Lüneburg: a sinking district - the subsidence area
Lüneburg became rich from the mining of salt. The salt lies below the
town and reaches just below the surface of the earth. But wealth has its price!
In many places you can see the transition.
Also, many of the historic houses are affected and have cracks, are crooked, or
have had to be abandoned altogether. Many residents have had to secure their historic
homes with concrete anchors.
The salt extraction was done by
pumping salt water under the ground and thereby creating cavities - these are
responsible for the subsidence today. At the crossroads "Waagestrasse /
Neue Sülze" you can observe this quite clearly: the area was formerly
straight and now clearly falls away in the direction of "Auf dem Meere".
Here you will find the demolition edge of the subsidence area.
In the street "Auf dem Meere" there are picturesque residential and craft houses from the 16th and 17th centuries;
these were not spared from the subsidence - you used to go up three steps to
the front door, but now you sometimes even have to go one down. The
consequences of subsidence are also visible at St. Michael's Church with the
leaning columns and the west wing in the nave.
But the subsidence is monitored
professionally: at 240 measuring points, the subsidence is checked every two
years, but to date it has not stopped. The area can be entered without
problems and is also used by cars.