The Hanseatic city of Stralsund, the gateway to the island of Rügen

Saturday, 6 August 2011 - 02:51 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Miniature of the old part of Stralsund © Marcus Sümnick

Miniature of the old part of Stralsund © Marcus Sümnick

Stralsund is a city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, situated at the southern coast of the Strelasund (a sound of the Baltic Sea separating the island of Rügen from the mainland). Two bridges and several ferry services connect Stralsund with the ports of Rügen. The main industries of Stralsund are shipyards, fishing, and, to an increasing degree, tourism.

In 1293 Stralsund became a member of the Hanseatic League. A total of 300 ships flying the flag of Stralsund cruised the Baltic Sea in the 14th century. In 1325, the Principality of Rügen became part of the Duchy of Pomerania, Stralsund however maintained a considerable independence. In the 17th century, Stralsund became a theatre in the Thirty Years’ War. In the Battle of Stralsund (1628), the town was besieged by Albrecht von Wallenstein after the council refused to accept the Capitulation of Franzburg. Stralsund resisted with Danish and Swedish support. The Swedish garrison in Stralsund was the first on German soil in history. With the Treaty of Stettin (1630), the town became one of two major Swedish forts in the Duchy of Pomerania, besides Stettin (now Szczecin).

View over Stralsund from the church tower © Karl-Heinz Meurer Sankt Marien church © Darkone Old Market Square - Town Hall on the right © Softeis Old Market Square © Harald909 © Harald909 Gorch Fock I © Klugschnacker Gerhart Hauptmann School © Darkone Stralsund Theater © Klugschnacker Stralsund Panorama © Darkone Stralsund Port Panorama © Darkone Stralsund Harbour © Harald909 Stralsund - Frozen harbour © Darkone Rügen Bridge connects Stralsund with Rügen Island © Klugschnacker Ozeaneum in Stralsund (German Nautic Museum) © Klugschnacker Miniature of the old part of Stralsund © Marcus Sümnick
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Rügen Bridge connects Stralsund with Rügen Island © Klugschnacker
After the war, the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and the Treaty of Stettin (1653) made Stralsund part of Swedish Pomerania. Lost to Brandenburg in the Battle of Stralsund (1678), it was restored to Sweden in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1679). In the Great Northern War in 1715 Charles XII led the defence of Stralsund for a year against the united European armies. Stralsund remained under Swedish control until the Battle of Stralsund (1807), when it was seized by Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. Seized by Ferdinand von Schill’s freikorps in 1809, it was subsequently re-gained by France, with Schill killed in action. In the Congress of Vienna (1815), Stralsund became a part of the Prussian Province of Pomerania and the seat of a government region resembling the former Swedish Pomerania. From 1949 until German Reunification in 1990, Stralsund was part of the German Democratic Republic. Main sights are

  • The Brick Gothic historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The heart of the old town is the Old Market Square (Alter Markt), with the Gothic Town Hall (13th century). Behind the town hall stands the imposing Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas’ Church), built in 1270-1360. The square is surrounded by houses from different periods, including the Gothic Wulflamhaus (a 14th-century patrician house, today a restaurant), and the Baroque Commandantenhaus, seat of the old Swedish command headquarters.
  • The Jakobikirche (Saint James’s Church), built in mid-14th century. It was destroyed several times, e.g. by Wallenstein and in World War II.
  • The Marienkirche (Saint Mary’s Church), built in 1383-1473 in Gothic style, is the largest church in Stralsund, and from 1625—1647 it was the world’s tallest structure. Its octagonal tower (104 meters high) offers a magnificent view of Stralsund and the neighboring islands of Rügen and Hiddensee.
  • The Katharinenkloster (Monastery of Saint Catherine), built in the 15th century, houses two museums: a museum of history, and an oceanography museum. The ancient refectory of the monastery is one of the most spectacular Gothic interiors in Germany.
  • The Johanniskloster (Franciscan monastery, 1254), is one of the oldest buildings in the town.
  • Stralsund is the port of registry for the former German Reichsmarine Navy Sail Training ship “Gorch Fock” 1. It is now a floating museum
  • Stralsund has several museums dedicated to marine life and human interaction with the sea. The biggest ones are the German Oceanographic Museum and the new Ozeaneum. There is also a Nautineum. There is also the Marine Museum containing the history of the Germany Navy. It is located on Dänholm Island a former historic Navy Base. This museum houses one of the last remaining DDR Volksmarine torpedo boats.

Read more on City of Stralsund, Stralsund Tourism, Deutsches Meeresmuseum and Ozeaneum, Stralsunder Brewery and Wikipedia Stralsund. Learn more about the use of photos . To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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