Thursday, July 2, 2020

Photo Impressions Rostock on the Baltic Sea

Rostock - an 800-year-old city on the Baltic Sea in Northern Germany
Rostock is not just a place that is close to the Baltic Sea and has many different shopping opportunities to offer.  If you are interested in art and culture, the museums in Rostock and the surrounding area will be perfect for you. Whether you are interested in maritime history, artwork or concerts, the city has lots to offer. 

In 1990 I visited Rostock for the first time. It was shortly after the “wall” fell and East and West Germany were about to reunite. I had a full day to wander the streets of Rostock and I was amazed about the beautiful buildings.  

Despite their former glory, those buildings were in a desolate condition.  All of them were in dire need of repair and all of them were painted in an ugly grey-brown.  However, the architectural “bones” were grandiose and I could very well imagine that even paint jobs could transfer these buildings into beautiful gems. 

In early February, thirty years after my first visit, I had a chance to come back to Rostock. 
I arrived by train from Berlin on a rainy, dark evening.  Not good to present the cities’ attractive sites.  But still: the short trip by tram and a one-minute walk to my hotel showed this Hanseatic trading city in the most fantastic way - despite the rain.  I was excited to get up early the next morning and see it all in the - predicted - sunshine.  I must admit, I was overwhelmed by the beauty I discovered.  The city, its people, and skilled artisans helped to restore this jewel on the Baltic Sea. 

The old town of Rostock can easily be walked.  Stepping out of my hotel, I discovered the first gem of this city, the archetypal North German Brick Gothic church, which hasn’t changed much since the 14th century.  The church tower was bathed in sun, and I was able to shoot a lovely photo (see below).  A bit further lies an even older church that goes back to 1252 and was rebuilt in the Brick-Gothic style around the 1350s.

After Rostock gained city rights in 1218 the city expanded quickly.  In 1265 when three once separate suburbs became interlinked, this market square became the new center of the city.  During the Renaissance handsome gabled merchants’ houses sprouted here.

City Hall Rostock

Rostock’s arcaded town hall on Neuer Markt is as old as the square itself, going all the way back to the 13th century - possibly the oldest city hall in Germany.

Ständehaus Rostock

Numerous ornaments and turrets decorate the old brick building.  The Ständehaus, built in the style of historicism, initially served as a parliament building for the knights and landscape of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.  After the estates were dissolved, it remained unused for a long time.  In the GDR the building was used by the Volksmarine as a clubhouse.  Today it houses the Rostock Higher Regional Court.

Restaurants, coffee shops, Italien-style gelaterias, pubs, and bars can be found galore in Rostock. Most likely every third building invites hungry and thirsty patrons to try their delicious and often inexpensive treats.

After Rostock gained city rights in 1218 the city expanded quickly.  In 1265 three once separate suburbs became interlinked.  During the Renaissance handsome gabled merchants’ houses sprouted on the borders of the square.

Rostock's beautiful beaches, quaint historic neighborhoods, pulsating festivals, and energetic nightlife, the North German port city of Rostock is an underrated but beautiful and rewarding place to visit.  To avoid the cruise ship crowds, better come in early
spring or after mid-September.

Rostock was a thriving member of the medieval Hanseatic League, and many fine buildings still remain. Don't miss the city walls, the portals, cobblestone streets, and the elegant city hall.

The historic center is the best place to shop in Rostock. 
Buses, trains, and ferries - to Denmark and Sweden, available about every 
two hours - make up the excellent Rostock transport network.
A day-ticket for tram and bus costs around five Euros only.

Public transportation in Rostock is readily available with most tourists opting to choose the tram system.  It comes roughly every five to ten minutes and is a quick and effective way of getting around the city.  For trips outside of the immediate urban area or to nearby towns, the S-Bahn comes once every twenty minutes and feeder buses serve the nearby area.

From Hamburg Central Station you can take the train to Rostock.  Buy a Mecklenburg-Vorpommern-Ticket for €22-38.  With this ticket, you can travel with 5 people from Hamburg to Rostock.  From Leipzig and Berlin Central Station Deutsche Bahn runs numerous connections each day.  There are a couple of ICE trains a day from places
as far away as Munich. 

Rostock Train Station

Warnemünde, the ‘beach town of Rostock’ is only a short bus or train trip away. From Easter on there are also boat rides available to reach Warnemünde.  In the middle of the town sits an old windmill, which will be converted into apartments. Steps away was a pretty park.  Cherry trees and daffodils were already blooming in early February!

I walked down a little to the west of the lighthouse and the beach became quiet and traced by a row of villas from the turn of the 20th century.  On the quay, there’s a continuous line of boats, some of which have been turned into floating snack bars.

In Warnemünde’s harbor, the Alter Strom is a channel dug as long ago as 1423.  For more than five centuries this was the main channel linking Rostock’s port with the Baltic Sea until the 'Neuer Strom' was dredged in 1903.  On the west side of the Alter Strom is a promenade edged with charming old fishermen’s houses that are now shops and restaurants. 

The sand on the Baltic Sea is powdery and sugar-white, and along the 15 kilometers are designated areas for water sports, naturists, beach sports like soccer and volleyball in summer, as well as places where you can have barbecues and campfires.

Cute little flower shops everywhere: Amazing how many of them with their cheery
colors are spread over the town.


This is just a tiny excerpt from our upcoming travel guide:
Insider Tips for Rostock
Stay tuned for more...


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