Lubeck is a city in the German state of Schleshwig-Holstein, on the Trave River near the Baltic Sea. The most important Baltic seaport of the country. Among the city's landmarks are the Romanesqu Cathedral (begun 1173) and the 13th century Rathaus (city hall). Founded on the site of a ruined Slavic settlement, Lubeck was destroyed by fire in 1138. The present city dates from 1143, when it was re-built. It developed as an important economic and cultural center for the entire Baltic area. In 1358 it was chosen as the administrative headquarters for the Hanseatic League. Its importance lasted until the 15th century, when the league began to crumble. Napoleon I made it part of his empire in 1806, and 1815 it was part of the German Confederation. Lubeck later became part of the North German Confederation and , in 1871, part of the German Empire. The Elbe-Lubeck Canal, opened in 1900, and brought new prosperity.
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