Holstentor (Holsten Gate) is the most well-know symbol of Lübeck. 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. Inside the gate 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.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1464-1478
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Campbell Boyd (5 months ago)
Fascinating history of Lubeck. Amply illustrated with physical as opposed to documentary exhibits.
Ket Tee (6 months ago)
Really neat place to visit if you're in the area. Very lively and bustling with culture. The Holstentor is great to visit and have a semi-romantic picnic nearby...
Francesco Xodo (6 months ago)
Beautiful building that served as a town gate in a complex of four. Built between 1464 and 1478 by architect Hinrich Helmstede, it has been reconstructed twice in 1863 and 1933. It houses a museum that I haven't had the chance to visit.
syafa haack (7 months ago)
Unique architecture. Wheelchair is not accessible as you need to climb the stairs. Ticket for adult: €7. Kids: €2.50. Kids under 6 years old: free.
Kim Hudson (9 months ago)
Really interesting. Really really interesting! Good to have comprehensive information in English too. Tells the story of the historic building and of the city of Lubeck. Quite a lot to interest children as well as adults. Inevitably lots and lots of stairs.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.