MEDIEVAL CHARM OF LUBEK
The tour bus smoothly passes the Holstein Gate, which has been guarding the entrance to Lübeck since the Middle Ages, and arrives at the city moat. It looks like an ordinary bus, but a duty ring is fixed in the cabin. Why is he here? This will become clear in a moment, when the bus suddenly slides out into the water, turns around and swims along the Trave along the cafes and shops, from which the gentle aroma of marzipan spreads along the embankments. The little boy on a scooter will freeze in surprise and drop the ice cream, without even noticing the loss.
Indeed, the amphibian bus looks somewhat strange in the middle of the Hanseatic Gothic, but Helge Gabriel, director of the city shipping company, hopes that it will become a symbol of Lübeck, a city with almost 900 years of history. Built in Holland, the bus cost the city a tidy sum – more than one million euros. He began traveling and swimming in Lübeck in May 2017. In Germany, he is the only one, and the idea of the chairman of the city parliament Gabriele Schopenhauer spied in Boston. Now this sum is to be returned to the tourists: for an hour of the excursion, you need to pay EUR 24.50 to an adult and 16.50 to a child. Book a trip better through the Internet. Discounts are available when purchasing combined tickets, for example with a marzipan show.
Marzipan first appeared in Lübeck in 1530. And in the 1800s, when sugar beets were grown everywhere in Germany, the production of treat was put on a grand scale. The city has patented the “Lubeck noble marzipan”, which can only be made in this area according to a specific recipe: 90 percent marzipan mass and 10 percent sugar.
Now, six companies produce marzipan from Mediterranean almond in Lübeck, and only products from Spanish Toledo and Calissones from French Aixan Provence can compare with them in Europe. You don’t have to run to the most famous marzipan shop Nideregger, you can look at the Marzipan Store ice-cream parlor at the Holstein Gate (Holstenstrasse, 40) or into the shop three blocks to the left, if you stand with your back to the same gate (An der Untertrave, 98 ). There you can buy “potatoes” and marzipan bread, and even a marzipan fight for pennies – it’s as if “Red October” was selling broken chocolate at a reasonable price.
Every day several dozen tons of marzipan are produced in Lübeck. If desired, it would be possible to build a marzipan city from it, but Lübeck is made of red brick. It is better than other German cities in World War II, so since 1987 the historical center with the main buildings, including the Town Hall, the Cathedral, and the Holstein Gate itself, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Looking at all these sights is better from above. Taking the elevator to the tower of the church of St. Peter, from a height of 50 meters you will also see ships on the River Trave and the “House of Buddenbrooks” – a museum opened in the family house of writers Thomas and Heinrich Mann in Mengshrass, 4. It is life in Lübeck and history Nobel laureate Thomas Mann described his family in the novel Buddenbrooks. After the Second World War, only the facade remained from the house, but the architects managed to restore the building.
A few years ago, the house of another Nobel laureate, Günter Grass, a writer, sculptor and graphic artist, was turned into a museum. Until 2002, at 21 Glockengisershtrasse, was located the Kurt Tater wine-boutique Wine-Castell, which then moved to a neighboring house. Gunter Grass invented bottle labels with his drawings and funny names for a number of European wines from the store. He always worked standing up, wrote by hand, and then reprinted his novels on a typewriter. In the digital age, the writer did not trust the computer, believing that the language simply turns into a mass of text, and he needed to feel the words with his hands, like clay, from which he also molded.
In the house-museum there are more than a thousand drawings, lithographs, watercolors and manuscripts of the author. August 26, 2017 in Lübeck will host a night of museums, in which the houses of the Nobel laureates will take part.
In good weather, you can see the Baltic coast and the largest hotels from St. Peter’s Church. Travemünde, one of the oldest German seaside resorts with a wide sandy beach, is only a quarter of an hour by train. The resort’s business card is the four-masted barque Passat, built over a hundred years ago at the shipyard in Hamburg. Until the end of October, you can climb the most ancient lighthouse in Germany, which has now become a museum. It was first mentioned in 1330, in 1534 it was destroyed by Danish troops, and five years later the Dutch were restored. Built in 1972 next to the lighthouse, the new Maritim hotel blocked it, so the signal light was transferred to the roof of the hotel.
No German resort is complete without “strandcoreb” – a “beach basket” in the form of a wicker lounge chair. In 1882, the basket-keeper Wilhelm Bartelmann invented it specifically for one venerable lady who arrived in the Baltic to treat rheumatism.