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Schweine Knochen im Rathaus Lüneburg
Alte Kanzlei, Lüneburg Rathaus

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Why there is a pig bone in Lüneburg Town Hall?

In the Middle Ages the Hanseatic League town of Lüneburg became very rich due to salt. The only means of preservation, apart from drying, was won in the Lüneburg saltworks, known as the Sülze saltworks.


 

In the Middle Ages the salt water was heated in the salt pans of the boiling houses until the water had evaporated and only the salt was left. Master salters, so-called salt masters, oversaw the extraction and were highly respected.

Even today salt still comes out of the ground in the form of a saline spring and the subject of "salt" is still a theme to be found throughout the entire town.

 

Read the story of how salt was discovered:

More than 1000 years ago there was a lot of forest and marsh around Lüneburg.

Two hunters were hunting a female wild boar that was rolling around in the mud. They were lying in wait for the sow and wanted to bring it down but they failed. Mortally wounded, the sow managed to flee through the undergrowth in the forest. The hunters immediately followed the tracks of the wounded animal.

In a clearing they caught sight of the sow, lying dead in the sun. They thought a miracle had taken place as the bristles of the wild boar had become snow white.

They approached it and felt its coat, mysteriously gleaming in the sun. The hunters noticed that the boar’s bristles were full of salt crystals.

Going back to the place their hunt had started, where the sow had been wallowing in the mud, they tried the water and ascertained it was salty.

That’s how the first saline pool was found, later to become the salt source for the Lüneburg saltworks.

 

By the way the boar was not eaten but preserved in an act of gratitude.  One can still today marvel at the shoulder bone of the salt sow in a glass case in the old chancery of the Lüneburg Town Hall.


 

 

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