Medieval Courtyards of Lübeck – Lübeck, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Medieval Courtyards of Lübeck

The small alleys in Lübeck's Old Town are a result of medieval urban sprawl. 


In Lübeck, Germany, the air is cooler where it flows from narrow alleyways that run perpendicular to the city street of Engelsgrube in Old Town. The small alleys are a result of medieval urban sprawl, where traders and the population burst out into little courtyards built up in the backyards of the main buildings.

Each alley leads into living areas of tall stone, dollhouse-like structures that surround a shared courtyard of approx. four feet (1.2 meters) wide by 75 feet (22.9 meters) long. Some are wider.

You can see how it works in the collage above. In the first image, you can see the alley archway overhead, then the alleyway sign (most end in “gang”) followed by the alley, and finally, the actual courtyard where people live. An entire novel setting could be written just within the city, the harbor and the courtyard.

Know Before You Go

Take your time, and respect that the courtyards are actually living spaces for people, today.

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July 14, 2016

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