Delve into the remarkable merchant and maritime history of the Hanseatic League via hands-on exhibits and recreations of typical trading deals.
Retrace the activities of medieval merchants and seafarers at the European Hansemuseum (Europäisches Hansemuseum). This museum celebrates the Hanseatic League, which was a confederation of European merchant communities that flourished in 16 countries and almost 200 cities from the 1200s to 1600s. The European Hansemuseum opened in 2015 and was a nominee for the 2017 European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA). It stands in a modern building that incorporates part of a 13th-century Dominican friary situated on Luebeck’s ancient castle hill.
The main exhibition has displays of original artifacts such as artwork, coins and manuscripts. Find multimedia displays that detail some of the most significant trade routes and see a replica of a square-rigged ship. Walk through the recreated scenes of a Belgian market hall, London steel yard and Norwegian fish market. Other exhibits look into Luebeck’s role as a pioneering Hanseatic city and both the glories and miseries of being a merchant.
Temporary exhibitions probe deeper into this unique merchant organization and touch on subjects such as the relationship between the church and trade. Pick up an audio guide for an insight into the former friary and learn about its architectural features, frescoes and redevelopment.
Finish your visit at the shop to purchase books and souvenirs inspired by the museum’s themes. There’s also a restaurant, which has sublime river views.
You’ll find the museum a short walk to the west of Burgtor, in the northern limits of Luebeck Old Town. If you are already in the old town then the easiest way to get here is on foot or by rented bike. There are bike racks located outside the museum entrance. Parking is available on the waterfront.
The European Hansemuseum is open daily, except for Christmas Eve, and there’s an admission fee. The fee varies according to how many exhibits you wish to visit. Fee entrance is granted to all visitors that arrive on their birthday and can prove it with a form of identification. Guided tours of the permanent exhibition are available for a fee and with prior reservation.