A trip to Lubeck

20 August, 2010, Calvin ENGR 202 class went to the city of Lubeck, about two hours to the northwest of Berlin. The first piece of awesome architecture we saw approaching the Old City from the west:

Lubeck

The foundation doesn’t seem to be too good, as you can see. Note the steeple of St. Peter’s Church in the background.  After a tour of the Old City by boat, we were dimissed to entertain ourselves until dinner.  I wandered off to look for a hat shop west of the Old City… and ended up on the other side of the train station we had origanally come from, where I saw an awesome church.  So I went and looked at it.  This old guy called Hans Froidrick (or something like that) invited me in and showed me the bells in the steeple, which were pretty big (7-8 feet wide)  I headed back towards the Alt Stadt (and found the hat store on the way).  Then went to St. Peter’s Church and took a look around.  The main interior wasn’t too impressive, but for two Euro you could climb the tower, and from there you get a real view of the city.  I immediately noticed that Lubeck had a GREAT number of churches.  So, of course, I had to see them all.

Marionkirche

Marionkirche was quite impressive (It’s bigger than it looks)  The main vault is 39 meters (128 feet) and the steeples soar 125 meters (410 feet) above the city.  It was heavily bombed in WWII, and the mangled remains of the church bells that fell in 1942 still remain  in the base of the bell towers.  Incidently, Marionkirche is also the third-largest church in Germany. (Only the Koln Cathredral and Ulm Minster are larger, I believe)  Note the steeple of the steeple of St. Jacob’s Church in rising beyond the main roof. (which I also visited)

My next stop was supposed to be the Lubeck cathredral:

The Lubeck Cathedral

This was also heavily bombed during the war.  But on the way there, I got side-tracked, by the Sacred-Heart Church, the only Catholic church in the Old City.  A really quiet church.  The doorman admitted me, but no-one else was there.  It is apparently a memorial to four priests the Nazis killed during WWII.  They were buried in a crypt under the church.  Kind of dark.  Really creepy place.

After the Lubeck Cathedral, I headed for St. Giles Church, to the north-east.  Running, of course.  So many churches, so little time…

St. Giles Church

And then on to St. Jacob’s Church.  Except I lost track of the steeple and got a little off course.  Like half a mile off course.  I ran out on an arched footbridge to get a look around, incidently, one of the many bridges we had passed under earlier on the boat tour.  I saw the steeple again from there, and also noticed an interesting fact about the eight foot wide steel and aphsalt bridge: it bounced.  Being an attentive Engineering 202 student, I calculated the resonant frequency at around 2 seconds to the negative one.  Then I started putting weight on the bridge in sequence with said frequency, as Professor Nielson said could cause bridges to collapse.  The old German guy in the wheelchair on the other side of the bridge looked worried, though, so I stopped.  On my recharted course to St. Jacob’s Church I stopped by a medieval hospital.  The total capacity was 170 patients.  Patients were housed in tiny little rooms, complete with old glass windows inside a huge, vaulted room that reminded me a lot of a church.  I eventually did get to St. Jacob’s:

St. Jacob's Church

St. Jacob’s Church was where all the seamen of the city went for worship, and there was the sole remaining lifeboat of a ship that went down in 1957 there.  Apparently on its way from Argentina, this ship was caught in a hurricane and had only two surviving lifeboats, on one of which, only one man out of tweny-one original lived to be picked up three days later.

Having gotten to seven churches, I still got back to our meeting place with fifteen minutes to spare.  I really enjoy all the sweet architecture around here, especially the churches and castles.

A Card

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