the pregnant house, © Lüneburg Marketing GmbH
© Lüneburg Marketing GmbH

"The preg­nant house" in Waagestraße

Waagestraße – which literally translates as ‘Scales street’ – takes its name from the master weigher’s office, where people could check the measurements and weights of goods they had purchased. In the middle of the street, opposite the Rathausgarten, is a house with a ‘belly bulge’. Lüneburgers playfully refer to these houses, which are a common phenomenon in the city, as ‘pregnant houses’.

For centuries the brick houses were built with gypsum mortar, which the Lüneburgers chipped, ground and fired on the limestone mountain massif. Because the plaster kiln was too hot, the fired products dried out too much and were thus ‘burnt dead’. The overburnt plaster absorbed moisture over time, causing the walls to bulge out.

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