(ˈʃtʁaːlzʊnt) is a city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
, situated at the southern coast
of the Strelasund
of the Baltic Sea
separating the island
from the mainland
and since October 2007 the new Rügen bridge) and several ferry
services connect Stralsund with the ports of Rügen.
The main industries of Stralsund are shipyards, fishing, and, to an increasing degree, tourism.
In medieval ages, the Stralsund area was part of the West Slavic duchy of Rügen
, which was part of the Kingdom of Denmark
since 1168. At that time, the Dänholm
isle and a small fishing village, both at the site of the latter city, were named Strale / Stralow
, meaning "arrow". In the course of German Ostsiedlung
, many German settlers, gentry and merchants were called into the duchy, and eventually populated the Strale
site. Merchants from other countries as well as locals were attracted to the settlement and made up for one third of the city's population. The Danish navy using the isle as well. When the settlement had grown to town size, Duke Wizlaw I
of Rügen granted Lübeck law
to "our town Stralow
" in 1234. In 1240, when the duke gave additional land to the city, he called it Stralesund
The success of the settlement challenged the powerful Free City of Lübeck, which burnt Stralsund down in 1249. Afterwards the town was rebuilt with a massive city wall having 11 town gates and 30 watchtowers. The Neustadt, a town-like suburb, was merged to Stralsund by 1361. Schadegard, a twin town to Stralsund also founded by Wizlaw I nearby, but was not granted German law, served as the dukes stronghold and enclosed a fort. It was given up and teared down by 1269 under the pressure of the Stralsund Bürger.
In 1293 Stralsund became a member of the Hanseatic League. A total of 300 ships flying the flag of Stralsund cruised the Baltic Sea in the 14th century.
In the 17th century, Stralsund became a theatre in the Thirty Years' War. In 1628 Stralsund was besieged by Albrecht von Wallenstein until Swedish troops came to Stralsund's aid and forced the general to retreat. After the war, the 1648 Peace of Westphalia made Stralsund part of Swedish Pomerania. In the Great Northern War in 1715 Charles XII led the defence of Stralsund for a year against the united European armies. Stralsund remained under Swedish control until 1815, when it became a part of the Prussian Province of Pomerania.
From 1949 until German Reunification in 1990, Stralsund was part of the German Democratic Republic.
- The Brick Gothic historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The heart of the old town is the Old Market Square (Alter Markt), with the Gothic Town Hall (13th century). Behind the town hall stands the imposing Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas' Church), built in 1270-1360. The square is surrounded by houses from different periods, including the Gothic Wulflamhaus (a 14th-century patrician house, today a restaurant), and the Baroque Commandantenhaus, seat of the old Swedish command headquarters.
- The Jakobikirche (Saint James's Church), built in mid-14th century. It was destroyed several times, e.g. by Wallenstein and in World War II.
- The Marienkirche (Saint Mary's Church), built in 1383-1473 in Gothic style, is the largest church in Stralsund, and from 1625—1647 it was the world's tallest structure. Its octagonal tower (104 meters high) offers a magnificent view of Stralsund and the neighboring islands of Rügen and Hiddensee.
- The Katharinenkloster (Monastery of Saint Catherine), built in the 15th century, houses two museums: a museum of history, and an oceanography museum. The ancient refectory of the monastery is one of the most spectacular Gothic interiors in Germany. , ,
- The Johanniskloster (Franciscan monastery, 1254), is one of the oldest buildings in the town.
Stralsund is linked to the A20 motorway
), via the B96n
dual-carriageway. Other major roads include the B105
(beginning in the town centre and continuing to Rostock
) and the B96
(major road to Rügen
) and the B194 to Grimmen.
When travelling by air, passengers usually do so via Rostock Laage Airport with connecting flights from Munich.