Greifswald Tourist Attractions
The old Hanseatic town of Greifswald lies 5km/3mi west of the outflow of the river Ryck into the Greifswalder Bodden, an offshoot of the Baltic. For centuries the town played an important part in maritime trade. The patriotic poet Ernst Moritz Arndt and the painter Caspar David Friedrich lived and worked in Greifswald.
In the center of Greifswald is the Markt, with the medieval Town Hall (Rathaus), originally built in brick in the 14th century in Gothic style, rebuilt after a fire in 1738-50 and altered in the 19th century and again in 1936, and handsome burghers' houses, also in brick-built Gothic style.
Pomeranian State Museum
A few minutes' walk away from the Markt in Greifswald, in Theodor-Pyl-Strasse, can be found the residence of the head of a 14th C. Franciscan friary. It is now a museum (mementos of Ernst Moritz Arndt and Caspar David Friedrich).
Address: Rakower Strasse 9, D-17489 Greifswald, Germany
Opening hours: May 1 to Oct 31: 10am-6pm; Closed: Mon
Nov 1 to Apr 30: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Nov 1 to Apr 30: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24)
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €7.00, Adult €4.50, Group of 15 or more €3.00, Students €2.50, Senior €2.50
St Mary's Church
Near the Platz der Freundschaft in Greifswald are three churches which feature prominently in the townscape. The oldest of the three, the St-Marien-Kirche (14th C.), very typical of the churches of Mecklenburg and Pomerania with its brick walls and groined vaulting, is of impressive spatial effect. The chapel of St Anne on the south side of the church was built in the early 15th century. Notable features of the interior are the pulpit (1577; fine intarsia work) and a memorial stone (15th C.) commemorating Burgomaster Heinrich Rubenow, who was murdered in 1462.
Cathedral of St Nicholas
The Cathedral of St Nicholas (originally 13th C.; east end extended and rebuilt in 14th C.; restored 1980-89) in Greifswald, a brick-built Gothic church, dominates the skyline of the town center with its curving Baroque steeple. It contains a Late Gothic painting of the Virgin with seven professors in prayer (presented by Heinrich Rubenow in 1460) and wall paintings of 1420-50.
St James's Church
The Jakobikirche (13th C.) in Greifswald was rebuilt in the 14th C. as a brick-built Gothic hall-church with groined vaulting.
Ernst Moritz Arndt University
Hospice of St Spiritus
On the east side of Rubenowplatz in Greifswald stands the old Hospice of St Spiritus (the Holy Ghost), founded in the 13th C. soon after the town was granted its municipal charter as a home for the old, poor and sick.
Greifswald's fortifications, still preserved in part, were mostly built during the siege of Greifswald by Wallenstein in the Thirty Years War (1627-31). The 17th C. Fangelturm in Hafenstrasse was part of the fortifications.
In the Eldena district in Greifswald are the ruins of Hilda Monastery (founded 1199), a Cistercian house to which the foundation of the town and many other settlements in the surrounding area was due. Dissolved after the Reformation, in 1535 it became a residence of the Dukes of Pomerania; then in 1634 it was presented to the University. After being sacked by Swedish forces in 1637 it fell into decay, and finally was used by the Swedish military authorities as a quarry of building material. In the early 19th C, however, the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich and the artistic sensibility of the Romantic period led to the scheduling of the ruins as an ancient monument in 1828, and steps were then taken for its conservation.
A wooden bascule bridge based on Dutch models (1887) in Greifswald's district of Wieck is a popular tourist attraction. Also of interest are the old fishermen's and sea-captains' houses (some of them thatched with reeds).