My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology


9.5.15
  Hanseatic Towns and Brick Architecture

I finally found time to sort through my photos and write the obligatory introduction posts to my latest little journey to the Hanseatic towns of Lübeck and Wismar, and visiting some Vikings in the open air museum of Haithabu near Schleswig.

Lübeck, Holstentor Gate

The Holstentor IS sagging a bit due to a soft underground; that's not the fault of the photo. It is a fine example of representative brick architecture and shows that the merchants and town council had the money to build in grand style.

Lübeck, St. Mary's Church, main nave

Another building financed by the town is the Church of St.Mary. It was intended as competition to the cathedral that had been started by Duke Heinrich the Lion, and later became the church of the bishop. Both churches - as well as the other churches in Lübeck's old town - have been constructed of bricks.

Lübeck, the cathedral seen from the north side

While St.Mary is a purely Gothic church, the cathedral is a mixture of Romanesque elements and Gothic additions, with some Baroque altars and memorials thrown in for bad measure. Unfortunately, the weather was quite dreary the first day - brick architecture looks prettier in sunshine.

Lübeck, warehouses at the Trave

Those warehouses at the Trave river date to the high time of the Hanseatic League. Back then, they would not have had so many windows, though. Today, the buildings are used as appartments and offices.

Lübeck, the Castle Gate

The second remaining gate of the old town of Lübeck, the Burgtor or Castle Gate, protected the northern side of the town. The castle which gave the gate ist name had been turned into a monastery already in 1227, but the gate - originally a set of three gates - remained in function long thereafter.

Wismar, St.Nicholas Church, apse

Another fine example of Gothic brick architecture is St.Nicholas Church in Wismar. It is late Gothic stlye, but much less flamboyant than churches of the same time in England or France. The flying buttresses you can see in the photo are more compact and sturdy, for example.

Wismar, St. George Church, interior

When I visited Wismar in 2004, the Church of St.George, which had been severely damaged during WW2, was still without a roof and in bad repair. I had promised I'd come back when they got the roof done and now I've fulfilled that promise. What I like about this church is the lack of furniture, because that way one gets a much better impression of the size of the interior.

Wismar, St. George, seen from the old harbour

The view from the harbour gives a good image of the size of the church. The planned tower had never been finished. I like the old harbour of Wismar, and I had luck with the sunny weather both times I've been there.

Schleswig cathedral, seen from the Baltic Sea firth

The cathedral in Schleswig got a pretty big tower, though. It is another example of Gothic brick architecture. Schleswig was not a member of the Hanseatic League but it was an important trade town after it took over from Haithabu in the 11th century, and see of a bishop.

And finally....
WANTED


For airborne piracy and theft of a prawn sandwich

Yes, this cheeky gull did steal the better part of a prawn sandwich I was eating in Wismar's old harbour. They sell them directly from the ships and the gulls know that.
 
Comments:
The warehouses of Lübeck are lovely. Do you mean they are used as private apartaments as well? If yes, a pang of envy :-)
 
They'll cost a fortune in rent, I'm sure. ;-)
 
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The Lost Fort is a travel journal and blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, Flanders, and the Baltic Coast. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, and some geology, which are illustrated with lots of photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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