Sunday, 28 September 2014
Lüneberg - City Built on Salt
Lüneberg in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) is a Hanseatic town, displaying all the usual elements of impressive merchants' houses, gothic churches, and a large market square. Like Halle in Saxony Anhalt it is also built above a dome of salt, from which its wealth derives.
We combined a visit here with a stopping-off at Stendal, yet another Hanseatic town, which made an interesting compare-and-contrast of otherwise cookie-cutter architecture between a mediaeval town that ended up in West Germany, with one that was in East Germany.
The most obvious difference is that Stendal looks like it was rebuilt yesterday (and is still being rebuilt), whereas Lüneberg is more settled in its post-war renovation and feels like there isn't a discontinuation between its modern incarnation and the middle ages Also Lüneberg is much more obvious about being a tourist town with many lively restaurants and bars and a bustling shopping centre and market. In Stendal meanwhile you get the feeling that commercialism and PR are recent introductions, and still considered a bit vulgar.
Both places are worth a visit, and within striking distance of Berlin, especially as Lüneberg is now on a speedy rail connection between Hamburg and Berlin on the cost-effective IRE (inter-regional express).
Here are some of my photos from Lüneberg to give you an idea what to expect: