Hanseatic city of Rostock  germany
01 Rostock Town Hall 02 Rostock Town Library 03 Convent of the Holy Cross and University Church
04 St. Mary’s Church Rostock 05 Cow Gate with Lagebusch Tower 06 St. Nicolas’ Church Rostock
07 St. Peter’s Church Rostock 08 St. Catherine’s Abbey Rostock 09 Kerkohfhaus Rostock
10 House Tree House 11 Krahnstöver 12 St. Michael’s Church
13 Kröpelin Gate 14 15
The “beautiful lady on the banks of the river Warnow“

The “beautiful lady on the banks of the river Warnow“, has for many years attracted visitors and tourists from all over the world with her varied cultural life and a wide range of pubs, shops, museums and theatres. The face of the city still reflects the town’s history as one of the key members of the medieval Hanseatic League. The unmistakable character of the town’s historical buildings permeates the entire fabric of the city, with modern houses effortlessly blending into the ancient architecture. Already in 1323, the citizens of Rostock assured themselves of possessing a piece of paradise right on their own doorstep when they acquired the Baltic seaside resort of Warnemünde. Beaches of fine white sand, the typical coastal architecture and the romantic atmosphere of a former fishing village later helped Warnemünde to acquire the status of an elegant seaside resort. Despite its long history, however, Rostock is also a very young town, thanks to the large number of students. The university itself, meanwhile, has a history as long and rich as the town it inhabits: it was first established in 1419.


Tourism Office Rostock & Warnemünde
Neuer Markt 3
18055 Rostock
Phone: +49 (0) 381-2222 und 19433
Fax: +49 (0) 381 26 01
Rostock, from Polabian Roz toc, literally "to flow apart") is the largest city in the north German state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Rostock is located on the Warnow river; the quarter of Warnemünde 12 km north of the city centre lies directly on the coast of the Baltic Sea.

New Market (Neuer Markt) in Rostock

Rostock is located nearly centrally on Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Baltic Sea coast. The city is crossed by the Warnow.

The seaside part of Rostock, Rostock-Warnemünde, is about 16 km to the north of the historic city centre. The west and the south-east are the most densely populated parts of town, the overseas port is in the east of Rostock. Rostock stretches 21.6 kilometres from the Baltic Sea to the south and 19.4 km from east to west.


Early history

In the 11th century Polabian Slavs founded a settlement at the Warnow river called Roztoc (which means broadening of a river); the name Rostock is derived from that designation. The Danish king Valdemar I set the town aflame in 1161.

Afterwards the place was settled by German traders. At the beginning there were three separate cities:

Altstadt (Old Town) around the Alter Markt (Old Market) with St. Petri (St. Peter's Church),
Mittelstadt (Middle Town) around the Neuer Markt (New Market) with St. Marien (St. Mary's Church) and
Neustadt (New Town) around the Hopfenmarkt (Hops Market, now University Square) with St. Jakobi (St. James's Church, now demolished).

Hanseatic League
The rise of the city began with its membership in the Hanseatic League. In the 14th century it was a powerful seaport town with 12,000 inhabitants and the biggest city of Mecklenburg. Ships for cruising the Baltic Sea were constructed in Rostock. In 1419 the oldest university in Northern Europe, the University of Rostock, was founded.

15th to 18th century

Rostock 1780-90

At the end of the 15th century the dukes of Mecklenburg succeeded in enforcing their rule over the town of Rostock, which had until then been only nominally subjugate to their rule and essentially independent. They took advantage of a riot known as Domfehde, a failed uprising of the impoverished population. Subsequent quarrels with the dukes and persistent plundering led ultimately to a loss of economic and political power.

The strategic location of Rostock provoked the envy of its rivals. Danes and Swedes occupied the city twice, first during the Thirty Years' War (1618-48) and again from 1700 to 1721. Later, the French, under Napoleon, occupied the town for about a decade until 1813. It was here that Blücher, who was actually born in Rostock and who was one of few generals to fight on after the battle of Jena, surrendered to the French in 1806. This was only after furious street fighting in which he led some of the cavalry charges himself; the exhausted Prussians had, by the time of the surrender, neither food nor ammunition.

19th century
In the first half of the 19th century Rostock regained much of its economic importance, at first due to the wheat trade, and, from the 1850s, to industry, especially to its shipyards. The first propeller-driven steamers in Germany were constructed here.

The city grew in size and population, with new quarters emerging in the south and west of the ancient borders of the city. Two notable developments were added to house the increasing population at around 1900:

Steintor-Vorstadt in the south, stretching from the old city wall to the facilities of the new Lloydbahnhof Railway Station (now Hauptbahnhof). It was designed as a living quarter and consists mostly of large single houses, once inhabited by wealthy citizens.
Kröpeliner-Tor-Vorstadt in the west, designed to house the working population as well as smaller and larger industrial facilities such as Mahn & Ohlerich's Brewery (now Hanseatische Brauerei Rostock). The main shipyard, Neptun was just nearby at the shore of the river.

20th century

Rostock 1910

In the 20th century, important airplane manufacturing facilities were situated in the city, such as the Arado Flugzeugwerke in Warnemünde and the Heinkel Works with facilities at various places. It was at their facilities in Rostock-Marienehe where the world's pioneering jet plane made its test flights. Aeroplane construction ceased at the end of the Second World War.

Large parts of the central city were destroyed in World War II by Allied bombing in 1942 and 1945. Through reconstruction and subsequent extension, the city became a major industrial centre of the German Democratic Republic with the port being developed as the primary gate to the world.

Following the reunification of Germany in 1989/1990, Rostock lost its prior privileged position as the principal overseas port of the former GDR and became one of several German ports, now located in one of the least industrialised regions of reunited Germany. Despite large infrastructure investments, the city's economy declined in the 1990s but is now growing again.

Rostock's population dropped from nearly 260,000 in 1989 to about 200,000 today, primarily due to suburbanisation but also due to emigration to more prosperous western regions of Germany.

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