World Heritage #1067 – Stralsund and Wismar

Last modified 22.01.2023 | Published 02.09.1990Germany, North and Central Europe, World Heritage Sites

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The historic centres of Stralsund and Wismar are on the Heritage list, like many cities that once belonged to the Hanseatic League. 

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

  • Full name of site: Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar
  • Country: Germany
  • Date of Inscription: 2002
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 1067:

“The medieval towns of Wismar and Stralsund, on the Baltic coast of northern Germany, were major trading centres of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries they became Swedish administrative and defensive centres for the German territories. They contributed to the development of the characteristic building types and techniques of Brick Gothic in the Baltic region, as exemplified in several important brick cathedrals, the Town Hall of Stralsund, and the series of houses for residential, commercial and crafts use, representing its evolution over several centuries.”


My visit

Honestly, I did not visit Wismar, only Stralsund in 1990. At that time and hour, in the early hours of one grey autumn morning less than a year after the fall of the Berlin wall, this part of Germany was drab. Indeed, it was all too clear that Stralsund’s reputation was earned long ago. And would maybe become apparent in due time. Perhaps I should return?

By the way, you now know that the historic centres of Stralsund and Wismar belonged to the Hanseatic League. Did your also know that there are several other World Heritage Sites which had a presence from that organisation? For instance Gdansk, Bergen, Lübeck and Riga. The League predated in a way the modern-day multinational corporations. 

Read more about my visit. 

About this series.

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