Queen of the Hanse") and because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. In 2005 it had a population of 213,983.
Situated at the Trave River, Lübeck is the largest German port on the Baltic Sea. The old part of the town is 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. Autobahn 1 connects Lübeck with Hamburg and Denmark (Vogelfluglinie). The borough Travemünde is a sea resort and ferry port at the coast of the Baltic Sea.
In addition to this, around 700 AD Slavic peoples started to come into the eastern parts of Holstein which had been left by many Germanic inhabitants in the course of the Migration Period. By the early 9th century Charlemagne, whose Christianisation attempts were opposed by Saxons, moved Saxons out and brought in Polabian Slavs, who were allied to Charlemagne, in their stead. Liubice ("lovely") was founded on the Trave banks about four kilometres 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. The settlement was burned down in 1128 by pagan Rani from Rügen.
The modern town was founded by Adolf II, Count of Schauenburg and Holstein, in 1143 as a German settlement on the river island Bucu. He established a new castle which was first mentioned by Helmold in 1147. Adolf had to cede the castle to Henry the Lion in 1158. After Henry's fall in 1181, the town became an Imperial city for eight years. Emperor Barbarossa gave the city a ruling council with twenty members that survived into the 19th century. This council was dominated by merchants and caused Lübeck's politics to be dominated by trade interests for centuries to come.
The town and castle changed ownership for a period afterwards and was part of the Duchy of Saxony until 1192, of the County of Holstein until 1217 and part of Denmark until the Battle of Bornhöved in 1227.
Around 1200 the port became the main point of departure for colonists leaving for the Baltic territories conquered by the Livonian Order and, later, Teutonic Order. In 1226 Emperor Frederick II elevated the town to an Imperial Free City, becoming 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 this mediaeval 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 were fought by Lübeck and the Hanseatic League against 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 Schmalkaldic League.
After defeat in the Count's Feud, Lübeck's power slowly declined. Lübeck managed to remain neutral in the Thirty Years' War, but with the devastation caused by the decades-long war and the new transatlantic orientation of European trade, the Hanseatic League and thus Lübeck lost importance. After the Hanseatic League was de facto disbanded in 1669, Lübeck remained an important trading town on the Baltic Sea.
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 November 6, 1806. Under the Continental System, the bank went into bankruptcy and from 1811 to 1813 Lübeck was formally annexed as part of France until the Vienna Congress of 1815.
In 1937 the Nazis passed the so-called Greater Hamburg Act, where the nearby Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg was 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), the 711-year-long independence of Lübeck came to an end and almost all its territory was incorporated into Schleswig-Holstein.
During World War II, Lübeck was the first German city to be attacked in substantial numbers by the Royal Air Force. The attack on 28 March 1942 created a firestorm, that caused severe damage to the historic centre and the Bombing of Lübeck in World War II destroyed three of the main churches and greater parts of the built-up area. A POW camp for officers, Oflag X-C, was located near the city from 1940 until April 1945. Lübeck was occupied without resistance by the British Second Army on 2 May 1945.
On 3 May 1945, one of the biggest disasters in naval history happened in the Bay of Lübeck when RAF bombers sank three ships which, unknown to them, were packed with concentration-camp inmates. About 7,000 people were killed.
Lübeck's population grew considerably from about 150,000 in 1939 to more than 220,000 after the war, owing to an influx of refugees expelled from the former Eastern provinces of Germany.
Lübeck remained part of Schleswig-Holstein after the war (and consequently lay within West Germany) and was situated directly at the inner German border during the division of Germany into two rival states in the Cold War period. South of the city the border followed the path of the river Wakenitz that separated both countries by less than 10 m (32.81 ft) in many parts. The northernmost border crossing was in Lübeck's district of Schlutup. Lübeck's restored historic city centre became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Much of the old town has kept a medieval look with old buildings and narrow streets. The town once could only be entered by passing one of four town gates, of which two remain today, the well-known Holstentor (1478) and the Burgtor (1444).
Other sights include:
Like many other places in Germany, Lübeck has a long tradition with Christmas market in December, which includes the famous handicrafts market inside the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital (Hospital of the Holy Spirit), located at the north end of Königstrasse.
Lübeck has many smaller museums like 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 Lisa von Lübeck, a reconstruction of a Hanseatic 15th century caravel.
Lübeck is very famous for its excellent marzipan industry, and according to local legend, Marzipan was first made in Lübeck possibly in response to either a military siege of the city, or a famine year. The story, perhaps apocryphal, is that the town ran out of all foods except stored almonds and sugar, and used these 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 during 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.
Lübeck has three universities, Lübeck University of Applied Sciences, University of Lübeck and Musikhochschule Lübeck. The Graduate School for Computing in Medicine and Life Sciences is a central facility of the University and is founded by the German Excellence Initiative. The International School of New Media is an affiliated institute at the University.
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:
The industrial Lübeck-Herrenwyk area was until the beginning of 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.
Lübeck is twinned with:
Lübeck  is the second largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany. The city borders the Baltic Sea (Ostsee); Hamburg lies 58 km (36 mi) to the southwest. The old city (Altstadt) survived from medieval times and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lübeck was historically an independent city state, and was the capital of the Hanseatic League. It became part of Germany after the Second World War. It is located on the Trave River, and is the largest German port city on the Baltic Sea.
There are connections to Lübeck Airport (LBC)  with Ryanair from London-Stansted, Dublin, Stockholm-Skavsta, Milan, Pisa, Barcelona-Girona, Frankfurt-Hahn, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante and Alghero. Wizz Air flies to Gdańsk from spring 2006 on.
Ryanair calls the airport Hamburg-Lübeck. The airport is a few kilometers outside the city centre but is easily accessed by car and public transport. There is a shuttle bus A20 to Hamburg ZOB (Zentraler Omnibus Bahnhof, central bus station) close to the HBF (Hauptbahnhof, central train station). The public bus number 6 connects the airport to Lübeck's main railway station (Hauptbahnhof) every 30 minutes, journey time is about 20 minutes. There is also a local train connection from the station "Lübeck Flughafen", the station is about 200 metres away from the terminal building, the train runs every hour and needs not more than 10 minutes to the main railway station. The airport Hamburg (HAM) is just one hour away, and you can find there many international destinations.
Lübeck is about 60 km northeast of Hamburg and easily accessible by car through the Autobahn A1. With the opening of the new highway A20 (Baltic Sea highway) to Rostock the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania is only a very short distance away.
Finnlines  operates ferries from Lübeck's coastal borough Travemünde to Finland and Sweden and other Baltic Sea countries, with lines eg to Trelleborg and Malmö. If you arrive in Travemünde, you can take a train or bus to the city centre.
From a sight-seeing point of view, it is best to go around Luebeck by foot. In fact you may find posters around Luebeck with a caption like "Luebeck: The place of short distances"!
There is a local bus service hub at the Hauptbahnhof/ZOB (central rail station) with services to all parts of the town and nearby towns. Taxis are available nearly everywhere but have got their price. Within the city centre walking is by far the best way to get around.
Tourist information can be obtained in the city hall (Rathaus, Breite Straße) or at the "Welcome Centre", opposite Holstentor.
You can take a virtual tour to view the points of interest on CityPanoramas Luebeck 
The main attraction is the medieval Altstadt (old city) located on an island surrounded by the Trave river and channels. Listed as an UNESCO heritage site , it offers an astonishing variety of different architectural styles. The streets of Luebeck are a delight for a connaisseur of architecture.
Bear in mind that Lübeck's Altstadt is not an open-air museum but a living city centre, so don't expect a complete medieval sight. You'll find many beautiful old buildings intertwined with modern ones and a modern infrastructure. A particularly well-preserved 13th c. part of the Altstadt is the Koberg area at the island's northern end. And don't miss the Gänge, small streets off the bigger roads, with small houses and a peculiar atmosphere.
Noteworthy historical buildings include:
There are two houses dedicated to Lübeck's two literature nobel prize laureates: The Buddenbrookhaus is dedicated to the brothers Thomas and Heinrich Mann, who spent their youth there, and contains many of their works. It's near Marienkirche, in Mengstraße. Then there is the Günter-Grass-Haus (of The Tin Drum fame) in Glockengießerstraße.
The Museumshafen (museal port) between Beckergrube and the Musik- und Kongreßhalle building features some old-fashioned ships, among them a rebuilt Hanseatic kraweel ("Lisa von Lübeck")—more so in winter, because many of these ships are still in use during summer.
The borough of Moisling has a special Jewish history. An old Jewish cemetery is still to be found there.
Luebeck.de > Aktuelles > Kinoprogramm  keeps an updated programme for all cinemas in town.
Note that almost all films are dubbed in Germany, including Hollywood productions. Kommunales Kino is an exception, showing many subtitled films.
If you are visiting Lübeck during autumn, you might want to check out the Nordische Filmtage (Nordic film days), a festival where films from Northern Europe (especially Scandinavia) are shown in all cinemas, most of them in the original languages with German or sometimes English subtitles. Get a festival programme in one of the cinemas.
Normally they don't cater to a special scene but have themes and playlists changing on a daily basis. Have a look at the respective web pages or at Piste Lübeck  for a programme. If you are in Lübeck, you can get a free printed copy of Piste magazine in newspaper shops or some restaurants.
In Germany the normal age to be admitted into a club/disco is 18 years or older.
There are two more or less regular goth parties in Lübeck: Darkness Party  in Treibsand  and Schwarze Zone  in the Burgtor (see above). Since 2005, the Schwarze Zone Party is over, while DarknessParty still lives (for over 12 years now).
There are several restaurants within the city centre which will satisfy most tastes. At the top is Michelin starred Wullenwever . Other good options include Markgraf  and Schabbelhaus  while the most popular spot for tourists is the Schiffergesellschaft . If you're in for locally brewed beer, check out the slightly Bavarian-themed Brauberger in Alfstraße. Lübeck is well-known for its high density of cafés and "Kneipen" (~pubs), so peep into some of the smaller streets as well and look if you find something that fits your taste. Shortys Cantina  has some special TexMex Food you have to try.
There are many traditional bars in Lübeck, but if you're after a bit of international "big city" vibe, Cole Street - Bar Cafe Gallery - on Beckergrube 18, right next to the theatre, is a great find. Cool design, music and regularly changing contemporary art exhibitions. Check colestreets site  for their latest info. You might also want to check out NUI the great Thai & Japanese Restaurant at the bottom of Beckergrube.
Lübeck offers a large variety of hotels. Booking in advance is always advisable, especially during the summer. There are two youth hostels, one is a little bit east of the Altstadt (Am Gertrudenkirchhof 4; Tel: 0451/33433; Fax: 0451/34540), the other within the Altstadt (Mengstr. 33, 23552 Lübeck; Tel: 0451/7020399; Fax: 0451/77012). At the upmarket end are the Radisson SAS and Mövenpick hotel with superb views of the Altstadt.
There are several options to spend your time around Lübeck.
Somewhat north of Travemünde is a cliff (Brodtener Ufer) that has a hiking way from Travemünde to Niendorf (1-1,5 hrs walk) with good views on the Baltic coastline. Niendorf/Ostsee is somewhat more cosy and family oriented with its fishery port and a new renovated public swimming pool and a well-known bird zoo (Vogelpark Niendorf, situated in a small nature resort).
The Baltic coast resorts in Mecklenburg Pommerania are about 1-2 hrs drive on the Autobahn A20 away and might be worth a day trip
For nature lovers a trip to the lakes south of Lübeck may be of interest as there are great opportunities for bird-watching (eg the Ratzeburger See and the Schaalsee).Ratzeburg (with its Ernst-Barlach and A.-Paul-Weber museums) and Mölln are also worth a visit, especially as they are easily accessible by train. Near Ratzeburg is also one of the rare places to see the nearly extinct European bison—not a very spectacular facility, just some buffaloes on a pasture, but if you're in the area and have never seen one you might want to look out for the "Wisentgehege".
If you're travelling on northwards to Kiel, consider a (train) stop in one of the three small towns of Eutin, Plön, and Preetz. Among other sites, each of them boasts a "Schloß" or former aristocratic mansion. The towns are situated in a lake district which is popular for rambling and canoeing in summer (you can eg rent a canoe in Plön and go to Preetz by Schwentine River and through various lakes, then the canoe-centre people will get you and your canoe back to Plön by car).
And don't forget that it's just a mere 50 minutes by train to Hamburg (they go each hour).
During the summer the Schleswig-Holstein music festival  is one of the largest events in northern Germany. An abundance of concerts with world-famous artists and orchestras attracts many people every year.
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