3rd Meeting of European World Heritage Associations


Strasbourg, Petite France
San Gimignano
Thingvellir National Park
  • Greeting

    A Warm Welcome

    on the website of the 3rd Meeting of European World Heritage Associations from 5 to 6 October 2017 in the Hanseatic City of Lübeck!

    On behalf of the German World Heritage Sites Association, the German Commission for UNESCO, and Lübeck and Travemünde Marketing GmbH, it is my great pleasure to announce this year’s Meeting of European World Heritage Associations in the city of Lübeck. With this meeting, we aim to consolidate our network at European level and to take the opportunity to exchange on the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 as well as on the upcoming European Cultural Heritage Year 2018.

    The host city of our meeting is the beautiful Hanseatic City of Lübeck, which was recognised as a World Heritage site in 1987 and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. For several centuries, Lübeck had been considered the Queen of the Hanseatic League, and to this day, it conveys the charm and spirit of a cosmopolitan and humane city.

    In 2007, it hosted the conference “UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe – A Network for Cultural Dialogue and Cultural Tourism”, which already underlined the importance of further strengthening the crucial role of World Heritage sites for the benefit of the dialogue and solidarity at European level in its “Lübeck Declaration”. 

    It will be an honour and a great pleasure for me to welcome you to Lübeck in order to build on the fruitful meetings in Strasbourg and Segovia in 2015 and 2016, and continue discussing our common goals and challenges for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention!

    Kind regards,

    Claudia Schwarz
    German World Heritage Sites Association

  • Programme

    Date: 5 to 6 October 2017

    Place: European Hansemuseum
    An der Untertrave 1, 23552 Lübeck, Germany

    Languages: English, French, German
    Registration required


    Thursday, 5 October 2017

    12:30 – 14:00 h
    Multilingual guided city tours

    15:30 – 17:00 h
    Opening Session at the European Hansemuseum

    19:00 h
    Reception at the Town Hall of Lübeck


    Friday, 6 October 2017

    09:00 – 12:30 h
    Presentations of Best Practice Examples with discussion

    Key Topics:          
    – Protecting and Managing World Heritage across Borders
    – Synergising World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism for Development
    – Communicating and Interpreting World Heritage as European Places of Encounter and Learning

    12:30 – 14:00 h
    Lunch Break

    14:00 – 16:00 h
    World Café on World Heritage in Europe and the Network of World Heritage Associations

    16:00 – 17:00 h
    Wrap-up and Conclusions

    17:00 h

  • Call for Contributions Sharing World Heritage

    Following the first two meetings in Strasbourg (2015) and Segovia (2016), the 3rd Meeting of European World Heritage Associations will take place in the Hanseatic City of Lübeck from 5 to 6 October 2017. The meeting is organised by the German World Heritage Sites Association, the German Commission for UNESCO and Lübeck & Travemünde Marketing GmbH.

    The meeting is going to take place at the European Hansemuseum in the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, whose historical centre was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987.

    With our meeting, we aim to consolidate the network of European World Heritage Associations by exchanging experiences and identifying solutions to shared challenges in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. We will thus build on the Strasbourg and Segovia Declarations as well as the Lübeck Declaration of 2007 and address the topics of cross-border protection and management, sustainable tourism, as well as presentation and interpretation of World Heritage. Taking into account the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018, the motto of our meeting will be “Sharing World Heritage”. Best practice examples from European World Heritage sites shall be the centre-pieces of this meeting.

    We invite you to actively contribute to the exchanges by sending in proposals for presentations on the topics delineated below. Contributions can feature cultural, natural and mixed World Heritage sites, and be national, transboundary or transnational serial properties.

    Europe is in many ways a continent shaped by exchange and mobility. The shared history of European communities and their interlinkages are particularly manifest at transboundary and transnational World Heritage sites. The components of 21 out of 34 transboundary and transnational sites worldwide are located in Europe. The management of these sites often requires to consider varying cooperation structures as well as legal and financial frameworks. Furthermore, a broad variety of bilateral partnerships for mutual support exist among World Heritage sites at the European and international levels; thus giving shape to the idea of solidarity enshrined in the World Heritage Convention.

    How can bi- or multi-lateral partnerships in World Heritage be successful? How can World Heritage Associations contribute to fruitful cooperation?

    World Heritage sites are key visitor attractions. To avoid becoming victims of their own success, they have to reconcile the challenge of increasing visitor numbers with sustainable management, local income generation, and quality education and awareness-raising. The UN have declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development in order to tackle these growing challenges and to stimulate a positive change in economics, corporate practices and consumer behaviour towards sustainable tourism, in line with the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.

    In which way can World Heritage sites and World Heritage Associations contribute to the development of sustainable tourism? What needs to be kept in mind when developing sustainable tourism offers? How can the diverse stakeholders (visitors, inhabitants, politicians, tourism providers, etc.) be sensitised on the issue of sustainable tourism?

    The protection of World Heritage – the core of the World Heritage Convention – can only be achieved when people worldwide realise the value of their sites. World Heritage sites create identity far beyond the local context; they appeal to and involve people around the world. Communicating (about) World Heritage is therefore crucial – not only through formal education activities, but also through various forms of civic engagement and public relations. 

    How can World Heritage be successfully communicated? How can the potential of World Heritage sites as learning spaces for peaceful coexistence be leveraged? Which positive examples exist in your country?

    Please note that short descriptions in English, French or German should not exceed 300 words and be accompanied by a short CV of the author.

    Kindly submit your proposal to whmeeting.luebeck2017#AT#unesco-welterbe#PUNKT#de with the following subject line: “Call for Contributions – Proposal“

    You can reach the organisation team at the same e-mail address for any question you may have. 

    Please submit your proposal before 28 July 2017.

    Decisions on the selection of proposals will be communicated in beginning of September 2017.

  • Past Meetings

    1st Meeting of European World Heritage Associations, 15 to 16 October 2015, Strasbourg

    The First Meeting of European World Heritage Associations focussed on getting to know each other and learning about the respective functioning and key activities. In the Declaration of Strasbourg the participants expressed their continued support of the values of UNESCO and their solidarity with the countries in which heritage is at risk.

    2nd Meeting of European World Heritage Associations, 20 to 21 October 2016, Segovia

    The Second Meeting of European World Heritage Associations was a successful continuation. The discussions centred on the social role of World Heritage and its establishment in society. The Declaration of Segovia thus calls for a greater involvement of civil society and a stronger identification with World Heritage through communication, education, training, public relations work as well as direct participation.

  • Impressions of the 3rd Meeting of European World Heritage Associations



    Day 1 (5 Oct 2017)

    Day 2 (6 Oct 2017)

  • About Lübeck






    The daily life of the people at times of the Hanseatic League and the intense trade relations between merchants and cities come alive in six impressive exhibition rooms at the European Hansemuseum. The eventful 800-year-old history of the Hanseatic League united the people of Europe and characterises many cities to this day. Innovative museum technology makes it possible for the visitors to experience daily moments of the times of the Hanseatic League: colourful cloth trade in Bruges, aromatic spices from Venice, dried cod from Bergen.

    European Hansemuseum

    The Town Hall of Lübeck undoubtedly belongs to the most beautiful town halls of Germany. The historic building entails different contemporary architectural styles, due to the fact that the town hall has been continuously renovated since its erection in the year 1230. Next to the Danzelhus (dance room), the audience hall, which used to serve as a courtroom, impresses with its rococo interior.

    Town Hall of Lübeck

    In 1987, Lübeck with its medieval Old Town centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the first time for a whole urban district in Northern Europe to gain this title. The building structure which developed over the centuries and is shaped by outstanding individual buildings accounts for Lübeck as an architectural heritage of worldwide significance. Deciding for the inclusion was the systematically created urban layout with the historic spatial structure of the streets and squares, the original historic building structure in the unscathed Old Town areas as well as the striking and unmistakable skyline with the seven church spires of the monumental churches. The World Heritage areal covers 3 areas in Lübeck's Old Town, which are highly relevant for the history and the development of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck. Those areas have maintained their historic character and demonstrate which power and historic significance the Hanseatic League and Lübeck used to have.

    Lübeck: UNESCO World Heritage

    Three unequaled Nobel Laureates and 13 exclusive museums, which offer unique treasures hidden behind old and new walls. Go on a travel through 800 years of thrilling Hanseatic history in the European Hansemuseum. Bring the novel of Thomas Mann "Buddenbrooks" to life, discover a piece of the Berlin Wall in the Willy-Brandt-House or experience the unique collection of historic and modern theater puppets from Africa, Asia and Europe at the TheaterFigurenMuseum.

    Culture at any time

    The best part of Lübeck's restaurant scene is its diverse choices providing a vast range of tastes and cuisines, of regional food or refined haute cuisine. Crave sweets for dessert? At the café Niederegger you will find the sweetest temptation - the original marzipan made in Lübeck. The almond speciality from the orient is as well popular as souvenir. A good drop of wine is the "Rotspon", a delicious Bordeaux and former commodity from the days of the Hanseatic League.


    Founded in 1143, the "Queen of the Hanseatic League" celebrates a round-numbered birthday in 2018: 875 years of Lübeck! There will be more than 30 events and festivals, from the Nordic Film Days to the Long Night of Open Museums, focusing on the 875th anniversary. Among them new reasons for travel such as the fascinating special exhibition of Lübeck's museums, the Long Night of Lübeck's Literature and the federal competition "Jugend musiziert" can be found. Lübeck celebrates all-year long, be part of it!

    Lübeck’s 875th anniversary

    The narrow alleyways and courtyards are witness of the medieval urban development in Lübeck. Due to the immense population growth in the second half of the 15th century also the number of inhabitants of Lübeck increased by one quarter. This fact led to a shortage of living space on the island shaped Old Town. To solve this problem, the gardens and courtyards of the Old Town houses have been started to be built on. Hence, the world-famous "Lübecker Gängeviertel" was created, which diversity is unique all over the world. Today, approximately 90 courtyards and alleyways can be discovered.

     Alleys and courtyards - hidden paradises
  • Practical Information

    Guided tours

    Register for one of the multilingual guided tours through the city of Lübeck on 5 October 2017 from 12:30h to 14:00h via the form below. You can register until 21 September 2017.

    Reservation form for guided tours



    For your stay in Lübeck you can book a room via the reservation service of the Lübeck tourism office by phone 0049 451 409 19 56 or by e-mail at



    You may, of course, make the reservation independently. For this purpose, please find a selection of hotels below or use the reservation facility on


    Das familiär geführte historische Hotel liegt auf der Altstadtinsel direkt an der Trave und dem Holstentor.




    Behind the classical façade 29 themed rooms invite to dream. The hotel is closely connected with the Hanseatic city and its history.




    The privately-owned Hotel Excelsior is centrally located between the train station and the Holsten Gate, only five minutes by feet from the Old Town.




    The hotel Hanseatischer Hof is an elegant, privately-owned four-star hotel in a sophisticated country house style. The guest expects a combination of Mediterranean flair and Hanseatic authenticity.




    The in 2004 renovated Holiday Inn Lübeck is centrally located at the castle gate. The hotel is equipped with modern, air-conditioned rooms with Lübeck flair.





    How to get there?

    It is easy to get to Lübeck, by car, train, coach, plane or by ship:


    From the North:
    A7 from Flensburg, A1 from Puttgarden


    From the East:
    A20 from Rostock, A24 from Berlin and A1 from Hamburg


    From the South:
    A7 from Hanover and A1 from Hamburg


    From the West:
    A1 from Bremen


    Deutsche Bahn long-distance trains are fast, affordable and environmentally-friendly. The rail’s travel information service not only knows all about train timetables but also when buses leave and how long it takes to walk to the next stop. The main station Lübeck is located just 700 metres from the Holsten Gate! For more information please visit


    You can travel comfortably and cheaply by remote bus from and to Lübeck. Look for your perfect connection at:


    Look for flights to Hamburg at: 


    Connection from Hamburg airport to Lübeck :
    The city train line S1 runs every ten minutes from Hamburg airport to Hamburg central station. From Hamburg central station you can go by train, which goes regularly to Lübeck, journey time to Lübeck approx. 45 minutes.


    Timetable at:


    The Scandinavia Quay is Travemünde’s gate to Scandinavia and the Baltic states. A regular ferry and passenger service connects Lübeck and Travemünde with Sweden, Finland and Latvia.


    Ferry connections

    TT-Line: Travemünde–Trelleborg

    FINNLINES: Travemünde–Helsinki | Travemünde–Malmö

    Stena Line: Travemünde–Liepãja