The European Hansemuseum consists of the main building, the Lübeck Castle Friary and the grounds, which are accessible to the general public. Many traces of the site’s long and eventful history have been highlighted in the grounds, which cover a total of 7,405 square metres.

Successive rulers have built fortresses and battlements on this natural plateau since the 8th century. In the 13th century a Dominican friary is built on the ground. The exhibition on the history of the Hanse takes visitors through the main building at the foot of the Castle Hill. Higher up is the Castle Friary, which houses the former Dominican friary, a Law court and a remand prison from the 19th century, and the HanseLab.

The museum building evokes a typical front-gabled Lübeck townhouse. The façade features an extensive ornamental design based on the quatrefoil, one of the most striking motifs of brick Gothic architecture.

The main building of the European Hansemuseum sits snugly against the Castle Hill. An open staircase in the centre links the historic docks with the old town. It forms the entrance point for the new museum building and also leads up to the Castle Friary and the grounds above the main building.

The architecture of the new museum building blends a finely crafted brick texture with elegant modernist lines to form a link between the past and the present.

In its monolithic character the new building evokes the medieval city wall that once ran along the foot of the Castle Hill. The texture of the façade emphasises this association by means of jagged, variegated and irregularly laid masonry.

The interactions between the main building materials – bricks, bronze and exposed concrete   – create an architectural narrative. In the side street leading up the Castle Hill the museum building references a typical front-gabled Lübeck townhouse. The façade features an extensive ornamental­ design based on the quatrefoil, one of the most striking motifs of brick Gothic architecture.

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