The Holsten gate (“Holstentor“) is a city gate of Lübeck, Germany. It is located in the west of the old city center just across the river Trave. Holsten in that case means the region of Holstein, an area forming part of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. The city gate is four levels high and contains today a museum about the history of the city.
The building is made of red brick as typical in that area. On one side it carries the letters S.P.Q.L. meaning Senatus populusque Lubecensis – the senate and people of Lübeck; copying the S.P.Q.R. of Rome. On the other side you can read Concordia domi foris pax, translated as “harmony within, peace without“. The Holsten gate is a bit slant and is bowing for many many years – the first restauration to preserve the building has already been made in 1933.
The Holsten gate is the most important landmark of Lübeck and it is very well known because it was the decoration on the 50 DM banknote – just until the Euro was introduced. After this it could be found on the 2 Euro coins of Germany. A lot of companies like the marchpane fabricant Niederegger use the Holsten gate in their company symbols.