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The Hanse


The Hanseatic Cities, Germany

The ship docked at Warnemnde, which usually serves as the point from which people travel into Berlin. Since we had already spent several days in Berlin on previous European trips (see European Excursions: Berlin), we decided to use local trains to visit the Hanseatic cities of Rostock and Stralsund. The Hanseatic League was a military and mercantile alliance of German-dominated cities in Northern Europe, especially around the Baltic. In its prime from the 1300s to 1500s there were over 160 city members.

One of the most picturesque places is Rostock's New Market Square, with St. Mary's Church, the Town Hall and six carefully restored gable houses from the 15th and 16th century.

Street views show the influence of Hanseatic architecture throughout the entire Baltic area.

The oldest preserved market houses from the 1400's are around the Old Market Square. An apothecary has been in continuous business since that time. 

The facades and doorways of the historic buildings are exquisitely decorated.

Many churches abandoned during the Soviet era have since been converted into art galleries and concert halls.

Many of the art displays are tributes to the mariners and traders who influenced the region.

Large parts of Rostock's medieval walls and gates have been preserved or were rebuilt in the Renaissance, such as the Steintor Gate, beside which is the 1890 Standehaus, the seat of parliament.

An impressive oceanarium is located on Stralsund's waterfront promenade.


There are several yacht harbours and marinas near the old town. Boats and ferries travel across to outlying islands such as Rgen.

Stralsund's City Hall and St. Nikolai Church at the Old Market display the Brick Gothic style of architecture. Many of the town centers dominated by brick gothic as well as individual buildings have been listed as World Heritage sites.

Charming street art installations and fountains are found throughout the area.

Fascinating political posters adorn the lamp posts.

 Distinctive basket chairs are for rent along Warnemnde's 3-mile beach.

Warnemnde has been a fishing village since the 1300s. In recent times it has become a seaside resort, especially since the construction of a cruise port. The Alter Strom maintains the maritime flavour.

The 1897 lighthouse and the "teepott" building which mark the entrance to the  beach, are the best-known landmarks in Warnemnde.

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This site was last updated 03/28/22