HEATH insider town: stories, insider tips, and favourite places in the town of Lüneburg
Touring the towns of Lüneburg Heath in search of curiosities and the most beautiful destinations
What is HEATH insider town?With the HEATHinsider town series we take you on an exploration tour through the towns of LüneburgHeath and give you insider tips from real Heath experts.
Why there is a pig bone in Lüneburg Town Hall?
In the old chancery hanging from the ceiling
In the Middle Ages the Hanseatic League town of Lüneburg became very rich due to salt. The only means of preservation, apart from drying, was won in the Lüneburg saltworks, known as the Sülze saltworks.
The leaning tower of Lüneburg. The builder jumped off and survived
In the middle of the town
It is not only Pisa that has a leaning tower – so does Lüneburg.The oldest church in Lüneburg is St. John’s; it attracts the visitor from afar because of its 108-metre-high spire, which rises high into the sky. During construction of the spire around 1384, the tower leant 2.20 metres to the west from the vertical. It should be leaning a bit because steeples were always angled slightly into the wind, but not by so much! Even today the legend is told in Lüneburg of the architect who erected the leaning tower: after construction he saw what he had done. He climbed the stairs to the church tower and plunged in shame through a window into the depths. However, just at that moment a hay cart drove past. The architect landed softly and survived the fall. He thought to himself, "If I'm still alive after this jump, then it must be God's will that the tower is so crooked." With this certainty he wanted to celebrate the event, got drunk in a pub, fell from the bench, broke his neck and died.Existing as early as 927 as a baptistery, St. John’s church is one of the oldest in Lower Saxony. It served as a model for many hall churches in northern Germany, for example in Stendal, Brandenburg, Hanover and Tangermünde. The five-aisled hall church with almost square plan once contained 39 altars. The famous high altar with paintings by Hinrik Funhoff and the magnificent Baroque organ are definitely worth seeing. The young Johann Sebastian Bach learned to play the organ and composed with his uncle Georg Böhm, who worked from 1698 to 1733 as a cantor and composer in St. John’s church.
The Hanseatic League in Lüneburg
Lüneburg – Lower Saxony’s only member of the Hanseatic League
Since the end of 2007 Lüneburg has officially been able to call itself a Hanseatic town once more. After an exhaustive investigation process, it was confirmed that Lüneburg had more than earned the designation.