The Capper Nomads Europe Adventure travel blog



Slightly off


Black House











Going down in the tank


Water experiment


The water tower

Another great day so we headed to the north of Lüneburg Heide to the town of Lüneburg. The history of Lüneburg owes its affluence on one important commodity, salt. Since the 10th century local salt mines were being worked by the monks of St Michaelis. After the citizens got rid of the dukes of Braunschweig- Lüneburg in the 14th century and signed up to the mercantile Hanseatic League, a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe, Lüneburg became Europe’s largest salt producer. However over time its affluence declined rapidly when its Hanseatic market for salt waned and the town became impoverished. From the 16th century hardly any new houses were built in central Lüneburg after this time, which is why the historical appearance of the town centre has remained almost unchanged until the present day. Salt production ceased altogether in the town in1980.

The town is dominated by Hanseatic step-gables and brickwork like twisted rope and also shows one distinctive sign of its past- wonky houses due to subsidence from salt workings. The dominate St Johannis church spire of 108m is off kilter by 2m. The church also has five naves, a beautiful altar panel and another impressive organ once played again by a young Johann Sebastian Bach. (reckon he must have done a church tour!)

The town has two squares, the Markt where the Rathaus is located and the Am Sande with the impressive Schwarzes Haus or Black House built in 1548 as a brewery. There was also an interesting waterfront, the old port on the River Ilmenau, with a 1330 cargo crane and a former herring warehouse.

For the recently restored water tower we were able to get great views across the town and see the inside of the water tower with its huge tank.

An interesting place to visit.

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