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. The Possehl Foundation provides financial support for the historically appropriate refurbishment of many listed buildings. Another of the Foundation’s commitments is the preservation of “Lübeck’s Seven Spires” on the five churches in the old town. From 1950 to the present day the Possehl Foundation has contributed over €55 million to preserving and shaping the architectural diversity of Lübeck’s old town.
The great synagogue in Lübeck was consecrated in 1880: an impressive building with Moorish elements and a large dome. In 1939 the city of Lübeck forced the Jewish community to sell the synagogue. The proud dome and all the decorative elements were removed. A simple brick façade remained. After the war the Jewish community returned. The façade was protected as a listed monument in 1991: it is a testament to the desecration of Jewish religion and culture by National Socialists in Lübeck and is recognised as a national monument by the federal government.
The federal and regional governments, along with several charitable foundations, provided the funds to preserve the synagogue. After six years of restoration work the synagogue was reopened in August 2021.
The street Große Altefähre was a popular spot for merchants to build large houses. Several shipping companies set up their business here. The house number 23 is dominated by a stucco façade applied around 1910 in the Swedish neoclassical style and as a cultural monument it is a listed building. A shipping company was also based in this house for more than 100 years. Now a local family has carefully restored it and converted it into a boutique hotel, which alludes to the history of the building in the interior design and the name, “Die Reederin”, i.e. the shipowner.
The owners won the Bauherrenpreis 2022 for their restoration work by a working group of historical towns for an “outstanding restoration or new building in the historical town centre”.
Possehl Foundation Lübeck
Beckergrube 38 – 52
Tel.: +49 (0)451 148-200
More about the Foundation
Here you can find our annual reports, Emil Possehl’s will, our art catalogues and publications to mark the 100th jubilee of the foundation.
Our articles of association
The Foundation only supports non-profit and charitable causes and “promotes all that is good and beautiful in Lübeck”.