Lauenburg, a district of the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein, situated on the right bank of the Elbe, between Hamburg, Holstein, and Mecklenburg. It was once a separate duchy, and came finally into the power of Prussia in 1865. Inhabited in early times by a tribe of Slavs, it came later into the possession of Saxony, and in 1705 it formed part of George I.'s Hanoverian Electorate. In 1815 it was made over to Prussia, who ceded it to Denmark, to resume it later. The surface, of 453 square miles, is generally flat, with some irregularities, and the soil, partly sandy partly alluvial, is well cultivated. There are lakes and forests, and the Stecknitz Canal connects the Elbe with the Trave, and it is on the railway from Hamburg to Berlin. Cattle-breeding is carried on, and the chief productions are timber, fruit, hemp, grain, flax, and vegetables. The town of Lauenburg is on the Elbe, but the present capital is Ratzeburg.