World Heritage in Wismar

UNESCO World Heritage

Whether it is the Egyptian pyramids, the Grand Canyon in the USA or India's Taj Mahal – there is one thing these unique natural and cultural monuments have in common with the Hanseatic Town of Wismar: they are significant cultural or artistic treasures, certified as being of "outstanding universal value", and as such worthy of preservation for future generations. Today, over 980 sites belong to the UNESCO World Heritage of Humanit.

Acceptance in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2002

Both towns were important trade centres of the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages, and their medieval pattern of streets, quarters and plots have been retained almost completely intact through to the present day. As a consequence, the Old Towns of Wismar and Stralsund still represent today superb examples of a fully developed Hanseatic town during the heyday of the League in the 14th century.

Medieval Manmade Waterway

Wismar's medieval harbour has been preserved with an authenticity seldom found elsewhere today, conveying an impression of what was in effect the backbone of a medieval maritime trading centre. The Grube (canal) that flows into the harbour is the last remaining manmade medieval waterway in a North German old town quarter. Within the boundaries of the historic town centre three monumental brick churches embody a unique testament to the renowned religious architecture in the Southern Baltic Sea region. The mighty tower of St. Marien Church is today still a landmark of the town from both land and sea.There is many a reminder too of the era of Swedish occupation of the town – the Zeughaus (arsenal), the swedish commander's house as well as the Schwedenköpfe (Swedish busts) guarding the Baumhaus. That era ended permanently in 1903, when after a hundred year pledge agreement expired, Sweden renounced its claim to the town, and it returned to Mecklenburg permanently.

The Historic Centres of Wismar and Stralsund – Two Towns – One Heritage

Those who set off on the trail to discover Wismar's rich and unique history will find it's many traces, starting here!

Further information about the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Wismar and Stralsund can be found here: