Once Luebeck’s first line of defense against attackers, this landmark is now famous for its distinctive architecture and local history museum.
Feel transported back in time by starting your Luebeck visit at the Museum Holstentor, located in a 15th-century gate. Admire its peaked roofs and distinctive terracotta striping. Enter to find the former headquarters of the city’s guards, now serving as a city museum filled with historical artifacts.
Notice the slight inward tilt of the gate’s two towers, the result of poor foundation building when it was first constructed. Imagine the gate as it once was, part of a massive system of city walls, and how forbidding it must have been for approaching attackers.
Walk under the arched gateway, crowned with the golden Latin inscription that declares “Unity At Home, Peace Abroad.” Then turn to look at the city side, with elaborate ornamentation and big windows demonstrating its role not as defense but decoration.
Explore the museum inside, which spreads out across three inner floors. Walk up and down the narrow spiral staircase, once used by defenders running to bring supplies and weapons to different parts of the walls.
Learn about Luebeck’s history during the Hanseatic League and the Middle Ages. View the model of the medieval city, which was made by schoolchildren in the 1930s.
Examine the copies of magnificent sailing ships that formed the backbone of Luebeck’s commercial prowess and the suits of armor once donned to defend all of that prosperity.
Find the Museum Holstentor at the western entrance to Luebeck’s Old Town, an 8-minute walk from Luebeck’s central train station. The city’s tourist information center is located at the other end of the park. If you drive, use nearby parking garages or the very limited on-street parking.
The park in front of the museum is always open, while the museum opens daily in summer from mid-morning to early evening. In winter, the museum is closed on Mondays and has somewhat shorter daily hours. There is a discounted admission for children and students.