Whether you're looking for a stimulating sightseeing break or a relaxing holiday enjoying leisure pursuits and the great outdoors, Lüneburg – idyllically situated between the river Elbe and heathland – offers the best of both worlds. Visit Lüneburg itself, a historical Hanseatic town famous for its salt production, or venture out into the scenic surroundings.
Lüneburg dates back more than 1,000 years and is without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in northern Germany. Having survived the Second World War unscathed, it has retained its charming medieval character. Lüneburg is also a university town. Its large student population adds to the lively atmosphere and it is thought to have the highest concentration of pubs in the whole of Germany. The town centre is a lovely place to shop. The beautiful and historical gabled houses accommodate all kinds of specialist stores where you can browse to your heart's content.
Fame, fortune and 'white gold'
Evidence of Lüneburg's salt-producing heritage can be seen at every turn. 'White gold' was extracted at the saltworks for over 1,000 years and it was the trade of this precious commodity that put the town on the map. Lüneburg, together with Bergen, Visby and Lübeck , quickly became one of the wealthiest and most important towns in the Hanseatic League. At the old saltworks, the German Salt Museum with its interactive displays tells the story of salt from the Middle Ages to the present day. The Alter Kran, a historical crane at the former Ilmenau docks, was also used in the salt trade. It is one of Lüneburg's most famous landmarks and remains a defining feature of the waterside quarter.
Museums, tranquil oases and the benefits of salt
The historical town centre of Lüneburg is almost like an open-air museum, although there are several sights that merit individual attention. The East Prussian Regional Museum, for example, documents the culture and heritage of East Prussia from prehistory to 1945. Close by is the North Germany Brewery Museum with its fascinating gallery of drinking vessels spanning 1,200 years – which, just for the record, doesn't include the skulls that the Vikings are said to have drunk from! A short walk from the town centre lies Lüne Benedictine Convent, a haven of peace and contemplation founded in 1172 and set amid beautiful old trees and meadow orchards. The spa gardens, another great place to relax, follow the tradition of the English landscaped parks and can be found on the southern edge of town. They are adjacent to the SaLü saltwater thermal baths, in which Lüneburg's saline spring still wells up to this day. As the saltwater drips through the branches, the air is filled with a fine, salty mist that acts like a balsam for the lungs and for the mind and body. And with that, we've come full circle. In Lüneburg everything really does revolve around salt.