Lauenburg , or Lauenburg an der Elbe , is a town in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Elbe, east of Hamburg. It is the southernmost town of Schleswig-Holstein and belongs to the Kreis of Herzogtum Lauenburg. Lauenburg had a recorded population on 31 December 2013 of 11,253.
The town was founded in 1182 by Bernard of Ascania, the ancestor of the Dukes of Lauenburg. It took its name from that of the castle of Lowenborch , deriving from Lave, the Polabian-language name of the Elbe .
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