Germany off the beaten track

Würzburg: Mozart Festival in the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Residenz" (Residence) © Oliver Lang

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History

On the track of history

The name "Roztoc" first appears in 1161 AD in a chronicle by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus. At that time the Slavic stronghold was attacked by the king of the Danes.

In 1200 German merchants and craftsmen founded the settlement of Rostock here. Eighteen years later, it received its charter from Prince Borwin I. In the course of time, the Middle and New Tow were built. In 1265 they and the Old Town united in a single community. Trade and crafts flourished and the city gained monetary sovereignty as well as full judicial authority.

In 1323 Rostock acquired the little fishing hamlet of Warnemünde, thus securing free access by water to the Baltic Sea. Soon Rostock, Lübeck and Wismar founded the Hanseatic League. Rostock became one of the largest and most powerful cities on the Baltic - due not least of all to establishment here of Baltic regions first university in 1419.

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.

Today Rostock is a vibrant seaport which proudly bears the name "Hansestadt" (Hanseatic City). Her churches, Town Hall and typical patrician town houses recall a glorious era of sailing ships dating back to the early Middle Ages.

Old and new harmoniously blend to form a city-scape that could only have emerged over the course of many centuries. Universitätsplatz (University Square), the Kloster zum Heiligen Kreuz  (Monastery of the Holy Cross), the old town walls and St. Marien-Kirche (St Mary's Church) are but a few of the witnesses to the past bringing Rostock's history to life.

Discover Rostock

See the best of Rostock

Inspiration, discoveries, relaxation, family fun: whatever your mood and whoever you´re with, an escape to the beautiful and historic places makes a perfect day out.

Rostock: On your own

Through a pulsing Hanseatic city in two hours? Through 800 years of history in the twinkling of an eye? Walk on your own through Rostock's center, stretching roughly between the "Petrikirche" (St Peter's Church) and "Kröpeliner Tor" (Kröpeliner Gate) along the banks of the Warnow River. See the "Neuer Markt" (New Market) with the "Rathaus" (Town Hall), centuries-old gabled houses and the sea god Neptune, admire the impressive interior of the "St. Marien-Kirche" (St Mary's Church), stroll along the lively "Kröpelinerstrasse" (Kröpeliner Street) and drop by at an old monastery and visit the cradle of the city, the Eastern Old Town. The Tourist Information provides you with detailed information on routes and sights.

Further information

European History

In February 1419 the University of Rostock was founded and belongs therefore to one of the oldest universities in Germany. Furthermore it is the oldest university in the Baltic Sea area.