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Lübeck, sometimes spelt Luebeck, is a city on the northern coast of Germany, just north and east of Hamburg.

The city was founded in 1143 by Count Adolf II of Schauenburg as a trading center. Its key position by the Baltic sea allowed it to quickly rise as one of the important port cities in northern Europe.

In 1226, Emperor Friedrich II named Lübeck a free imperial city, independant of local dukes and the church. Lübeck continued to grow economically, and began to spread its influence in the form of the Hanseatic League. The League was federation of port cities that banded together in the middle ages to protect and regulate trade. Lübeck was the administrative center and the heart of the League.

As the Hanseatic League began to lose power and influence in the 16th century, Lübeck started to decline as well. Lübeck is now a small port city and minor business center.

Though it was partially destroyed in World War II, the restored Old City is an amazing glimpse into the middle ages, and the city's Holsten Gate is a world-reknowned landmark. Lübeck's Old city is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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