The square 'Am Sande' is one of the importnat squares in Lüneburg, besides the Market Square. Here life is busy and ther is a lot to see. Here you can shop, sit in a restaurant or café and watch people changing their bus waggons, enjoy the beautiful gables of the patrician houses or visit St. John's Church.
The name 'on the sand' derives from the fact that back in the olden days, it was a distribution point strewn with sand, which was extended by about two metres during the last centuries. It is the oldest square in Lüneburg and has always been a very lively location.
Back then, Lüneburg had the staple right. All merchandise arriving at or passing through Lüneburg had to be displayed for sale for three days. A fee was charged as well.
The brick houses located on the long sides of the square, originating from various style epochs, are especially impressive. This is how Lüneburg’s economic success was shown off during the 15th and 16th century.
Platz Am Sande
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH
St. John’s Church is one of the most beautiful examples of the North German Brick Gothic. In the 8th century, the oldest settlement Modestorpe was located here with a baptistery and mission church. Its first construction phase began in 1300, making St. John one of the oldest baptisteries of Lower Saxony. The massive tower, re-erected after a fire in 1406, measures 108.71 metres. When you look up you will see that – yes - the tower is lopsided! The subgrade subsided, resulting in an inclination of 2.20 metres. A persistent legend is going around that the master builder killed himself because of this mistake.
A tower brass musician plays a choral each working day at 9am sounding above the roofs of Lüneburg. This tradition originates from the Thirty Years’ War. Back then the salt masters swore to thank god every morning if the city would be spared.
When you enter the up to 22meter-high nave of this hall church, the psalm '…you have put my feet in a wide place' becomes reality. Prior to the reformation, 100 clergymen served 41 altars. Scenes on the central altar of the choir loft depict the sufferings of Christ. From up there you have a good view of the impressive organ with about 4,500 pipes, which has 'grown' over the years. Apart from the magnificent candelabra of St. Mary, the rare host casket in the form of a little church, as well as the baptistery donated by the 'Sülfmeister', a lot of other unique church treasures can be discovered. It you have the time, join a guided tour with one of the knowledgeable church ladies.
Bei der St. Johanniskirche 2
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CHAMBER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE
On the upper end of the square 'Am Sande', opposite to St. John's Church, a black double gable is protruding into the sky. The impressive building is beautifully decorated, which still shows the wealth and its importance from the Renaissance. During that period it was a sign of great wealth if you were able to afford a house built from black glazed brick. If you take a close look, you can see that the owners only pretended to be filthy rich. The house is built from red brick painted black and the joints are painted on. This former brewery originating from 1548 is not only adorned with the 'Taustein' (an ornamental brick shaped like a rope) but also decorated with clay medallions, which tell the story of Samson and the lion from the old testament. Today, the building houses the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
Am Sande 1
In the street ‘Am Berge’ close to St. John’s you can discover two interesting middle-class houses. No.35 is still called 'Brömse House', named after the Bauherr Dietrich Brömse. The facade of the formerly gothic building from 1409 was changed numerous times. Above the richly moulded gothic portal you can see the crests of the hanseatic cities Lüneburg and Lübeck, where the family came from. On the left and right the crests of Gdansk and Riga are depicted – cities the family traded with.
It’s impossible to miss the façade of the patrician house No. 37, with the richly ornamented Renaissance portal from 1568. It depicts the education and wealth of the builder owner. Left and right of the round arch you can see the family crests of the von Mutzeltins - a flying fish - and the crest of the master salt maker family Töbing: a little mulberry tree. The portal is crowned by depictions of peace and justice.