The beauty of the city

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.

Restoration of the Lübeck Synagogue

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 day of the reopening will always be linked with a feeling of gratitude for the dedicated work of so many people. For the Foundation the beauty of this place is embodied by the fact that it does not cover up the historical caesuras but allows them to be seen. This is a place where Jewish life in Lübeck can form new friendships.

Restoration of a historic house in Hartengrube

The house at 34 Hartengrube (yellow) was considered to be a banal building of no historic significance. It only became clear when the building site was being prepared that this is actually a very old house whose origins date back to the year 1378. According to the owners, the house had been “filled up, messed up and run down” over the past few decades. Now it was carefully restored to its former style in agreement with the listed buildings authority. The masonry was repaired and missing bricks were replaced with the appropriate historic material. By restoring the house the family have unearthed and revealed one of Lübeck’s hidden treasures.


Possehl Foundation Lübeck

Beckergrube 38 – 52
D-23552 Lübeck
E-Mail: possehl-stiftung(at)
Tel.: +49 (0)451 148-200

Find Out More

Our publications

More about the Foundation

Here you can find our annual reports, Emil Possehl’s will, and the brand eins Wissen magazine to mark our 100th anniversary.


Emil Possehl's bequest

Our articles of association

The Foundation only supports non-profit and charitable causes and “promotes all that is good and beautiful in Lübeck”.