My dear travellers, how are you today? I hope you are ready for a new adventure, because today I present you another jewel of Germany, which is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea. In the previous post, you had the opportunity to get to know Halle, a charming city in Germany that is well- known for its art and design. If by any chance you missed it or want to enjoy the beauty of this unusual city near Leipzig again, you can do so with one click on this link.
Greifswald is the capital of the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald, located in the northeast of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania region. This university and Hanseatic city lies on the river Ryck which flows into the Baltic Sea spatially between the islands of Rügen and Usedom.
An interesting fact is that Greifswald received the city charter of the city of Lübeck in the middle of the 13th century. The University of Greifswald, was founded in the middle of the 15th century and is the second oldest university in the Baltic region.
The city has almost 60 thousand inhabitants, which makes it the fifth largest city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Together with Stralsund, Greifswald forms one of the four regional centers in the province.
Greifswald is approximately equidistant from the two largest cities in Germany, Berlin and Hamburg. The nearest major cities are Stralsund and Rostock. The coastal part of Greifswald at the mouth of the river Ryck, called Greifswald-Vieck, originated from a small fishing village. Today there is a small beach, a marina and the main port that belongs to Greifswald.
How did Greifswald get its name? The original name of this settlement, which eventually developed into the independent city of Greifswald, is not known. The only written evidence that exists is a letter from Duke Vartislav III. which dates from the 13th century. is also the first documented mention of today’s name of the city.
In the feudal era during the reign of Vartislav III. in the 13th century, there is his explicit statement that Greifswald is called Gripeswald in Low Saxon German, which suggests that this area originally had a different ethnic population: Slavic, Danish and German as well.
There is no official evidence for the theory that the original name was Danish based on Gripscogh, the name of a forest located near the town of Esrom in Denmark.
Greifswald – contains the word “griffins” which represents the legendary heraldic animals of the Pomeranian dukes. “Wald” means forest. The griffin and the forest can also be found in the coat of arms of the city of Greifswald. Since 1990, the city has again become a Hanseatic city and is now described as a university and Hanseatic city.
The Hanseatic League (Hanseatic League of Cities) is an alliance of trade guilds, which established and maintained a trade monopoly in the Baltic Sea and most of northern Europe between the 13th and 17th centuries. German cities have achieved a dominant position in trade in the Baltic with incredible speed over the course of a century. Lübeck became a central hub in all maritime trade during that period.
Due to its size, Greifswald has a rich cultural and tourist offer for its visitors. The largest cultural institutions in the city are the Vorpommern Theater and the Pommersche Landesmuseum (Pomeranian State Museum), a museum housing paintings by the famous painter Caspar David Friedrich, a native of Greifswald.
More than 10 million euros have been set aside for this project and it was founded out of a great desire to document the life and work of this “romantic” and his artistic environment. This project was funded by the city of Greifswald, the region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, as well as the federal government.
The town hall of Greifswald, which was built in 1915, has been completely restored and together with the adjacent theater building, represents the central complex of the old part of the town of Greifswald.
City architecture has styles from almost all eras, from medieval brick, Gothic to modern forms of architecture. The older buildings of the city are especially characterized by the style common in northern Germany and the Baltic Sea region, which can also be found in other Hanseatic cities such as Lübeck and Wismar.
Of course, the architecture of classicism and the beginning of the Wilhelmin era also left a significant mark in Greifswald. During the GDR era, large parts of the northern part of the old town were demolished and prefabricated apartments were built there. Since 1990, great efforts have been made to restore and restore the historical architecture of the city.
The central market square, unique in size and shape in northern Germany, is truly imposing. The 13th-century Gothic-Baroque town house of Greifswald is located in the market square. The two medieval Hanseatic town houses Markt 11 and 13 in the famous brick-Gothic style are especially significant in terms of the architectural history of the town.
At the corner of Muhlenstrasse is the white, classicist building of the Pomeranian State Museum’s painting gallery, designed by Johann Gottfried Kuistorp.
There are also various important historic town houses in the old town, for example near the main churches and along the east-west direction of Schuhhagen or Muhlenstraße and Lange Straße streets.
The northern part of the old town in the direction of the port was significantly destroyed due to the design of the old system, although it was spared during the war and replaced by prefabricated buildings, only a few old buildings, such as the city library in Knopfstrasse, were spared this destructive measure.
My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the special blog post from Greifswald. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Greifswald Tourist Board – Greifswald Marketing GmbH (GMG) and Deutsche Bahn for this incredible German adventure.
Once again, Deutsche Bahn recognized the quality of my work and they wanted to be part of this amazing project. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern German state in a completely different way.
How do you like this story about this German gem of Baltic called Greifswald? Have you maybe had a chance to visit this lovely city? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story!
If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page. Also, I am kindly inviting you to enjoy in the rest photos of Greifswald in gallery below.