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  • Architecture in Lübeck

  • Bremen City Hall

  • Bremen

  • Bismarck monument, Hamburg

  • Lübeck

  • Lübeck

Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director

  • Discover the history of the Hanseatic League from the three major merchant centres of Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck, and review their artistic heritage

  • Explore medieval church architecture in an array of locations, including the Church of St Mary in Lübeck, which epitomises the north German Brick Gothic style

  • Visit fascinating museums and galleries, including Hamburg’s Kunsthalle and the European Hansemuseum in Lübeck

“The tour was very well organised. Tom Abbott’s knowledge of the history, art and architecture was amazing and so well communicated that it made the tour sparkle… it made the trip a wonderful experience”

- ACE customer on a previous Hanseatic League tour led by Tom Abbott

The Hanseatic League, which in medieval times dictated trade from the Baltic to the North Sea, left a rich legacy in art, architecture and of course maritime tradition. Dominating the townscapes even today are soaring brick-built Gothic churches, glories of medieval architecture, built at a time when such edifices were unknown in contemporary England.


The League started with the collaboration of Hamburg, Lübeck and Lüneburg in the 13th century, before becoming a union of north European trading cities with the most efficient sailing ships of their time.


Our tour is based in three of the major merchant centres that initiated the first trading associations of ‘Hanses’: Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck. In Hamburg, home to the third busiest port in Europe, we will survey the city’s historical buildings and visit some of its museums, including Hamburg’s Kunsthalle, which houses works of art dating from medieval times to the present day.


Lüneburg was an important salt-trading town, and boasts one of the most magnificent and best-preserved town halls in Germany. It was through the vast waterways of Europe that the League built up its trade, and on our way north we will pass through the harbour cities of Stade and Bremerhaven.


At the important Hanseatic city of Bremen, we will survey the collection of European painting and sculpture on display at the Kunsthalle, and visit the medieval cathedral, before continuing to Lübeck. Once the capital of the League, Lübeck is one of the best preserved of all the Hanseatic towns, with a fine array of Brick Gothic buildings. Here, we will visit the European Hansemuseum, and discover some fascinating churches.


Excursions to the town of Wismar in former East Germany, famed for its 17th century Wasserkunst waterworks, and to Bad Doberan, where a visit to the minster will complete our tour.


In Hamburg we will stay at the four-star Kleinhuis Hotel Baseler Hof in the centre of the city. We will spend a night in Bremen at the four-star Atlantic Grand Hotel, within walking distance of the city’s town hall, followed by four nights in Lübeck at the Atlantic Hotel, located in the old town.


This tour will be led by Tom Abbott, BA, MA, an independent art and architectural historian associated with the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens. Tom has extensive experience leading cultural tours in Europe, to destinations including Germany, Poland, France and Italy. His expertise concerning art and architecture ranges widely, and he is particularly fascinated with medieval art and architecture, as well as the Baroque, Rococo and Romantic movements.

Tour Code

Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, eight breakfasts, two lunches, eight dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £450.

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