Germany offers a lot for any traveler. Unfortunately most of us only touch on a few destinations of this wonderful country – Munich, the Castles of Ludwig, Bavaria, Berlin and the Rhine river garner most of our travel dollars. I’m as guilty as any and this is one of the reasons I’ve decided to dig into other parts of Germany and see what they can offer us travelers.
After I saw a few pictures of Rostock, I decided to Go North and explore this Baltic area.
Rostock was once one of the most powerful trading centers in Europe. Today it is a more quiet and peaceful location offering unique architecture, coastal scenery, wonderful beaches and a maritime history that will fascinate us all!
In Rostock you will discover churches, gabled houses, town gates, a Fisherman’s bastion complete with canons, an astronomical clock and red brick building dating back to Hanseatic times!
Here are 4 great reasons we all should spend time in Rostock –
Germany’s “Gateway to the North”!
Eight hundred years of history are preserved in Rostock’s gabled houses, brick warehouses, town gates and churches. Of the important medieval and Renaissance buildings, the Hausbaum House dates back to 1490. Other architectural beauties, many of which date back to the same era, include the Marienkirche (don’t miss the astronomic clock), Petrikirche (climb the tower for views of town and Baltic) and the Rathaus. These are some of the buildings created using the deep red bricks characterizing the Gothic Brick style of architecture famous in Northern Germany. Wander Rostock and you’ll find many more fine examples.
Founded by maritime traders in 1218, it is no wonder Rostock holds on to its nautical atmosphere. A great place to learn about the maritime and shipbuilding history of Rostock is at the Maritime Museum. This unique museum is situated on a ship that is moored on the Warnow River opposite the port of Rostock. Not only will you find exhibits detailing shipping history but you will also discover sea plane construction and marine research. There is also an open area portion of the museum where you can see a floating crane and other items dealing with the shipping business.
Hanse Sail Festival
The 2nd weekend of August brings fully rigged ships, schooners, cogs, cutters, steamboats, the ice-breaker “Stettin” and “Waltman” the tugboat to Rostock for the annual Hanse Sail Festival. This festival is one of the largest maritime festivals in the world and will be any maritime history buff’s definition of nirvana! Visitors are also able to view water-skiing demonstrations, rowing regattas and have the opportunity to actually sail on some of these wonders! If you need a break from the maritime themed events, enjoy the markets or fireworks. The festival closes with a ship parade of nations.
In 1323, Rostock purchased nearby Warnemünde to ensure it would have free access by water to the Baltic. Today, this is where you will find a long stretch of beautiful white sand beach and a 19th century lighthouse. This old fisherman port is a great place to wander the streets looking for local food or just a nice respite from sunbathing. If you’re looking for a beach town with a laid back small town charm, Warnemünde is it.