Local landmark, the mighty red-brick Holsten Gate (Holstentor), is a Gothic construction dating from the 15th century, in UNSECO-protected Lübeck. When visiting the City of the 7 Spires take a moment to admire its symbol standing at the entrance to the old town and discover the city's medieval mercantile glory days through a highly informative and engaging museum.
Lübeck's iconic twin towers
Built in 1464, from its beginnings the Holstentor served both Lübeck's defense and its prestige – a massive double-towered city gate. In medieval times, Lübeck was considered as an important city thanks to the success of the Lübeck merchants. Holsten Gate became the proud symbol of Lübeck as a free imperial city. Look above the round arched gateway entrance and be inspired by the Latin inscription in golden letters: CONCORDIA DOMI FORIS PAX (unity at home and peace abroad). The monument as we see it today is the result of considerable restoration work.
Nearly every visitor is astonished by the towers look so settled-in that it appears to sag, especially on the southern side. Since 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 was severely endangered, but the city parliament decided to save it and began extensive refurbishing efforts. It took about 70 years to stabilize the ground under the towers. Most recent renovations were carried out between 2004 and 2006, to replace the slate roof, terracotta friezes and parts of the brickwork, achieving to restore the historic tower's past splendor.
Visit the museum inside the gate
Take a look inside the monument and learn more about the history of Lübeck Hanseatic trade with the "The Power of Trade" exhibition – Die Macht des Handels, that sheds light on the success story with which the merchants of medieval Lübeck put their city firmly on the international map. The Holsten Gate Museum also features an impressive collection of historic ship models, suits of armor, weapons, legal instruments and merchandise, giving a brief glimpse into the time of the Hanseatic League. Don't miss out the top floor room and its bizarre exhibition of medieval torture items, like a chastity belt lined with satin. Fun fact, its twin pointed cylindrical towers, leaning together across the stepped gable that joins them, captivated Andy Warhol and have graced postcards, paintings, posters and marzipan souvenirs. His print is visible in the St Annen Museum.