“Hanse Steinreich” Exhibition at the European Hansa Museum

"Hansa Steinreich" at the European Hansa Museum



3.7/5 Pros

  • Interesting displays
  • Nice idea to display the Hansa history in LEGO Cons

  • Rather high price
  • Some displays are a bit of boring
  • Feels like a replica of the museum, nothing new

There was a duplicate reason to visit the European Hansa Museum in Lübeck in late July 2021: apart from the amazing main exhibition, which I reviewed in a separate posting, they drove the temporary exhibition Hanse Steinreich. The name means “Hansa Stinking Rich” if you try to translate the meaning. Word by word, however, the exhibition means “Hansa – Rich as stone” or “Rich as Bricks”. Long story short: the temporary exhibition showed famous Hansa scenes (which you all see in the museum as well) in interlocking building bricks by the market leader – or, as you would call them, LEGOs.


Hanse Steinreich Exhibition – Location & Admission

The exhibition takes place in the Burgkloster, the former monastry on top of the today’s museum. The traffic connections are of course equivalent as I explained them to you in the main posting about the museum.

The special exhibition opened in late May 2021 and is expected to close on 7th November 2021 (at the time of writing). The opening times of the LEGO exhibition is in line with the usual museum hours, 10:00 to 18:00 hrs daily. Adult admission is 8 Euro.


Hanse Steinreich Exhibition – The Visit

The exhibition has been created by Rene Hoffmeister, who is the only German LEGO certified builder and designs dioramas like this in his Brick Fabrik. You are greeted by a LEGO figure of the former major of Lübeck and some general introduction. There is also a LEGO-style introduction video. The first scale model you see is a huge Lübeck style warehouse with numerous scenes from life at former Hansa times. Most of the models come with general information about what is displayed, but also the number of bricks used and the weight of the model. When you head into the main exhibition area, the first model is a large size cog (Kogge). I felt that the ship model is cool, but feels a bit of cold and not that detailed.

Traveling Through Hansa Cities in LEGO Bricks

If you head to the left from the main entrance, you run into three scenes, which you find very similarly in the museum as well. The first one is called On The Newa and reflects late 14th century life near Novgorod. A very rural, wild scenery. the glass box in the middle (unfortunately, the glass leads to ugly reflections) was my favorite, the Old Hall in Bruges, which has also been one of the most impressive parts of the museum. Brick-Fabrik display a lot of small stories and scenes. You also see that it is much more favorable to have rather large dioramas in mini figure scale compared to having to build figures from scratch as well.

Last, but not least, this section of the museum has a look at London around 1500. I of course liked that one of the sails featured the Cologne coat of arms – but apart from that, all the stories told in this exhibit were really entertaining. Kids are encouraged to deeply explore the displays with a list of tasks to be fulfilled.

Three More – That’s It

After exploring these three displays, you head to the opposite side of the exhibition space. One display shows Bergen already in the rather late stages of the Hansa. I like the Nordic building style. Overall, this display did not touch me that much, more. Exploring the Hansetag, the regular meeting of the Hansa cities, in the next box, was more enjoyable to me. Nonetheless, I love when these places show a lot of civil scenes which give you a lot of small stories to explore (even if they are weird or scary)..

Last, but not least, the last display is showing how the plaque has influenced Lübeck life. There are quite some mini figures – most of them are dead, though. A lot of graves and people just about to receive their final blessings. An impressive display, but again a bit of limited. The provider is a commercial company, which simply has to limit the effort to stay profitable. Unfortunately, this is already the last display in the exhibition. You pass some interesting places like a former prison on the way out.




Hanse Steinreich Exhibition – Services

There are no dedicated services (apart from sanitary facilities) at this part of the exhibition. Shops and refreshment are offered by the main building of the European Hansa Museum.


Hanse Steinreich Exhibition – My View

I feel it is so hard to give a assign rating for the Hanse Steinreich exhibition. Doing these kinds of model worlds with LEGO brick or one of their peers is fascinating. I like to explore the stories which the Hansa Museum and their partner displayed. What I majorly struggle with are two points: first of all, there could be more stories. London and Bruges are great, you can spend 20 minutes and more at each of them. Other displays feel not competitive in that. The cog is maybe impressive at first sight, but too boring thereafter.

If you count the figure of the major as an exhibit, you get nine models and the coat of arms of Lübeck in LEGO bricks for eight Euro. To me, this feels to be a too high price – especially as you feel to get an bricked replica of the main museum. Happy to discuss with you if you have a different opinion.


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