The beauty of the city

In 1987 the old town of Lübeck was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. On the old town island there are more than 1,400 listed buildings, which all have to be maintained and preserved. From 1950 to the present day the Possehl Foundation has contributed over €50 million to preserving and shaping the architectural diversity of Lübeck’s old town.

One characteristic feature of Lübeck’s cityscape are the “rib streets” that run from the central points around the market square, the town hall and St. Mary’s church down to the waterways that surround the island on which the old town stands. They run parallel to one another – like ribs. Their names are centuries old and often refer to the tradespeople who lived there in the Middle Ages, as in Fleischhauerstraße (Butcher Street) or Glockengießerstraße (Bell Founder Street). Almost all the houses in these streets are listed buildings. But the atmosphere there is not like that of a museum. On the contrary: their unique architecture attracts shopkeepers and visitors. The many small boutiques and cafés create an urban flair that forms a lively contrast to the monotony of the chain stores that fill so many town centres. Maintaining the appearance of these streets costs a lot of money, and the Possehl Foundation provides financial support for the historically appropriate refurbishment of the listed buildings. Another of the Foundation’s commitments is the preservation of “Lübeck’s Seven Spires” on the five churches in the old town.

Restoration of a villa near the Stadtpark in Lübeck

Around 1900 a new urban district grew up nearby the Stadtpark. This house in the Parkstraße was buildt in 1905 and has now been extensively and lovingly restored down to fine details. All the design elements, such as banisters, railings, doors, casement and dormer window frames evoke the historic originals.

Restoration of a historic house in Tünkenhagen

The house Tünkenhagen 18 is one of the few side-gabled houses still standing from the Renaissance period. It shares a roof with a row of other small houses that goes back to the 15th century. Now the owners have completely restored the property, which is a listed building: the new casement windows are very striking, and the roof is no longer covered with tiles made of concrete, but rather of clay.


Possehl Foundation Lübeck

Beckergrube 38 – 52
D-23552 Lübeck
E-Mail: possehl-stiftung(at)
Tel.: +49 (0)451 148-200

Find Out More

Our publications

More about the Foundation

Here you can find our annual reports, Emil Possehl’s will, and the brand eins Wissen magazine to mark our 100th anniversary.


Emil Possehl's bequest

Our articles of association

The Foundation only supports non-profit and charitable causes and “promotes all that is good and beautiful in Lübeck”.