Burgkloster - History and Facts | History Hit


Lubeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

The Burgkloster was a medieval monastery turned poorhouse, court and Nazi prison.

Peta Stamper

14 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Burgkloster

The Burgkloster – a castle monastery originally known as ‘Maria Magdalenen Monastery’ – in Lübeck is considered to be one of the most important medieval monasteries in Germany. Established in 1229, the Burgkloster served as a monastery until the Protestant Reformation.

Today, the Burgkloster is a museum of Lübeck’s history. Visitors can tour the building as well as viewing exhibits on the history of Lübeck’s Jewish community and about Lübeck’s time as an important member of the Hanseatic League – a medieval trade alliance controlling the North and Baltic seas.

Burgkloster history

The Burgkloster was built on the narrow entrance to the old town peninsula, over the remains of a Slavic castle. In 1221, the castle and cathedral city were united with the medieval bourgeois city by a wall, and when their leader was captured, the people of Lübeck took the chance to gain their independence.

The Burgkloster took its name from the battle of Bornhöved – the victory over the Danes which was attributed to the saints. The Lübeckers therefore replaced the castle with a Dominican monastery, and the Burgkloster became a place of learning and historical records.

With the Reformation spreading across Europe, the monastery was closed and a poor house was set up. Under the Third Reich, the Burgkloster was used as a Nazi prison, bearing witness to terrible atrocities, particularly against Jews and the resistance movement.

Burgkloster today

Today, explore the history of the Hanseatic trading league and the castle monastery at your own pace or with an audio guide around the European Hanseatic Museum which has occupied Burgkloster since 2015.

Open between 10am and 6pm, you can also easily spend 2 hours wandering the castle monastery and museum exhibitions, touring staged spaces and valuable original objects.

Getting to the Burgkloster

Located close to Burgtor and the Hubbrücke Lübeck, Burgkloster is easily found on foot or public transport around Lübeck. The buses 4, 10, 11, 12, 21, 30, 31, 32, 39 and 40 all stop at Lübeck Große Burgstraße, just on the corner of the Burgkloster.

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