Herzogtum Lauenburg


Herzogtum Lauenburg

Infobox German district noregbez
name=Herzogtum Lauenburg
state=Schleswig-Holstein
capital=Ratzeburg
area=1263
population=182,600
population_as_of=2002
density=145
carsign=RZ
url= [http://www.herzogtum-lauenburg.de herzogtum-lauenburg.de]

Herzogtum Lauenburg is the southernmost "Kreis", or district, of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is bordered by (from the west and clockwise) the district of Stormarn, the city of Lübeck, the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (districts of Nordwestmecklenburg and Ludwigslust), the state of Lower Saxony (districts of Lüneburg and Harburg), and the city state of Hamburg. The district Herzogtum Lauenburg (literally "Duchy of Lauenburg") is named after the former Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg.

Geography

This area contains a number of historically important towns, e.g. Lauenburg/Elbe, Mölln and Ratzeburg. This importance was due to the Old Salt Route ("Alte Salzstraße"), one of the major medieval trade routes. Salt from the salt-works south of the Elbe river was transported northward to Lübeck. The transport of salt was also the motive for constructing the oldest artificial waterway of Europe, the Stecknitz Canal (1398). It was replaced in 1900 by the Elbe-Lübeck Canal.

The landscape is characterized by numerous lakes, forming the Lauenburg Lakes Nature Park. The largest lake is the Ratzeburger See with an area of 16 km².

History

The district Herzogtum Lauenburg is named after the medieval Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, which was one of the remnants of the original Duchy of Saxony. The Duchy of Saxony was divided in 1260 into the two states of Saxe-Wittenberg and Saxe-Lauenburg.

Saxe-Lauenburg was also known simply as Lauenburg. While the territory of Saxe-Wittenberg changed drastically over the centuries, the Duchy of Lauenburg remained almost unchanged, until it lost its independence in 1689, when it was inherited by the Principality of Lüneburg. From 1815-1864 it belonged to the Duke of Holstein and the King of Denmark, who was one and the same. In 1864 it fell to Prussia after the Second Schleswig War. For a short period Lauenburg was still an autonomous entity, but in 1876 it was incorporated as a district into the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein.

Lauenburg was the first capital of the district. In 1937 the city of Ratzeburg, which had formerly been a part of Mecklenburg, became a part of the district.

Politics

Coat of arms

External links

* [http://www.herzogtum-lauenburg.de Official website] de icon


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