The Hanseatic City of Lübeck (Hansestadt Lübeck) is the largest German port on the Baltic Sea and the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, situated at the mouth of the river Trave (hence the name of its port suburb Travemünde). The city has been an important port since the 12th century. Lübeck and nearby Hamburg founded what became the powerful Hanseatic League of ports and trading towns. History also has a sweeter side for Lübeck - it is globally known for the finest marzipan.
The old town (Altstadt) of Lübeck, although considerably damaged during the Second World War, has survived from medieval times in a pretty much unchanged or truthfully rebuilt form. It is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city centre's medieval skyline, mainly composed of seven Gothic-style church towers, is still intact. Lübeck is surrounded by parts of the old city walls with two of the original four city gates left. Most notable is the Holsten Gate (Holstentor) which was the motif on the German 50-Deutsche Mark banknote prior to reunification, when the bills were redesigned.