Out of the places Kurt Hielscher had photographed almost a century ago in the North of Germany, Lübeck, and especially the Holstentor, I had to see with my own eyes.  Wow, doesn't this photo look like a fairytale? The moment I laid my eyes on it, I knew I could not pass Lübeck on our way to the island of Rügen in the summer of 2020. I was not disappointed. The 15th century built with bricks Holstentor (1464) is impressive and quite odd with its two towers and lots of small windows on the city center side. One can also see a part of one of the six so-called Salzspeicher houses from which Kurt Hielscher also made a photo. 

Holstentor, 1924. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Holstentor, 26th of July 2020. Photo: Casper Molenaar

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, though numbers were pretty low there at that time, we wanted our visit to be short and get in the city center and out as fast as we could. On arrival we managed to park just around the corner of the Holstentor for free, because it was a Sunday, and had lunch in the van till the rain was over. I did not manage to exactly take the same photo. I don't think that would have been possible in any way, because Kurt Hielscher's standpoint probably had disappeared. I could have come a little closer by entering Juwelier Mahlberg to go up to the 1st or 2nd floor, but I did not do that, because of COVID. I do not go in anywhere else in order to keep our isolation. So I found an electricity power box to get a higher standpoint. In the end I used another photo for this post: the one I took from the railing on the Holstentorbrücke. The Holstentor is on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1987 and houses a Museum about the Holstentor.

Trying to find a better angle. Kurt Hielscher probably made his photo from the 2nd floor of a building a few meters further from the Holstentor. Today there's a jewellery. Because of the ongoing pandemic I did not want to enter and tried to find an alternative way to make the best shot. Photo: my son Siebe Molenaar.

Both sides of the Holstentor.

The Holstentor on a 50 Deutsche Mark banknote. It stayed there till the end of 1991. I probably have had such a banknote once in my hands, but I can not recall that, probably because I was not so much interested in Germany as a kid. Kurt Hielscher's photobook opened my eyes for the beauty my neighbouring country offers.

Salzspeicher, 16-18 century storage warehouses at the Trave river.

The Salzspeicherhouses are situated only a stone's throw further into the city center at the other side of the Trave river from the Holstentor. The characteristic Salzspeicher, storage warehouses for salt, were built between 1579 en 1745: The first one dates back to 1679, the fourth is from 1594, the second from 1599, the third from 1600 and the fifth and sixth were built between 1743 and 1745. Later the warehouses were also used for storage of clothing, grain and wood. 

Salzspeicher, 1924.  Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Salzspeicher, 26th of July 2020. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

After I made my photos we made a little walk around the St. Petri Kirche and then back to the Willy-Brandt Allee where we had left the van. Though our visit was too short we really liked the glimpse we had from Lübeck and I am sure it has way more to offer. I hope to come back one day when COVID or our isolation is over to enjoy it fully and take some time for it, maybe even go on a Schiffahrt with the Quandt-Linie?

After our visit to Lübeck, we went for a swim and some chilling at the beach: the nearby Timmendorfer Strand. At the end of the day we would find a place on a campsite at Neustadt in Holstein. Photo: Casper Molenaar, 26th of July 2020.

Below: detail from the Holstentor. Photo: Casper Molenaar, 26th of July 2020.

In the footsteps of  Kurt Hielscher