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Luebeck is the second largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League ("Queen of the Hanse") and because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. In 2005 it has a population of 213,983. Situated at the Trave River, Luebeck is the largest German port on the Baltic Sea. The old part of the town is an island enclosed by the Trave. The Elbe-Lübeck Canal connects the Trave with the Elbe River. Another important river near the town center is the Wakenitz. Autobahn 1 connects Lübeck with Hamburg and Denmark (Vogelfluglinie). The borough Travemünde is a sea resort and ferry port at the coast of the Baltic Sea. The area around Luebeck was settled after the last Ice Age. Several Neolithic dolmens can be found in the area. Much of the old town has kept a medieval look with old buildings and narrow streets. The town once could only be entered by passing one of four town gates, of which two remain today, the well-known Holstentor (1478) and the Burgtor (1444). The old town centre is dominated by seven church steeples. The oldest ones are the Luebecker Dom (the city's cathedral) and the Marienkirche (Saint Mary's), both from the 13th and 14th centuries. Much of the old town has kept a medieval look with old buildings and narrow streets. The town once could only be entered by passing one of four town gates, of which two remain today, the well-known Holstentor (1478) and the Burgtor (1444). Luebeck has many smaller museums like the St. Annen Museum, the Behnhaus and the Holstentor. Luebeck Museum of Theatre Puppets is a privately run museum.
Waterside attractions are a lightvessel that served Fahrmarnbelt and Lisa von Luebeck, a reconstruction of a Hanseatic 15th century caravel. Luebeck is very famous for its excellent marzipan industry, and according to local legend, Marzipan was first made in Luebeck possibly in response to either a military siege of the city, or a famine year. The story, perhaps apocryphal, is that the town ran out of all foods except stored almonds and sugar, and used these to make loaves of marzipan "bread". Others believe that marzipan was actually invented in Persia a few hundred years before Luebeck claims to have invented it. The best known producer is Niederegger, which tourists often visits while in Luebeck, especially during Christmas time. Like many other places in Germany, Luebeck has a long tradition with Christmas market in December, which includes the famous handicrafts market inside the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital (Hospital of the Holy Spirit), located at the north end of Königstrasse. Luebeck's only newspaper is Lübecker Nachrichten.
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