The finest day-trip from Lübeck is RATZEBURG, 23km south. Approach by boat in a summer heat-haze and it seems almost like a mirage: a cluster of red roofs and a green copper tower afloat in a lake. The trick is that the town is clustered on an island at the south end of the elongated Ratzeburger See. Indeed the geography inspired the town – the island’s defensive possibilities caught the eye of Saxon duke Henry the Lion as he marched north to found Lübeck in the mid-1100s.

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