The northern German city of Lübeck was one of the principal cities of the Hanseatic League, a league of merchant cities which held a monopoly over the trade of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The functioning of the Hanseatic League is not only proof of early economic co-operation in Europe, but it also founded a social and cultural community which has left its mark throughout the region, particularly in the self-contained architectural world of brick Gothic.
The coin obverse depicts the city in very high details, in particular the Holsten Gate ("Holstein Tor", later "Holstentor") is a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck, and the Lutheran Marienkirche (St. Mary's church) constructed between 1250 and 1350. For many years it has been a symbol of the power and prosperity of the old Hanseatic city, and as Germany's third largest church it remains the tallest building of the old part of Lübeck.
The reverse, common for all coins in the series, shows Queen Elisabeth II effigy and a stylized image of the cities that belonged to the Hanseatic League.