Historical Museum Building
Lübeck’s Museum of Theatre Puppets – A place with a history
The Museum of Theatre Puppets spans multiple buildings: Kolk 14, 16, 18 and the St.-Jürgen-Gang 5, 6, and 7. Just like our exhibits, the buildings tell stories that want to be told.
The St.-Jürgen-Gang is visible from the Kleine Petersgrube, on the right next to the museum entrance. There is evidence that the Gang already used to be a courtyard in 1342 and in 1470, it already consisted of the front-house and three huts. The buildings in the St.-Jürgen-Gang 5, 6, and 7 were originally used as typical Gang houses. They date from the late 16th century (Renaissance).
In 1975, the buildings were gutted and converted into a museum. The front of the buildings is under monumental protection. You can access the St.-Jürgen-Gang via the Kleine Petersgrube 4 (closed). Above the round-arched "Taustabportal" there is a double coat-of-arms (on the left the knight St. George, on the right a mill wheel with lily) and the following inscription:
Whar dine Thunge mit flit
Und truwe Godt
De segen et alle tidt.
The buildings in Kolk 14 and 16 have their own street facades and roofs with stepped gables from the 16th century.
Wall remains prove that the building in Kolk 18 had a predecessor from the early 14th century. Archival news goes as far back as the late 13th century (first mentioned in 1297) for the building in Kolk 14, more specifically to the early 14th century (house purchase 1327). The narrow house No. 16 was built around 1574.
The original high-level facilities of house Kolk 16 and passageways to house no. 14 indicate that Kolk 16 was designed to connect to no. 14. Important baroque interior paintings have been found inside no. 16, but were only secured and panelled presumably due to a lack of money for the restoration. Kolk 16 probably functioned as a side wing or outbuilding. Because of its unusual dimensions, Kolk 16 is of particular historical and socio-historical interest: approximately 9 meters deep and 13 meters high, it is only 3 meters wide. Despite its narrowness, it asserts a claim to be an independent house with its 3 entire floors and a separate gable.
Kolk – the name of the street
There are two different explanations for the unusual street name:
One theory declares that the street was named after Gerhard vom Kolke, who owned properties here in the 14th century. Another theory is that the name derives from the fact that north of the Marlesgrube, water streams flowed down to the Trave. The ancient street names “Kiesau”, “Depenau” and “Kolk” are reminiscent of that fact.
The term “Kolk” comes from Kule=Kuhle=Tiefe (pit), which was hollowed by overflowing water.
In 1334, the street name “To dem Kolke” was first mentioned to describe the former premises of Kolk 14–20. Only in the 15th century was the name applied to the whole street.