[ source: Wikipedia ]

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Popular Points of Interest in and near Stralsund

  • Ozeaneum
    [ source: Wikipedia ]


    Ozeaneum is a public aquarium in the German city of Stralsund. It belongs to the German Oceanographic Museum (Deutsches Meeresmuseum), arguably one of the three largest institutions of its kind in Europe.

    The Ozeaneum — located in the historical center on the Baltic coast — opened its doors in July 2008. It displays primarily sea life of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

    The Ozeaneum was expected to be a major tourist attraction, and receive 550,000 visitors per year. It proved to be considerably more attractive than expected, and by the end of the first year had already had over 900,000 visitors. The millionth visit occurred on 27 July 2009.

    On 22 May 2010, the OZEANEUM Stralsund received the European Museum of the Year Award in a ceremony in the Finnish town of Tampere.

  • Historic Center of Stralsund UNESCO World Heritage Site
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Historic Center of Stralsund UNESCO World Heritage Site

    The medieval town of Stralsund was a major trading center of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries it became a Swedish administrative and defensive center for the German territories. It contributed to the development of the characteristic building types and techniques of Brick Gothic in the Baltic region, as exemplified in several important brick cathedrals, the Town Hall of Stralsund, and the series of houses for residential, commercial and crafts use, representing its evolution over several centuries.

  • Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park

    The Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park (Nationalpark Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft) is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's largest national park situated at the coast of the Baltic Sea. It consists of several peninsulas, islands and lagoon shore areas in the Baltic Sea, belonging to the district of Vorpommern-Rügen.


    Approximately half the area of the park is open Baltic Sea; more than another quarter covers parts of the lagoons in the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain including the West Rügen Bodden. Thus it protects these shallow water areas (in the Baltic Sea, the National Park boundary is based on the ten-metre depth contour) with their rich flora and fauna. The differing salt content of the brackish water habitats of the Baltic and the bodden (shallow lagoons) contribute significantly to the local diversity of nature. For example, the Baltic Herring visits the shallow bays regualarly spawn here.

    The territory of the national park includes parts of the Darß and the peninsula of Zingst as well as most of the island of Hiddensee. In addition, a narrow strip of land on the island of Rügen, next to the bodden lies within the national park. Pine and beech woods, such as the Darß Forest, cover much of the land. In treeless areas there are bogs, resulting from coastal flooding.

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Travel Insider Tips for Stralsund

Stralsund Overview

Two bridges (the Rügendamm and since October 2007 the new Rügen (Rügen vacation rentals | Rügen travel guide) bridge) 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.

Things to See in Stralsund

The Brick Gothic historic center 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 (Rügen vacation rentals | Rügen travel guide) 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.

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Stralsund

In medieval ages, the Stralsund area was part of the West Slavic Principality of Rügen (Rügen vacation rentals | Rügen travel guide), which was part of the Kingdom of Denmark since 1168. At that time, the Dänholm isle and a small fishing village, both at the site of the latter city, were named Strale / Stralow, meaning "arrow". In the course of German Ostsiedlung, many German settlers, gentry and merchants were called into the principality, and eventually populated the Strale site. Merchants from other countries as well as locals were attracted to the settlement and made up for one third of the city's population. The Danish navy was using the isle as well. When the settlement had grown to town size, prince Wizlaw I of Rügen granted Lübeck (Lübeck vacation rentals | Lübeck travel guide) law to our town Stralow in 1234. In 1240, when the prince gave additional land to the city, he called it Stralesund. The success of the settlement challenged the powerful Free City of Lübeck, which burnt Stralsund down in 1249. Afterwards the town was rebuilt with a massive city wall having 11 town gates and 30 watchtowers. The Neustadt, a town-like suburb, was merged to Stralsund by 1361. Schadegard, a twin town to Stralsund also founded by Wizlaw I nearby, but was not granted German law, served as the dukes stronghold and enclosed a fort. It was given up and torn down by 1269 under the pressure of the Stralsund Bürger. 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 the 17th century, Stralsund became a theatre in the Thirty Years' War. In 1628 Stralsund was besieged by Albrecht von Wallenstein until Scottish and Swedish troops came to Stralsund's aid and forced the general to retreat. After the war, the 1648 Peace of Westphalia made Stralsund part of Swedish Pomerania. 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 1815, when it became a part of the Prussian Province of Pomerania. From 1949 until German Reunification in 1990, Stralsund was part of the German Democratic Republic.

[ source: wikipedia ]

With a long and prosperous history as a major Hanseatic City, Stralsund in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern continues to draw thousands of visitors today. Since 2002, the old city area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and when you are there, you will understand why. Stralsund has a stunning collection of brick Gothic buildings, and the place to start your viewing of this incredible city is the Old Market Square and the Town Hall. Besides touring the city itself, be sure to take the time to see the medieval St. Jacob and Mary churches. The Katharinenkloster is also interesting, and it contains a museum of history and a museum of oceanography. Check out the monastery's refectory, one of the most incredible Gothic interiors in Germany. With its location on the Baltic Sea, Stralsund offers a rich array of sites that deal with maritime culture. The German Oceanographic Museum is one of the three largest museums of its kind in the world. The Ozeaneum is a public aquarium, and it offers fun kids' exhibits for the younger set. The Nautineum is home to exhibits on fishing techniques, hydrography, oceanography, and waterways. You can also view several docked ships at this site. Lastly, a little outside of Stralsund, the National Park "Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft" is worth an excursion. In terms of day trips, Stralsund is the natural starting point for a trip to Ruegen Island. If you have a car, take the Ruegen Bridge, which is the largest bridge in Germany. You can easily reach Wismar and Rostock as well.

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