Taxes, duties, whatever it is you want to call it, no one wants to pay them. Other than death, the only thing that’s ever a sure guarantee in life is you’re going to pay taxes. The townsfolk in the town of Reppenstedt took this thought to a whole new level.
Reppenstedt is Lüneburg‘s neighbor, a town that was big on the old salt trade routes. In order to make sure business owners (merchants, if you will) paid their duties in Lüneburg they devised a system for them not being able to circumvent the city.
It’s known as the Alte Lüneburger Landwehr, a “defense” system of moats and mounds to keep travelers on the main road to the city. The system you “see” today was put here in the 14th century, and there were even watchtowers in case you tried to sneak past.
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Yikes, that’s a bit extreme. But, don’t worry about anyone demanding you pay duties or taxes as you walk along the medieval tax collector enforcement area today. ;-)
You can also walk along the famed Lüneburg Heath that surrounds Reppenstedt. The area’s pretty big, there are 35 towns & districts within the Lüneburg Heath, but you don’t have to do all of it — a little goes a long way.
Hey, you never know, you might get lucky and find traces of Bronze Age Man. A lance was found at a prehistoric grave from around 5,000 years ago — so who can tell what anyone might find.
The oldest house in Reppenstedt is nowhere near that old. The Hof Lübbers wasn’t built until 1710. But, still historical nonetheless.
Reppenstedt has seen its fair share of ups & downs. At the end of World War II the town only had 75 people living here.
That number has jumped to around 7,000 today — and you’ll see just about all of them during the annual Krimifest (Thriller Festival, whoohoooo) at the end of October, and at the obligatory Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) at the end of November.
Just don’t think you’re going to get away without paying any taxes. Look at the extremes the townsfolk went to beforehand. ;-)