History of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit Foundation

The Hospital of the Holy Spirit is still today witness to a significant social initiative of the Middle Ages. The care, piety and wealth of Lübeck merchants as well as concern for the welfare of their own souls led to the building of the Hospital on Koberg (between 1260 and 1286) with significant involvement of the city council.

The Hospital is consequently one of Europe's oldest social institutions. At the same time it is one of most important building monuments to North German Brick Gothic. The Hospital was able to take in over 100 sick or needy elderly people. The wooden chambers in the large hall, the nave, were only built in the early 19th century.

The 170 places in the old people's home were always sought after. Even the last residents left their chambers, called "cubbyholes", only reluctantly in 1970. The basis for the expansion and maintenance of the Hospital was the rest of the foundation's assets, including at various times the villages of Curau, Krumbeck, Dissau and Scharbeutz and also lands in Pomerania, Saxony and on the island of Poel, in Lübeck the Mönkhof, Falkenhusen and Bertramshof estates as well as some tracts of land in front of the Mühlentor and Burgtor (Heiligen-Geist-Kamp).

The foundation's assets were able to be steadily increased thanks to the astute financial policy of the management (mayor and Lübeck merchants). Holdings in the Lüneburg salt works and mills, rights to third party land, mortgages, land rents and capital assets supplemented the rich land holdings of the Hospital.

Even today the foundation pays for its purpose by the letting and leasing of land holdings. The Krumbeck, Behlendorf and Albsfelde estates, leasehold properties on the Heiligen-Geist-Kamp and allotments on the Wakenitz constitute its basic assets.

History in a table