February 23, 2018

Rostock – Devastation to Rebuilding

Originally founded in the 11th century, Rostock has seen many ups and downs in its history but none more traumatic than WWII.

While in Rostock I had a wonderful guide named Klaus (he actually reminded me of Bela Karoli).  As we toured the Neuer Markt and main shopping street, Klaus told me that during World War II Rostock sustained severe damage from Allied bombing.  In fact, most of the area we were standing had been destroyed by bombings.

While this impacted me at the time, it wasn’t until I came across this photo of Rostock from 1945 that the devastation really sunk in.  It was hard to believe the beautiful square had once looked like this!

The Neuer Markt is the heart of Rostock and seems to be a very well preserved Baroque square.  One side is bounded by these beautiful gabled houses.

While on the other is the Rathaus or Town Hall which has been standing here since the 13th century. Originally built in the Brick Gothic style found in the region, during the 18th century it was remodeled in this lovely Baroque style.

Leading from Neuer Markt is Kröpeliner Straße the main shopping street.

But all this beauty ceased to exist when horror struck in 1942 and 1944.  The proximity of 2 aircraft manufacturing companies made Rostock a prime Allied target.  (An interesting side note, one of these is the Heinkel plant which is where the world’s first jet engine airplane was produced.)

After the bombings, only 6 of the original gabled houses survived.

Today the city center has been rebuilt in the original style and maintains its historical character.

The devastation of this war has been felt in Rostock for years. A little paint and plaster helped repair the devastated buildings but it wasn’t until 1989, when Reunification took place, that the last reminders of WWII were finally erased.


These photo’s are part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people at the Rostock Tourist Bureau!  To learn more about Germany off the Beaten Path, please visit the Historic Highlights of Germany

A Stand Out Moment in Rostock

Ten days into my trip exploring the Historic Highlights of Germany and I had not experienced that one stand out moment like my Goatherd encounter in Mittenwald Germany.  I was beginning to feel it wasn’t going to happen.

That is until the afternoon I wandered into St. Mary’s church in Rostock. 

Outside St. Marys Church Rostock Germany

Your local guide in Rostock!

Beautiful St. Mary’s is located in the old town right off Neuer Market and can be seen for miles.  The large brick Gothic church has guided sailors to Rostock for decades and, today, it can be used by tourists to navigate the city – it sure helped me!

Altar St Marys Church Rostock Germany

Beautiful Altar

Built in the 13th century, St Mary’s was damaged but survived the bombings that devastated Rostock during WWII.

Pulpit St Marys Church Rostock Germany

Ornate pulpit

St. Mary’s is a beautiful church. The gilded altar is spectacular and the one of a kind medieval Astronomic Clock which dates back to 1472 is very interesting!  There are many wonderful ornate features such as the Royal box and the pulpit but the exquisite and enormous Baroque organ from 1770 is probably the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Royal Box St Marys Rostock Germany

Exquisite Royal Box

Yes all of these made the church very beautiful but what made it exceptional was the majestic music I was treated to while exploring the church!

ST MARYS CHURCH Rostock Germany  by RAYANDBEE, on Flickr

The organ in St Marys church by Rayandbee, on Flickr

On this afternoon an orchestra and choir were practicing for a performance so my time wandering the church was enhanced by the beautiful and haunting music and voices. Take a listen!

This music really set the tone for my visit!  You could feel the music as it bounced off the walls of this beautiful church. My time in St. Mary’s church was one of “those” stand out moments that I will always remember!


What stand out moments do you have from your travels?