From Wismar to Stralsund
From Wismar I drove to Stralsund which was the second destination during this trip. The reason to visit Stralsund was, just like for Wismar, to visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town.
Driving on motorways in northern Germany is generally much calmer than if you do it around cities such as Hamburg, Frankfurt, Kassel or Munich. There are often fewer queues or stops in the north than in the other regions. The journey from Wismar to Stralsund took just under two hours, including a coffee break.
Stralsund, about 58,000 inhabitants, was the Hanseatic city’s second most important city in the 14th century. Its significance can still be seen today in the beautiful house with step-shaped gables and the impressive churches in brick architecture. The old town was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2002. Just like Wismar, Stralsund was in Swedish ownership for a large part of the 17th and 18th centuries. Stade’s most famous person is in all probability Angela Merkel.
In Stralsund, I would have three days at my disposal to experience the city and its sights. Unfortunately, on a doctor’s recommendation, I had to cancel the trip and drive home to Sweden to have a bicycle injury operated on. I still managed to visit several of the city’s sights, but not all of which is why I will pay a return visit to the city.
A little about Stralsund’s history
Stralsund is founded by Wizlaw I, Prince of Rügen
In the 14th century,
Stralsund was, next to Lübeck, the Hanseatic League’s most important city
On June 24, the city made an alliance with the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf
Later, Stralsund was heavily employed by the imperial troops under the leadership of Wallenstein, who needed the city for his Baltic plans. The Swedish army under the command of Alexander Leslie defeated Wallenstein and after heavy losses he was forced to leave Stralsund on 24 July
In September, Gustaf II Adolf came to Stralsund with most of his army who decided to make Stralsund their German base. He got the burghers to strengthen the defenses
Through the Peace of Westphalia, Stralsund came into Swedish ownership
In September, the city was attacked by Otto Wilhelm Königsmarck with about 4,000 men. After the bourgeoisie’s mutiny on October 15, Königsmarck was forced to give up
Through peace, Stralsund returned to Sweden and the city’s badly experienced fortifications were restored and expanded.
1711 – 1713
During the Nordic War, Stralsund was blocked by the Allies (Russians, Saxons and Danes) from 7 September 1711 to 7 January 1712 and in the autumn of 1713
On November 11, Charles XII came to town
In September, Stralsund was besieged by the Allies (Prussians, Danes and Saxons). The defense was led by the king himself
It was not until November 2 that the enemy opened artillery fire on the city.
In December, Stralsund was badly damaged. On the night of December 22, Charles XII left the city to sail over to Scania and the following day the city was forced to capitulate.
After the peace, Stralsund was returned to the Swedes
1757 – 1759
During the Seven Years’ War, Stralsund was blocked again
In February – March, Stralsund was besieged by the French. They were expelled but returned on August 6 and besieged the city again. On the night of 19 August, the Swedes left the city and it was taken by the French on 20 August
Sweden regained Stralsund through the peace of Paris, which, however, left the city and the rest of Pomerania to the Danes
The Danes left the city to Prussia
Stralsund ceased to be a fortress
20th century – beginning
After the First World War, the city was characterized by unrest until a bourgeois city government was formed in 1919. It was dissolved in 1933 by the National Socialists
During World War II Stralsund was bombed and the city was badly damaged
On May 1, 1945, the city was captured by the Soviet Red Army and became part of the Soviet occupation zone and thus Stralsund ended up in East Germany (GDR).
UNESCO designated the old city centers of Stralsund and Wismar as World Heritage Sites