Blog 12 Travemunde Germany
Then South to mainland Travemunde, the busy seaport and holiday location for Lubeck which lays half an hour further up river. The long riverfront at Travemunde is lined with yachts and tourist traps, restaurants and bars and ferries constantly run back and forth - conveniently near where we lay in a marina sheltered by the preserved four masted windjammer "Passat" a huge old sailing ship now a tourist attraction - but also an excellent wave break from the ships which enter the port all day long.
A 3 Euro train ride will take you to Lubeck itself, one of the ancient Hanseatic Cities, a confederation of European trading cities from the 12 century on which held the monopoly of Baltic trade and relations with Flanders and England. Needless to say this brought phenomenal wealth to the cities and it remains to be seen to day in its beautiful and rich historic architecture. From the ornate banhof - was ever a railway station a missed opportunity to outdo ones neighbour? - you are faced with a medieval city surrounded by water and entered through the Disneyesque brick twin towers of the city gate , no walls left of course but if you see the gate you can image how the walls must have been in comparison.
Medieval buildings apart, of which there are many fine examples, I was struck by the contrast to be found at the cathedral - an enormous plain white 16th C reformation interior embellished with over the top 18th C ornamentation, pulpits etc - sublime to the ridiculous - yet very early wall decorations from 13th C appearing from time to time. I tend to think of Henry VIII as the main reformation man but clearly it was going on all over Northern Europe at the time. I should say that there was some very fine 18th C ironwork I took a liking to.
Perhaps the jewel for me was the Hospital of the Holy Spirit with its early wall and ceiling decorations and continuity of service to mankind from its beginning in the 1200's to the 20th C.rrows host of holiday makers to return and take the air.