Lüneburg is filled with characterful houses:
In that bit of shrubbery on the right a family of sparrows lives. They are chirping all day. To their neighbours, the family of sparrows, that live in the bit of shrubbery on the left. Those chirp back. It was so cheerful 🙂
We had a guided tour of one of the wedding guests of the St Michael’s church in Lüneburg. It’s an amazing place!
It’s old, filled with history and weird bits of information.
Bach was a student there, he studied music with the monks. Because of the salt trade the columns are crooked and the church might actually collapse. There’s a whole second church in the basement, by design.
Yes, there’s a whole second church underneath the large church. The monks built it so they had a proper place of worship while they took their time to build the large church with attention. Rightly so, it took them 40 years to build the big place, back around 1400.
All the while they used the “basement-church” for their daily prayers and sermons:
The under-church is still in use, in Winter, when it’s cosier and warmer there then in the big church.
There are ceiling-seals meant as resting points for the faithful gaze. They all depict an animal that have a special meaning.
The church upstairs is beautiful too. But less cosy.
It’s large columns are crooked. 60 centimenters from the straight vertical!
There’s a string hanging from the top of the colomn, with a weight. It’s straight but it veers away from the column:
The only thing straight in the upper church is the organ.
It truely is that old. Once upon a time hunters saw a mythical sow with a white belly. Upon investigation they found where the sow had been sleeping, it was in a large salt pan. The salt had crusted her belly white.
That’s how the humans found out about the large salt deposits beneath the town of Lüneburg. They started to exploit the salt and it made them very wealthy, all through the Middle Ages. They brought up 20.000 tons per year in the 1400’s! That’s why the houses are so richly decorated. That’s why Lüneburg has been an important Hanze stad. They transported it to the town of Lübeck, which is now known for its Marzipan, and from there it travelled all over Europe. Especially to Bergen, Norway.
Salt has been a valuable commodity for centuries. Roman soldiers were payed their wages in salt. Another illustration is the saying “The salt of the earth”.
Lüneburg had a blooming salt industry for centuries. They flushed the salt deposit underneaht the city with water, brought up the sludge and cooked to evaporate the water. Until stupidly smart people in the West started drying sea water and getting cheaper salt that way. The German industry dwindled and the factory closed in 1980, after having been in business for a 1000 years. A thousand years!
Now you see sows depicted all over Lüneburg. And all the houses -both old and new- swing and sway because the city now stands on unstable ground. Nobody knows where the caves have all been eroded away by the salt practices. This is why the St Michaelis church is so off kilter.
After a few hours we entered safe, flat grounds. Dutch landscape:
More wrestling with my phone. Unmeant screen shot of my screen saver.
Oooooh I miss the kitty! Looking so forward to get home and be showered with cuddles!
But when we came back home, my cat was lying on the lap of my brother, all cosy in a woolen blanket. She had been there for hours and was not interested in leaving nor saying hello to us.
They’ve had a wonderful few days, filled with cuddles and naps and treats, our cats and family.
We kicked my brother out and after a while Lillepoes came to sit on my lap and everyone settled down for some recuperation time.
This is what 5 hours of travel knitting looks like, just two fingers width of collar/button band.