December 31, 2015

2171 GERMANY (Schleswig-Holstein) - Hanseatic City of Lübeck (UNESCO WHS)

2171 Lübeck Town Hall

Founded in 1143 on an island on the river Trave, not far from the Baltic coast, Lübeck became around 1200 the main point of departure for colonists leaving for the Baltic territories conquered by the Livonian Order and, later, by the Teutonic Order. In 1226 Emperor Frederick II elevated the town to the status of an Imperial Free City, by which it became 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 that medieval 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 trading privileges resulted in fighting between Lübeck (with the Hanseatic League) and 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. After its defeat, Lübeck's power slowly declined.

However, Lübeck had remained an important trading town on the Baltic Sea. Despite the damage it suffered during the WWII, the basic structure of the Old Town, consisting mainly of 15th- and 16th-century patrician residences, public monuments (the famous Holstentor brick gate), churches and salt storehouses, remains unaltered. The plan of the Old Town, with its blade-like outline determined by two parallel routes of traffic running along the crest of the island, dates back to the beginnings of the city and attests to its expansion as a commercial centre.

Lübeck Town Hall is one of the most beautiful town halls in Germany. From 1230, three gabled houses were constructed on the marketplace and extended over the next few centuries to ultimately create the Hansesaal (Hanseatic Hall) for meetings; and the Danzelhus (Dance Hall) for social meetings. The doors to this former courtroom have different heights, because the acquitted defendants were allowed to leave the hall via the tall door, sentenced defendants had to remove their hats and leave via the low door.

About the stamps
The stamp, depicting a Kugel-Primel, belong to the set Blumen, about which I wrote here.

Lübeck - Wikipedia
Hanseatic City of Lübeck - UNESCO official website

Sender: Helga
Sent from Lübeck (Schleswig-Holstein / Germany), on 02.11.2015
Photo: S. Godecke

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