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The extensive town hall building complex was built between 1230 and 1570 and today we are able to admire
its unconventional and interesting combination of building styles, from Gothic to Renaissance, resulting
from the long period of time it took to construct.
In the 'respectable Ratskeller', as the heavy vaults on which the town hall lies were called originally, the council
added a wine cellar to it for the city republic, which was first used for storing huge quantities of Rhine wine in.
The council chose two so-called 'winmesters' or 'winherren' (wine masters) from the cremium to be in charge of
supervising the costly liquid in the cellar. It was said that Lübeck's shoppers already travelled to the Rhine
to buy the wine by the year 1224.
The wine masters strictly assured that all the powerful wine barrels arriving in the city via waggon or by water also
ended up in the cellar under the town hall, as the council had ordered.
When the new wine arrived, the two wine masters tested it and also established a price at which the barrels
could then be distributed.
Until the mid 1900s, the cellar under the town hall served as a storage area for larger wine stocks; yet the noble
wine was not only stored here. but served too.
Between the rows of mighty barrels sitting below the high cellar arches, one drank the tasty Rhine wine in comfort.
From 1478 onwards, women were also allowed to visit the cellar and partake in its festivities, with Lübeck
being more liberal than other German cities.
When the Hanseatic (Hamburg) council invited royalty and other lavish guests to the cellar, huge amounts of roast
pork, grilled chicken and fish were carried in, for which the 'cellar master' was responsible.
In 1666 the cellar was leased for the first time. Rathskeller master Jacobi founded the long tradition of Lübecker
Rathskeller hospitality, which has remained alive through to the present day.
Under the high arches of the beautiful historic premises, the Lübeckers and their Hanseatic guests enjoy fine
Holstein cuisine, noble wines and very drinkable beer.
For his achievement in gastronomy, Joachim Berger was appointed Rathskellermeister (town hall cellar foreman)
of the Hanseatic city Lübeck.