Lauenburg is a town in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated at the northern bank of the Elbe river, east of Hamburg. Lauenburg belongs to the Kreis (district) of Lauenburg. Population: 11,900 (2002).
The town was founded in 1182 by Bernard of Ascania, the ancestor of the dukes of Lauenburg. Lauenburg was a duchy until 1689. The area of the medieval fief was roughly identical with the today's district. In medieval times Lauenburg was a waypoint on the Old Salt Route. Today it is the southern terminus of the Elbe-Luebeck Canal.