Lüneburg (lüˈnəbŏrkh) [key], city (1994 pop. 63,300), Lower Saxony, N Germany, on the Ilmenau River. It is a rail junction and river port. There are large saltworks and chemical and textile industries in the city, as well as trade in foodstuffs, metal, and coal. Its hot salt springs and mud baths have long been frequented. Dating from the 10th cent., Lüneburg was long the capital of the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg (see Hanover, former independent kingdom). It was an important member of the Hanseatic League. Predominately built in the late-Gothic and Renaissance styles, the city has several fine churches, a large city hall (begun 13th cent., additions as late as the 18th cent.), and many gabled houses in the characteristic north German style. The Lüneburger Heide lüˈnəbŏrgər hĪˈdə, a vast heath, SW of Lüneburg, lies between the Elbe and Aller rivers. It is a sandy region; sheep are raised and petroleum is produced. Parts of the heath are game preserves.