Moored, Negotiated, Immortalised: The Hanseatic City of Rostock Turns 800

Geschichte der Hansestadt Rostock

Rostock´s history began long before it grew strong enough to be granted municipal rights. Slavic tribes, active in the 7th century, named their settlement “Roztoc” which means “River that widens”. A solid name that stood the test of time. Unlike the castle of the same name, which you will not find anymore.

Traders and craftsmen later inhabited the area around St Peter’s church. On 24 June 1218, Rostock’s town privileges (town charter of Lübeck) were acknowledged. It soon became too crowded, and two more settlements were formed next to Old Town. Middle and New Town, which consolidated shortly afterwards. Rostock became an important city of the Hanseatic League – and enjoyed its medieval heyday! Evidence thereof is still visible today in the typical merchant houses.

A city lives on its biographies. Heinrich Schliemmann, who discovered Troy, received his doctorate from the University of Rostock in absentia. The brilliant Albert Einstein? He became an honorary doctor in Rostock. Regional poet Fritz Reuter, who experienced his Period of Storm and Stress as a student in Rostock. Stephan Jantzen, the sea rescuer honoured by the King. Famed rapper Marteria, who wrote his first rhymes here. Vicke Schorler from Rostock who, between 1578 and 1586, immortalised his favourite city on a drawing more than 18 metres wide.

Get to know some of the sights that still remain from Vicke-Schorler’s panorama on the following pages, or better yet, on your holiday!

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