Lauenburg an der Elbe

When the German boyfriend and I left the apartment last Sunday, we didn’t plan to go on a sightseeing trip. Rather, we were hoping to find some new summer clothes in Hamburg since it was a Verkaufsoffener Sonntag, meaning that all of the shops were open.

Unfortunately, the shopping trip turned out to be an overwhelming failure, and after about 3 hours, we started driving back home with nothing but 3 pairs of socks. To make matters worse, we realized that the entrance to the Autobahn was closed.

So, we were reading the road signs, trying to find a different way home, when we saw a sign for Lauenburg.

“You know, I always wanted to visit Lauenburg,” Marco said.

“Okay, let’s go.”

The sign said it was only 21 km away, so we decided to turn our unsucessful shopping trip into a fun little excursion to the history city of Lauenburg.

After parking, we walked over a bridge, and I snapped this picture of the street below:

Lauenburg street
Lauenburg is a historic city that was founded in 1182 and currently has a population of about 12,000. The city is located directly on the river Elbe in Schleswig-Holstein. 

After walking over the bridge, the first building we came across was the castle tower (Schlossturm). Unfortunately, the castle itself burnt down in 1616, and all of the other parts have since been destroyed. However, the historic tower remains.

Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the outside, but we did walk up a a few flights of very narrow stairs to the top of the tower.
Stairs in Lauenburg castle tower
Stairs in Lauenburg castle tower
bells in Lauenburg castle tower

view from Lauenburg castle tower
view from Lauenburg castle tower
They say that it is possible to see as far as Lüneburg, which is 25 km southwest, on a clear day. 
In the center of the tower is a floor with small prison cells, each of which looked like this: 
prison cell in Lauenburger Schlossturm
Then, after leaving the tower, we took a trail towards the city center. 
Lauenburg landscape
The Maria-Magdalenen Church, which was built in the 13th century, is by far the most recognizable building in Lauenburg’s skyline. Take a peek back up to the pictures we took from the tower, and you will immediately see it. Here is the church up close:
Maria-Magdalenen Church
Since it was quite a hot day, we finished off our city tour by relaxing next to the Elbe.
River Elbe
Elbe Lauenburg

So, what was supposed to be a Sunday of shopping turned into a spontaneous city trip. Although it was not planned, our two hour city tour was actually very nice, and Marco and I have both fallen just a little bit in love with Lauenburg. For anyone that lives in the area, I highly suggest checking it out.

When was the last time you went on a spontaneous day trip?