Holsten Gate is one of the most famous sights in Lübeck. When visiting the City of the 7 Spires take a moment to admire its symbol standing at the entrance to the old town.
Beside the Brandenburg Gate, Cologne Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady in Munich, the Holsten Gate in Lübeck is the most famous German building in the world.
In medieval times, Lübeck was considered to be an important city and owes its thanks to the success of the Lübeck merchants. Holsten Gate became the proud symbol of Lübeck as a free imperial city.
The city gate was built between 1464 and 1478 along the lines of Dutch models. Its purpose served both as a form of defence and as a form of prestige. Above the round-arched gateway entrance of the twin-towered construction, the inscription CONCORDIA DOMI FORIS PAX (unity at home, peace abroad) can clearly be seen in golden letters.
Nearly every visitor is astonished by its odd leaning angle and its sunken south tower. But, during the 15th century people weren't quite as knowledgeable on "foundation work" as they are today. As only the towers are standing on a "gridiron" with the heavy middle tract resting upon them, the towers unevenly subsided into the marshy ground. In 1863, the Gate looked an appalling sight. With a majority of just one single vote, the city parliament decided to restore the gate and began extensive restoration efforts. It wasn't until 70 years later that the subsidence could be stopped. Most recent renovations were carried out between 2004 and 2006. Here, the slate roof, terracotta frieze and parts of the brickwork were replaced.
Be sure to take a look inside the monument, too: There are many interesting facts to learn inside the Holsten Gate Museum, for example, »The Power of Trade«. Historic ship models, suits of armour, weapons, legal instruments and merchandise give a brief glimpse into the time of the Hanseatic League.
Two majestic lions stand guarding the city in front of the Holsten Gate.
Permanent Exhibition The Power of Trade
Jan - March: Tues - Sun 11 am - 5 pm
April - Dec: Mon - Sun 10 am - 6 pm
the LÜBECK MUSEUMS
Kulturstiftung Hansestadt Lübeck
Tel.: +49 (0) 4 51/1 22-41 29
Fax: +49 (0) 4 51/1 22-41 83
Tip: Enjoy the view of the mighty Holsten Gate from the terrace at the Welcome Center. By the way, the best time to photograph the majestic building is in the afternoon.