Why go?Brick Gothic architecture in the city and a Baltic resort on its doorstep for seaside fun, maritime charm and unspoilt coastal scenery. Eight hundred years of history have shaped this "Gateway to the North". Rostock has preserved much of the charm that it once possessed as the most important member of the Hanse (Hanseatic League).
The gabled houses dominating the skyline attest to this, as well as the imposing brick warehouses, massive gates and fortifications, and awe-inspiring churches. They all bear eloquent witness to the wealth of the city's medieval merchants. Rostock has kept its importance as a trade center to this day, as well as its status as a college town. Its university, founded in 1419, is the oldest in Northern Europe.
In 1323, Rostock acquired the little fishing town of Warnemünde, thus securing free access by water to the Baltic Sea. Soon Rostock, Lübeck and Wismar founded the Hanseatic League. The city's dynamic growth was halted for a lengthy period by collapse of the Hanseatic League, effects of the Thirty Years' War and the devastating conflagration of 1677. Only in the late 19th century did Rostock experience a renaissance of shipping under sail, becoming an important harbor for the export of grain.