HANSEATIC CITY LUEBECK
The Buddenbrookhouse -
Where Thomas Mann played in the sand
The Buddenbrookhouse in No. 4 Mengstraße nearby the Marienchurch looks back to an interesting history: Built in 1758 by Johann Michael Croll, a merchant from Marburg, it was bought by Johann Siegmund Mann, the grandfather of Heinrich and Thomas Mann, in 1841. Untill 1891 the house was in the possession of the family Mann. Two years later the Hansetown Lübeck bought it. In course of time the house served for several purposes for example as land registry office, station for night-watchmen, common reading-room or as bureau for Lübeck's lottery.
With the opening of the "Buddenbrook Book Shop" in 1922, under the presence of Thomas Mann, the Buddenbrookhouse became a centre for literature for the first time. At the night of Palm Sunday in 1942 one fifth of the historical town was destroyed during a british bomb raid. The Buddenbrookhouse was completely destroyed through bombs. Only the fassade and the cellar-vaults remained. From 1954 to 1957 a bank-house restored the ruin and opened a branch.
In 1991 Lübeck again bought the Buddenbrookhouse with the financial help of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Land Schleswig-Holstein.
The Buddenbrookhouse was considered to be the ideal place to establish a modern centre of Heinrich and Thomas Mann-studies. In the upper storey and in the cellar-vaults changing exhibitions, conferences, film-presentations and readings take place. A public information centre about Heinrich and Thomas Mann is planned.