Fascinating Wismar

Fascinating Wismar (, )

Pumping Station

The pumping station was constructed between 1580 and 1602 following plans drawn up in the style of the Dutch Renaissance by Dutch master architect Philipp Brandin of Utrecht It supplied the city with drinking water until 1897. The banderols in Latin and German tell the story of how drinking water was previously supplied.

“Alter Schwede” (The Old Swede)

The “Alte Schwede” was built around 1380. In the Middle Ages there were residential and business premises on the ground floor, and the first floor was used as storage space. It was not until 1878, when a catering establishment moved in, that the building was given the name “Alter Schwede” in remembrance of Wismar’s Swedish period from 1648 to 1803.


Rathaus und Marktplatz
(Town Hall and Market Square)

With its 10.000 m2 surface area the market square is one of the largest in Northern Germany. The Town Hall is situated on the north side of the square. In 1807 the left wing of the Late Gothic building collapsed. The Town Hall was reconstructed in the classical style between 1817 and 1819 in accordance with plans by the court architect Johann Georg Barca of Ludwigslust.

Cellar of the Town Hall

In doing so the surviving Gothic remains of the cellar area were incorporated into the new building. The permanent exhibition "Wismar – Images of a Town" can be found in the "Rathauskeller". Full of interesting facts about the city’s history, the exhibition is open daily (Telephone +49 3841 251-3025).

Archidiakonat (Archdeaconry)

The former residence of the archdeacon, this house was built around 1450 in the North German red-brick Gothic style. Like many other Gothic buildings around the Church Tower of St. Mary, the Archdeaconry was seriously damaged in the last world war and reconstructed at considerable expense. The richly divided stepped gable on the north side, decorated with wind perforations, is of particular significance.

Fürstenhof (Ducal Residence)

The Fürstenhof was the seat of the Dukes of Mecklenburg. In its current form it consists of two wings which are almost at right angles to one another. The western wing, the so-called “Old House”, came into being in 1512/13. It is still well and truly within the design principles dictated by the Late Gothic style. The “New House” came into being between 1553 and 1555 and is in the Italian Renaissance style. It is richly ornamented with sculpted limestone and terracotta decorative elements. The three stories are distinguished from one another by various figurative friezes.
The design of the portals of the gateway entrance is also richly ornamented with sculptures. Following the cession of Wismar to the Swedish crown in 1648, the highest Swedish court for Swedish territorial possessions in Northern Germany, the so-called Tribunal, was installed in the Fürstenhof from1653 to 1802. After extensive renovation work the Fürstenhof is today the seat of the county court of Wismar.

Karstadt and Krämerstraße

The four-storey art nouveau building on the corner of Krämerstraße and Lübsche Straße is the original head office of Karstadt AG (a chain of department stores). With just one employee, it was here that in 1881 Rudolph Karstadt established his later empire. He introduced what was, at that time, the unusual business policy of payment in cash! The name “Krämerstraße” (Chandler Street) with its many remarkable gabled houses, indicates its earlier and
current role as a business boulevard.


The Lindengarten was erected in 1815 on the site of the former Swedish fortifications, and was financed by donations. The ancient trees and the many benches make it an inviting place to while away the time. The paths around the Mühlenbach are especially attractive.


The “Schabbellhaus” was built between 1569 and 1571. It was designed by the Dutch master architect Phillip Brandin of Utrecht, and was to be used by the future Mayor of Wismar, Hinrich Schabbell, as a brewery and residence. It is one of the earliest Renaissance buildings in the Baltic region and demonstrates the combination
of materials widespread in the Netherlands, namely brick with decorative elements sculpted out of sandstone. Nowadays it houses the Civic History Museum. The museum’s collections and exhibitions reflect the culture and history of the Hanseatic town of Wismar and the surrounding area. The museum is currently closed owing to re-construction work.

Zeughaus (The Arsenal)

The Zeughaus is regarded as one of the most significant baroque manifestations of Swedish military architecture in Germany. The old building was replaced by a new one in 1700. In 1699 the old arsenal was destroyed by a powerful explosion in a gunpowder tower following a heavy storm. Noteworthy is the unique roof truss which, owing to its double suspension construction, allows the 60x15 metre upper floor area to remain unsupported. The weight of the roof truss is carried only by the surrounding wall. Today the Zeughaus is the home of the Town Library with more
than 80.000 items available for lending.

„Zum Weinberg“

The building was erected in 1355 and was re-modelled in Renaissance style around the year 1575. Documentary evidence shows that it has been used as a wine business since 1648. Of particular interest is the hallway of “Weinberg” with its painted beamed ceiling from1648.