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Stralsund is a city in northeast Germany. It belongs to the Western Pomerania part of the German state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and is a district town in the district of Western Pomerania-Rügen. According to state law, Stralsund is known as a Hanseatic city and a large district city.

In 1234 Stralsund was granted city rights. As a founding member of the Hanseatic League, the city prospered through international trade. The old town with its numerous architectural monuments and particularly valuable evidence of brick Gothic has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002 with the title Old Towns of Stralsund and Wismar. Stralsund is also known as a resort and major tourist center in the southern Baltic Sea region for the German Oceanographic Museum with the Stralsund Ocean Museum, the Stralsund Museum and for events such as the annual Wallenstein Days and the Rügenbrücken Marathon. Tourism dominates economically. Other branches of industry are public administration, shipbuilding and mechanical engineering, service companies, logistics, the health industry and companies in the field of information technology and biomedical technology. The Mittelstadt has been the seat of the Stralsund University of Applied Sciences since 1991, and the neighboring Parow has housed the German Naval Technology School since 1996.

Due to its location on the Strelasund, a strait in the Baltic Sea between the mainland and the island of Rügen, Stralsund is known as the "gateway to the island of Rügen".



The Strale settlement has been known since the 10th century. Stralesund as a city name was first mentioned in a document in 1240. The Strelasund is an arm of the Baltic Sea.
The city has had the addition of Hanseatic City before its name Stralsund since 1990.

Middle Ages until 1900
Stralsund received after the settlement in the course of the German settlement on October 31, 1234 from the Ruegen prince Wizlaw I. the city charter according to the Rostock or Lübeck model. The area had been settled by Slavs, which explains the Slavic part of the name Stral (stral means arrow or spearhead, -sund stands for a separating narrowness in Germanic languages ​​and means the Strelasund).

Stralsund quickly became an important trading town in the Baltic Sea region, mainly through settlers from Westphalia. The city belonged to Pomerania-Wolgast after the Principality of Rügen had expired in 1325. In the 14th century it was the most important Hanseatic city in the southern Baltic region after Lübeck. Numerous armed conflicts with the rulers of Denmark culminated in the Peace of Stralsund in 1370. After the fall of the Hanseatic League, Stralsund's importance decreased. However, the city continued to live mainly from long-distance and local trade as well as from shipbuilding.

Already in 1525 the majority of the citizens of Stralsund converted to the Protestant faith. The city set the pace for the Reformation in northern Germany.

During the Thirty Years War Stralsund resisted the siege by Wallenstein's troops with the help of Sweden and Denmark; This was followed by almost 200 years of belonging to the Kingdom of Sweden as part of Swedish Pomerania. In 1815 Stralsund became part of Prussia and became the seat of an administrative district with five counties.

1900 to today
After the First World War, Stralsund briefly experienced violent unrest until a bourgeois city government was established in 1919; this was dissolved by the National Socialists in 1933. In 1939, 1,287 patients were deported from the Stralsund state hospital. The deportees were victims of murders in various places, including at the Piaśnica massacre. On May 1, 1945 Stralsund was occupied by the Red Army; After the Second World War, Stralsund was part of the Soviet occupation zone in Germany in 1945.

During the time of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), numerous prefabricated housing estates were built in the city, but the historic old town center deteriorated. Economically, the city lived mainly from shipbuilding at the Volkswerft Stralsund, the ships for the Soviet Union were partially completed every 10 days.

After the political change, Stralsund became a model town for urban development in 1990. The historic city center with the old town harbor was thoroughly renovated with the help of the programs for urban development and for urban monument protection. The residential area of ​​the Grünhufe and Knieper prefabricated housing estates was also improved as part of the “Upgrading”, “Urban Redevelopment East” and “Social City” programs, and the demolition of housing was initiated.

Since 2002, Stralsund's old town, together with that of Wismar, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Historic Old Towns of Stralsund and Wismar. In the course of this, there was a large investment boost in monuments and infrastructure, which stimulated tourism.

After the reunification, there were major economic challenges that caused considerable problems in the structurally weak region. The resulting structural change gradually leads to more stable population and labor market conditions. The population and number of employees in Stralsund has been rising continuously for some time.

In the course of the district reform in 2011, the previously independent city of Stralsund and the districts of Rügen and Northern Western Pomerania became part of the new district of Western Pomerania-Rügen with its administrative headquarters in Stralsund.

On August 1, 2016, Stralsund was awarded the designation of a state-recognized resort. The districts Knieper West, Franken Mitte, Vogelsang and Grünthal-Viermorgen are excluded from this.

Stralsund city fortifications
Stralsund had the status of a fortress until 1871, which helped the city through many wars. In addition to ten city gates, of which only the Kniepertor and the Kütertor have been preserved, the city ponds and dams were also built. The third city gate still preserved after the demolition, the Semlow Gate, damaged in World War II, was blown up in 1960.


Spatial planning

Together with Greifswald, Stralsund forms one of the four regional centers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In the regional development programs for the state and in the Vorpommern planning association, close cooperation between Stralsund and its surrounding area and Greifswald is planned. Both Hanseatic cities had around 118,000 inhabitants together, the administrative areas in between Miltzow and Landhagen as well as Grimmen had around 27,000 inhabitants (2018).
The closest metropolitan areas relevant for the urban region are the Rostock Regiopole and the metropolitan regions of Szczecin in the east, Berlin in the southeast, Hamburg in the west and Copenhagen-Malmö in the north.

Neighboring communities
Many of the formerly smaller villages in the area, such as Parow, Prohn, Wendorf (OT Neu Lüdershagen) or Negast, grew considerably after 1990 with the arrival of people from Stralsund or those who worked in Stralsund.

The cities of Barth, Grimmen and Ribnitz-Damgarten are also in the vicinity of Stralsund, while the city of Greifswald is a good 30 km southeast of Stralsund.



The annual precipitation is 656 mm and is therefore comparatively low; it falls into the lower third of the values ​​recorded in Germany. The driest month is February, the most precipitation falls in July: This month falls 2.1 times more precipitation than in February. The rainfall varies moderately.

Landscapes, elevations, bodies of water
The city lies on the Strelasund, a strait of the Baltic Sea. The geographical proximity to the island of Rügen earned Stralsund the name “gate to the island of Rügen”. There is both a dam with a bridge connecting the city and the island - the Rügen dam over the island of Dänholm to Altefähr - and a bridge, the Rügen Bridge; both connections form the only fixed Strelasund crossings. Stralsund is close to the Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park with its great biodiversity.

The urban area of ​​Stralsund includes a city forest and three city ponds (Knieperteich, Frankenteich and Moorteich). The three ponds and the Strelasund gave the original settlement area and historical center of the city, known today as the old town, a protected island location.

The highest point in the city is the Galgenberg at the western entrance to the town; The hospital church of the West Hospital has stood here since 1912.