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Lüneburg, or Lunenburg, is an attractive town in northern Germany. Situated a short distance from the city of Hamburg, it has an important mercantile history and is now home to one university and around 7,000 students.
Far from being overshadowed by its larger neighbour, Lüneburg has plenty to recommend it as a postgraduate study destination.
The city first rose to prominence as a centre for mining and extracting salt – a valuable commodity in the middle ages. Legend has it that this potential was discovered when a local hunter slew a boar and found salt crystals on its coat. The leg bone of the same bull is said to be preserved (appropriately enough) in the town’s museum.
Lüneburg developed further as a member of the Hanseatic League, a confederation of mercantile cities whose principles of cooperation and trade shaped their outlook as well as their architecture. Luneburg today benefits from both, with some of the best-preserved historic buildings in Germany and a culture that welcomes international visitors and students.
Local attractions include the twelfth-century Lüne Abbey (still in use today) as well as network of beautiful churches, one of which once numbered a certain Johann Sebastien Bach amongst its choirboys.
As you might expect from a historic German town, Lüneburg played an important role in brewing, and a local museum is dedicated to this legacy. Many of the local breweries have now moved to nearby Hamburg, but it’s still possible to relax with an authentic Luneburger beer if you know where to look – and, as a resident postgraduate, you soon will. The town also hosts its own Oktoberfest each September (don’t think about it too much).
With Hamburg (and its major international rail and airport services) only 30 miles away, getting to and from Lüneburg is relatively easy. However, the town’s small size means that accommodation can be tricky to find if you leave it too late. Your best bet is to contact the university’s Leuphania Accommodation Service.
Leuphania University is the town’s only local higher education institution. Established as a college of education in 1946, the university now offers some of Germany’s newest postgraduate programmes with Masters and PhD programmes offered through its dedicated graduate school. Around 15% of its students are international.
Look slightly further afield and you have access to a wide range of universities in Hamburg, including some of the largest in Germany.
Lüneburg has moved on somewhat since its days as a centre for salt-mining (you may be pleased to hear). Today graduates have access to opportunities with local industries and commercial organisations, many of which are based in the dedicated Lünepark industrial and entrepreneurial hub.
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