In 2002, UNESCO decided the Old Town area of Stralsund deserved World Heritage status. Once you’ve been here, you couldn’t agree more.
Here you are in a medieval wonderland, so far removed from modern reality. Glorious Gothic architecture soars heavenward as testimonies to an era when the perfection was an integral criterion of the aesthetic.
You might as well begin at the Old Market Square where you will be surrounded by hundreds of years worth of history. Witness the grandeur of the 13th century Town Hall sporting an impressive façade, the St. Nicholas’ Church with its grand Gothic exterior and artistic interior; the St. Jacob’s Church, the St. Mary’s Church and many more of the same.
I also have to mention the Wulflamhaus and the Commandantenhaus as must-sees while you’re here.
The Franciscan monastery (Johanniskloster) goes to show that sometimes there is grandeur even in ruins. At present it does service as an open air theater, besides which, there are plenty of other historic curiosities worth exploring.
Stralsund being pretty much an island on the Baltic Sea, you’re just a short ferry ride from scenic beaches of Altefähr and Sassnitz. Weather willing, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take the ferry from the harbor and follow the spectacular white cliffs to the beach.
If you’d like to get your hands on some local stuff, the weekly marketplace should be a good bet. Friday seems to bring out the best, so hang on till then.
The Museum of Cultural History would be of inordinate interest to those that love browsing pretty artifacts from the past. The Museum of the Sea (Meeresmuseum) is another beautiful spectacle with its huge collection of aquatic life.
The Katharinenkloster is another repository of cultural artifacts, since we’re on the topic.
Other than the aforementioned, a number of feel-good festivals come up now and then. If you’re here in July, get ready for the fabulous Wallenstein Festival when the town and the townsfolk turn medieval for three days. If it’s December, of course, the fantastic Christmas Market ought to be on your itinerary. :-)
Now, go ahead and go back up to the page of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and pick another town or city to discover…