Historical Tour in SchleswigOld town and fishermens settlement holm
Plessenhof with Tourist Information Centre
Dr. Friedrich Licht had this imposing, stuccoed brick villa constructed to the west of the Cathedral in 1798, naming it Bellevue. Used as a military hospital during the Second Schleswig War of 1864, it once hosted German Emperor Wilhelm I before entering the possession of Baron Hugo von Plessen, whose name adorns what is now known as the Plessenhof.Baron Hugo von Plessen was the first Prussian Landrat, or district administrator, of the new County of Schleswig created in 1867. His house was later acquired by the shipowner Heinrich C. Horn, founder of the Horn shipping line which operated in Hamburg until 2009.
From 1921, the building was used first as a German-American orphanage. Today, the Plessenhof houses the Tourist Information Centre of the city of Schleswig and the local tourism association, Ostseefjord Schlei GmbH.
Bishop’s Residence by St. Peter’s Cathedral
Bishop Nicolaus Wulf, who proclaimed the election of King Christian I of Denmark as Duke of Schleswig and Count of Holstein, ordered the construction of an administrative centre in the mid-15th century. As the bishop’s arms above the portal indicate, the building served as the bishop’s residence whenever he had official business in Schleswig. At the start of the 18th century, Johann Ludwig Pincier von Königstein expanded the bishop’s palace and gave it its modern shape as an imposing palazzo. It included an orangery and a pleasure garden with a fountain on today’s Plessenstraße. Sadly, these charming elements have not survived to the present day.
Cathedral of St. Peter at Schleswig
The Cathedral of St. Peter, first appearing in the archives in 1134, was completed in the late 13th century as a Gothic high choir. Of the cathedral’s furnishings to have survived the Reformation, the frescoes, Altar of the Magi, sculptural groups of Christ carrying the cross and a triumphal cross, choir stalls, and bronze baptismal font are particularly worthy of mention. Later, donations and artworks from Schleswig’s rulers and great nobles further enriched the cathedral, such as the cenotaph of King Frederik I. The 112-metre-high Gothic Revival west tower, which has dominated Schleswig’s skyline since 1894, was the gift of a later ruler, German Emperor Wilhelm II. One particular jewel to be found in the Cathedral is the 16th-century Brüggemann-Altar with its nearly 400 carved oak figures. Originally created for the collegiate church in Bordesholm, it was moved to its present location in 1666.
Alte Hofapotheke and Café
Between St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Rathausmarkt are many buildings worth a closer look. South of the Cathedral, the 17th-century Hattensche Hof dominates the streetscape. At the corner with Pastorenstraße stands the modest Ebers-Hof, where Russian Tsar Peter the Great briefly resided during the Great Northern War. The Marienhospital at the corner of Hafenstraße is a memento of the later Queen Maria of Denmark, who laid the cornerstone for this municipal almshouse in 1790. Diagonally across the street, the oldest house in Schleswig stands out: used as a pharmacy from 1517 until 1952, it was built on the foundations of the medieval guildhall.
This Neoclassical brick building was erected on the foundations of a decrepit Franciscan monastery in 1794. The facade facing the market square features four Tuscan columns supporting an awning. Above this, contrasting lateral pilaster strips frame the next two stories. The Estates of the Duchy of Schleswig first convened here in the Great Hall from 1836 until 1846. It was also here that the dispute over whether the official language of Schleswig-Holstein would be German, Danish, or both broke out in November 1842. The building remained a site of parliamentary democracy, later housing the Prussian provincial parliament, which met here from 1879 to 1904. Today, the local council meets in the former Estates Chamber.
The dressed granite blocks of this structure are evidence of the Danish royal palace that once stood here. The property was donated to the Franciscan Order by Abel, Duke of Schleswig, who became King of Denmark after the murder of his brother Erik IV in 1250 – a murder Abel was widely believed to have ordered. The Franciscans, also known as the Graukloster (Greyfriars) due to their grey religious habits, built a monastery on the site. The frescoes in the Gothic Room are particularly remarkable, including a crucifixion scene dating from the second half of the 13th century. With the coming of the Reformation to Denmark, the monks were expelled and the monastery dissolved in 1528/29. King Frederik I donated much of its property to establish a charitable foundation for the city’s poor. Since 1983, the restored monastic buildings have housed the municipal administration.