In the 14th century Rostock was a powerful seaport, the biggest city of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region in todays northern Germany. It has one of the oldest universities in the world dated from 1419.
The Ships cruising the Baltic Sea were constructed in Rostock.
Its early inhabitant where Polabian Slavs which named the settlement “Fork of a River” or “Ras-toku”, hence the name Rostock. The Danish king Valdemar set the tow aflame in 1161, only afterwards around 1200 the place was populated by german traders.
In 1265 the previously united New town and Middle Town, were joined with the Old
Town in one single community, and finally with the Warnemunde fishing village in 1323 to become the Rostock we know today.
In 1251 Rostock joined the Hanseatic League or “Hanse”, a powerful commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds along the coast of northern Europe consisting mainly of three cities: Lübeck (the capital), and Wismar.
This confederation provided a economic boom for the city that ended with the Thirty Years War in 1677.
Only in the 19th century Rostock re-emerged as an important harbour for the grain trade.
The town hall in the New Market Square is a 15th-century structure with a Baroque facade (1727). Parts of the city walls and gates dating from the 14th to the 16th century survive from the WWII bombings that destroyed most of the city.
The Steinor Gate inscription says “Within thy walls may reign harmony and happiness”.
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