Lüneburg

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Lüneburg
Coat of arms of Lüneburg
Lüneburg is located in Germany
Lüneburg
Coordinates 53°15′9″N 10°24′52″E / 53.2525°N 10.41444°E / 53.2525; 10.41444
Administration
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Lüneburg
Town subdivisions 24 districts
Lord Mayor Ulrich Mädge (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 70.34 km2 (27.16 sq mi)
Elevation 17 m  (56 ft)
Population 72,057  (31 December 2006)
 - Density 1,024 /km2 (2,653 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate LG
Postal codes 21335–21337–21339
Area code 04131
Website www.lueneburg.de

Lüneburg is a city in Lower Saxony in north Germany. It is about 50km southeast of Hamburg. It is the capital of the District of Lüneburg. About 102,660 people live there.

The Ilmenau River, a tributary of the Elbe, flows through Lüneburg.

In medieval times the town was very rich due to the salt trade. Salt used to be transported along the Old Salt Route to the Baltic Sea from where it was sent by ship to other countries. There were salt mines near the town for a thousand years. Salt mining stopped in 1980. The salt mining caused a lot of deforestation. The countryside changed into heathland which is called the Lüneburger Heide (Lüneburg Heath).

On May 23, 1945 the Nazi war criminal Heinrich Himmler committed suicide in Lüneburg after he had been captured by the British Army. He swallowed a potassium cyanide capsule before his interrogation could begin.

Lüneburg is twinned with Scunthorpe, England.

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