Study Weekend 2017

Event report

This year’s study weekend took place in the old Hanseatic city of Lübeck near the Baltic coast. The event kicked off with a traditional networking dinner which hosted a mix of good food, pleasant surroundings and animated conversation with new and old friends and acquaintances.

The main study event began on Saturday morning in the Hanse Museum, a new building dedicated to the history of this commercial association. The proceedings were opened by German Society chairwoman Stephanie Tarling, where she welcomed the attendees and thanked Walter Chromik and Christopher Sholl for their support and enthusiasm.

Prof. Horst Wernicke D. Phil presented a talk about Hanseatic history and details about the growth of the Hanseatic trade network and power politics at that time.

Dr Paul Richards followed up with a talk about the British towns that traded with the Hanse and how their tradings took place.

Third speaker, Christopher Sholl, gave a personal account of his upbringing in three cultures, German, English and the military life. As a post-war baby born to a German mother and British father serving in the forces, he shared his childhood memories of Lübeck.

Attendees were also taken on a guided tour around the Hanse Museum, which was skilfully arranged to show a complete scene of Hanseatic life.

The weekend closed with a choice between a boat trip around Lübeck or a walking tour of Lübeck, taken by Christopher, and lunch at a riverside restaurant.

The 2017 study weekend will take us to Lübeck. This former capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League was founded in the 12th century and prospered until the 16th century as the major trading centre for northern Europe. Despite the damage it suffered during the 2nd World War, the basic structure of the old city, consisting mainly of 15th and 16th century patrician residences, public monuments, churches and salt storehouses, remains unaltered.


Topic: The Hanseatic League – Myth and Reality
Dates: Friday 15 September 2017 – Sunday 17 September 2017
Location: Lübeck (map)
Language: Presentations will be in German and English and guided tours in English

Friday 15 September

Morning and/or afternoon (optional): Literary Lübeck – The city was home to celebrated writers Thomas and Heinrich Mann as well as Günter Grass. Arrive early and go on self-guided visits to the museums dedicated to these writers: 1. The Buddenbrooks House (Map reference: D5) 2. Günter Grass Haus (Map reference: D4)

Get-together from 7.00pm (but no later than 8.00pm, please) to kick-start the study weekend over a networking dinner at Restaurant Potters, An der Obertrave 9, 23552 Lübeck (Map reference: F7)

Saturday 16 September

We have already secured two speakers for our half-day Saturday morning conference, which will take place in the Europäisches Hansemuseum - An der Untertrave 1, 23552 Lübeck. (Map reference: B4). This is the largest museum in the world dedicated to the history of the Hansa.

Our speakers

Dr Paul Richards is an eminent local historian from King’s Lynn where he was the Mayor from 1998-2000. King’s Lynn was once a kontor (foreign trading post) of the Hanseatic League and it boasts the only surviving Hansa building in England. Dr Richards has a particular interest in the Hansa and has had essays published on Hanseatic history. He will give us a talk on “England (and Scotland) & The Hanseatic League Past & Present”.

Christopher Sholl is a retired teacher and a long-standing member of the GS. He has an abiding and intense interest in the city of Lübeck where he spent many summer holidays as a young boy. When he became a student Christopher worked during the summer on ships sailing from Lübeck following the old Hanseatic routes. Christopher will share his memories in an interactive session: “Lübeck and the Hansa during the Cold War – A personal memoir". 

After the conference we will repair to the Museum’s restaurant for lunch after which there will be a guided tour through the Museum’s exhibition. Thereafter you can spend some more time looking round the museum or go outside and stroll along the Trave or through the winding alleys of Lübeck’s old city.

Dinner will be at 7.00pm in the ‘Admiralszimmer’ in the Ratskeller zu Lübeck, Markt 13, 23552. (Map reference: E6). (This was the venue for a dinner during the G7 summit in 2015). Our meal will be followed by a ‘soirée of songs and poems of the sea’.

Sunday 17 September

On Sunday morning you can choose to go on a walking tour of old Lübeck, led by Christopher Sholl. Alternatively, you can join a boat tour, sit back, relax and see Lübeck from the water. We’ll round off the weekend with lunch at a suitable venue.


In addition to your travel, accommodation and meal costs the GS will ask all participants for a contribution towards the cost of the weekend’s events. We expect this to be in the €30 range (a little more for non GS/CIOL members).


By plane: Hamburg is the closest international airport to Lübeck. From there you can take an
S-Bahn to Hamburg main station (journey time about 25 minutes). From there you can take a
Regional Express (RE) train directly to Lübeck main station. These trains run approx. every
30 minutes and the journey time is 45 minutes.

By train: below please find the shortest train journey times to Lübeck from major German

  • Berlin 2 hours 38 minutes
  • Cologne 5h
  • Frankfurt/ Main 4h50m
  • Hanover 2h12m
  • Munich 6h26m

For train connections: please consult the Deutsche Bahn website.


We have not reserved a contingent of rooms. Below please find a selection of budget hotels with an indication of price per night. Please check the price before you book. Please make your own reservations (by email or telephone) directly with the hotels.

Close to the main station:
1. Hotel Stadt Lübeck (Map reference: E10)
Single room with breakfast starting at €51, double room with breakfast €77
2. Park Hotel am Lindenplatz (Map reference: E8)
Single room with breakfast starting at €75 per night, double room with breakfast €104.50
3. Hotel Lindenhof (Map reference F9)
Single room with breakfast starting at €94 per night, double room with breakfast €128.00

Short bus ride from the main station …(Map reference: L6)
1. IBIS Budget
Single room only starting at €45, double room only starting at €55 (breakfast: €7.50 p.p.)
2. Traveller Hotel
Single room only starting at €42, double room only starting at € 66 (breakfast: €7.50 p.p.)


If you’d like to join us in Lübeck in 2017 then please complete the registration form (.docx) and send it to the email address provided.

GS/CIOL members will be given priority until 31 March 2017.

If you have any questions please contact

September 15th, 2017 9:00 AM   to   September 17th, 2017 4:00 PM
Events +
Category German Language Society
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German Society