Guide of ROSTOCK

Rostock is a town in northern Germany located along the Baltic Coast. The city stretches16 km along River Warnow, which flows into the Baltic Sea at the Bay of Mecklenburg at the northernmost tip of the town. Rostock is the fourth-largest port in Germany and is home to the University of Rostock, established in 1419 and the oldest university in the Baltic region. The city has around 208,000 inhabitants and thanks to the large student population,  a lively cosmopolitan cultural scene. Biotechnology and air and space travel sectors, as well as shipbuilding and navigation, form the base of Rostock's economy and the 'Universitätsmedizin', a hospital and medical research centre, is Rostock's largest employer.

A brief history of Rostock

Polabian Slavs founded a settlement along the river called Roztoc in the 11th century, which in Slavic means' fork of a river' but in 1161, King Valdemar I of Denmark set the town on fire. After then being settled by German traders, in 1251 the city became a member of a network of trading hubs in northwestern and central Europe called the Hanseatic League. By the 14th century, Rostock was a mighty seaport with around 12,000 inhabitants. 

In 1419, the University of Rostock was founded and became the most prominent university in continental northern Europe and the Baltic Sea area. At the end of the 15th century, there was discontent amongst the rulers and the population in Rostock as they became increasingly impoverished, uprisings and riots lead to a loss of the city's economic and political power. The town was then fortified and became damaged, then rebuilt in the Dutch Renaissance style between 1575 to 1577. The inscription 'you enter a state of harmony and happiness' was carved above the entrance of the fort and can still be seen above the gate today. 

In the first half of the 19th century Rostock regained much of its economic importance, thanks to the wheat trade and then from the 1850s onwards, the shipyards began to develop. The 20th century saw aircraft manufacturing facilities brought to the city, which created jobs and generated wealth. During World War II, Rostock suffered repeated heavy bombing from the British Royal Air Force. But after the war, Rostock became East Germany's largest seaport, and the state expanded the national shipyards, so the city's population peaked to 260,000. After the unification of Germany, Rostock lost its privileged position as the most important port for the GDR, and the city's population has declined to about 200,000. Today, Rostock and nearby Warnemünde have become popular Baltic Sea tourist destinations.

Things to do in Rostock

There are a few places to visit when strolling around the city, one of which is the Rostock Art Gallery, located in the grounds of the park around the Schwanenteich lake, in the Reutershagen area of the city, it houses local contemporary art. The Warnemünde Lighthouse is also worth a visit, put into service in 1898, it is located on the estuary in Warnemünde, close to Rostock and stands at 36.9 meters high. Another fun place to visit is Rostock Zoo, it covers 56 hectares and with 4,500 animals from 320 species, including polar bears! It was founded in 1889 and is the largest zoo on the German east coast. Another brilliant place for kids and adults is Karl's Adventure Village, located a 40-minute drive from Rostock, near Rövershagen. It is a great place to take the little ones because it's a farm-themed amusement park with plenty to see and do.

Beaches around Rostock

Kuhlungsborn Beach is around 10km from Rostock, it is sandy and has plenty of chairs to rent, along with a pleasant promenade and some paths to enter and exit the beach area. Strand Warnemunde is another sandy beach with lots of cafes, stalls, and shops in the vicinity. The water is clean, but it can get crowded in the summer.

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