With a population of under 2 million living on 23,000 square kilometres the German Federal State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is rather sparsely populated. The state on the Baltic Sea coast once was part of communist Eastern Germany but comes with a modern infrastructure today and offers numerous attractions to the visitor. In fact, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is one of Germany’s finest domestic holiday destinations in the North now. Here, you can find nature in abundance, the cleanest air, picturesque cliff coastlines, such as the “Chalk cliffs on the Isle of Rügen” and beautiful beaches of finest sand.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is the state with the most water occurrence in Germany – a true paradise for all watersports enthusiasts! More than 2,000 clean lakes promise endless fun in and on the water and also 1,700 kilometres of coastline and 25,000 kilometres of running rivers.
Gothic red-brick architecture is a distinctive characteristic of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s beautiful historical cities. Cathedrals in the Hanseatic cities of Rostock, Wismar, Stralsund and Greifswald or the Doberan Münster are magnificent examples of this style of the North. Moving inland, shady avenues lead to lovingly restored castles and gentlemen’s country estates, many of them are today open as hotels for guests. There are about 2,000 castles, monasteries and manor houses in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, more than in any other region of Germany. The fairy-tale castle in Schwerin is the pride of the State Capital and the seat of the State Parliament.
Hanseatic City of Rostock
Rostock (population 200,000) is the largest city in the region, and a major port and shipbuilding centre on the Baltic coast. The city is bursting with architectural testimony to its 800 years of history. You will find medieval city gates, beautifully decorated gable houses, and the impressive 13-century Marienkirche, Rostock’s gemstone. Nestled between them are situated the idyllic monastery of the Holy Cross, the Cultural History Museum, the Maritime Museum and the market place with its town hall boasting a Baroque façade and seven turrets. Only a few minutes away, still in the middle of the city, lies the port and its broad harbour promenade lined by bars and warehouses. And if you are looking for a nice sandy beach: “Rostock’s daughter”, the elegant seaside resort of Warnemünde at the mouth of the Warnow River lies a few kilometres north of the city.
The state capital (population 100,000) was founded by Duke Henry the Lion in 1160, and is Mecklenburg’s oldest city. Set in the middle of an idyllic lake landscape, the blue of the lakes has always been the dominant feature. The lakes cover a quarter of the city surface area and even extend into the city centre. And at the hub of it all, situated on an islet lies the ‘Neuschwanstein of the North’, Schwerin’s stunning castle with its impressive grand hall, the ancestral gallery, and the orangery. Schwerin is the cultural centre of the region. The renowned Mecklenburg State Theatre along with the Mecklenburg State Orchestra can look onto 400 years of history. Among the museums it is the neoclassical State Museum with its marvellous gallery of paintings that takes pride of place. The collection from the Golden Era of the Dutch school of painting comprises a total of 550 works from the 17th century. With pictures by Rubens, Rembrandt, Carel Fabritius and Frans Hals it is one of the most representative of its kind in Germany. Numerous large-scale events such as the Schwerin Cultural Summer, the Film Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, exhibitions and concerts cater for widely differing tastes.
Hanseatic City of Stralsund
Almost completely surrounded by water and of exceptional beauty, the old maritime trading metropolis likes to see itself as the ‘Venice of the North’. The once powerful Hanseatic city possesses an impressive abundance of historical buildings stretching back eight centuries. The unique town hall, built in the 14th century, is the crown jewel of the city and the most important secular Gothic building on the entire Baltic Sea coast.