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13 storeys tall, the city hall is bound to be part of every Flensburg skyline. The building was planned in the 1960s and was supposed to be modern contrast to the old Regierungshof (administration building) on the Holm. As early as in the 1990s, however, demolition was being discussed. In the end, it was decided to renovate the building. Today, with its multi-purpose hall and public canteen, the city skyscraper plays a role in urban life, and not only as an administrative centre. Interestingly, events on site were "guarded" by a rhinoceros for ten years. The animal-sculpture by artist Hans-Ruprecht Leiß was situated on the canopy of the south entrance. In 2011, the pachyderm moved. New location: Robbe and Berking Yachting Heritage Center.
St. Nikolai's Church on the Südermarkt is one of Flensburg's two main churches. It is dedicated to the patron saint of sailors and merchants. A predecessor church to the Gothic building is said to have stood on the same site as early as 1332. The hall church contains one of the most important Renaissance organs in northern Germany. It was commissioned by the Danish King Christian IV. (1577-1648). At the beginning of the 18th century, Arp Schnitger, one of the most famous organ builders of his time, took care of the construction. The sound range of the instrument can be heard, among other, at the annual Flensburg Organ Summer, when international musicians take seat on the organ bench. The church's smallest work of art "lives" on a rain pipe of the building: church mouse Paula is a small bronze sculpture.
Südergraben 22 in Flensburg - that is the address of Germany's northernmost district court and the local court. Court hearings have been on the agenda here since 1882. The imposing brick building was intended to be an architectural symbol of Prussian power after the German-Danish War of 1864 was won. While defendants might feel daunted in the presence of this "intimidating architecture", for innocent visitors, the courthouse primarily offers historical insights. The centrepiece is an almost 14 m2 seized painting in the criminal courtroom. It shows the granting of the Jütisches Lows in 1241, a law that was valid for over 650 years in the Duchy of Schleswig. Insights into the more recent history of the state are provided by the court history collection, which is also housed in the building.
Art remains at the top of the list of cultures in Flensburg - literally, too. The Museumsberg (Mount Museum) building ensemble towers over the city on the west side of the fjord. From the Rathausstraße, the view is unobstructed to the Heinrich Sauermann House above the street. Here, after a successful climb of the steep stair, you can explore the history of art and culture from the Middle Ages to the 19th century as well as the landscape history of Schleswig-Holstein. One of the exhibits: the "Low German Room". The house's namesake and furniture maker Hans Cristian Sauermann built the magnificent room for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. The ground floor of the building houses the Natural Science Museum. The neighbouring Hans Christiansen House is home to Schleswig-Holstein art from the 19th to the 21st century. With around 3,000 m2 of exhibition space, the Museumsberg is one of the largest museums in Schleswig-Holstein.
The Catholic Church of St. Mary the Sorrowful Mother belongs to the large parish of Stella Maris. Since the merger of several parishes in 2018, Catholic Christians from the regions of Angeln, Schwansen and Schleswiger Geest meet here. Stella Maris (Mary Star of the Sea) - with its choice of name, the parish places itself in a line of Catholic churches that are mostly located in harbour or coastal sites. The church building itself, consecrated in 1900, is one of Flensburg's cultural monuments. It got its pointed tower nine years after it was opened. For a long time, the church also had a Catholic school. During the Second World War, it was converted into an air-raid shelter for air-raid wardens and then demolished. Today there is a car park here.
A triangle with an eye surrounded by yellow rays on a light blue background. With this gable painting, the lodge house immediately catches the eye. The white plaster building, built in 1902-1903 by the Johannis Lodge "Wilhelm zur nordischen Treue", is also reminiscent of a Greek temple. During the Third Reich, the Gestapo confiscated the house. Later it was sold to the city and used, among other things, as police headquarters. It was returned to the Lodge in 1950. The basic structure remained unchanged over time: The administrator's flat and kitchen on the ground floor, the Lodge Temple above, then the ceremonial rooms. Today, three lodges work here, including a female Masonic lodge. Secret meetings behind closed doors? Not quite. The lodge house can even be rented.
The oldest part of today's Old Grammar School with its distinctive tower was not completed until 1914, however the school was founded already in 1566, making the "Alte Gym" one of the oldest schools in the German-speaking world. However, girls were not admitted here until 1964. Even long after that, the school was considered conservative and dusty. It is said that a headmaster of the school wanted to ban kissing in the playground as late as the 1980s. Today, the school sees itself as a modern, new-language G9 grammar school with an old-language branch. It is also the country's first grammar school centre for German as a foreign language.
St. Mary's Church on Nordermarkt is the oldest inner-city church in Flensburg. First documented in 1284, the church building today is the result of several extensions and alterations. To this day, however, remains of late medieval wall paintings can still be seen in the three-nave Gothic brick hall. The neo-Gothic tower, which can be seen throughout the pedestrian zone, was not added until 1878-1880. In 1967, Flensburg's Marienkirche was a national media star. The reason: the "Flensburg Monument Controversy". A stone soldier with a steel helmet and a broken rifle in the church had commemorated soldiers killed in the First World War since 1921. While some saw it as an appropriate place of mourning, others discovered inappropriate hero worshipping. After heated debates, the stone soldier was removed.
The Kompagnietor is one of Flensburg's oldest buildings. Flensburg's fishermen met here as early as the beginning of the 17th century. Their association, the Flensburger Schiffergelag, had the gate built in 1602-1604. From 1878, the maritime court also met in the building. The old city coat of arms and the Danish royal coat of arms can be seen in the gable. The saying "Gerecht und etich alltidt sin Mit Gades hülp bringt grodt Gewin" (To be just and temperate at all times with God's help brings great profit) is inscribed in the wall. The high-water markings are also thought-provoking. The gate must often have stood with its feet deep in the water. Today, the European Centre for Minority Issues has its home in the Kompagnietor.
Above the entrance of the building the words "Schloss-Duburg-Schule Städtische Handelslehranstalten" (Duburg Castle Municipal Commercial College) hail the visitor. To this day, the brick building on the Marienberg is one of several school buildings of the HLA (business college). It was built in 1928 on the site where Duburg Castle once stood, the residence of Danish kings among others. The last remains of its ruins were demolished in 1900. A second school with the castle's name stands a few metres away: the Danish Duborg Skolen. Both buildings were built shortly after the referendum on the German-Danish border demarcation in 1920, so they are also regarded as the result of a peaceful competition for the Danish/German "better building culture". An eye-catcher inside the HLA is the expressionist ceiling-painting of the staircase hall, which has been restored on the basis of photographs.
Danish culture is a definite part of Flensburg. So are the Danish schools. The Duborg Skolen was founded directly after the referendum on the German-Danish border demarcation (1920). Classes started in a private flat and the school building was erected in 1922. Architecturally, it is in the tradition of the "bedre byggeskik" ("better building culture"), the Danish variant of the German Heimatschutz (homeland protection) style. The school opened in 1924. In the beginning, Flensburg's mayor Hermann Todsen insinuated that "enemies of Germany" were growing up there. These reservations have long been a thing of the past. Today, more than 1,000 pupils from the Danish minority study at the school. For the graduation ceremony, they parade through the city wearing student caps. Some also jump into the harbour basin, where one or two hats can be seen floating to the sea afterwards.
Rum, shipyard and port city - Flensburg's history is deeply connected to the sea and maritime events. But what is the connection between rum, slaves and sugar? What was life like at the harbour? And what were the butter ships or rather spirit lines? Answers to these and many more questions about the city's seafaring tradition and colonial past can be found in the Maritime Museum. Incidentally, the museum itself is located in a harbour building, the former customs packing house, built in 1842/43. Until the 1960s, rum barrels, among other things, were stored in its cellar for customs officials to inspect. Today, the museum includes a café. In addition, the inner courtyard provides the scene for the annual music and culture festival "Flensburger Hofkultur" each summer.
Absalon, Lille Noor, Thor - even the names of the ships in the museum harbour reveal interesting stories. No wonder: only historic vessels are moored here. Many of them have experienced turbulent times, serving as fishing vessels - flatfish yawls, herring luggers and the like. Now, even though retired as fishing boats, they continue to sail. The converted shark cutter Dagmar Aaen, for example, is used as an expedition ship by polar explorer Arved Fuchs. The smaller old working boats are retained in the neighbouring Lüttfischerhafen (small fishers' harbour). So, whenever the historic wooden boats need repairs, it's not far to go. In the adjacent museum shipyard, traditional wooden boats are built according to historical designs. Here they are sanded and painted, repaired and maintained. Spectators welcome - also for a break in the shipyard café.