Welcome to the university town and hanseatic city of Greifswald. Whether you revel in a stroll through the Old Town, visit a museum or go to the theatre, go shipping or canoeing on the river Ryck, go biking or hiking in a charming scenery, have a good time sailing through the bay landscape, visit music and theatre festivals or maritime events or taste the culinary delights of the Western Pomeranian and international cuisine. Greifswald, in the Northeastern part of Germany, invites you to spend your holiday with the whole family. Numerous restaurants, pubs and restaurant vessels are waiting to serve you culinary delicacies around the clock. Greifswald and the region Western Pomerania are worth a visit in all seasons!
Greifswald is situated in the northeastern part of the German federal state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, close to the most beautiful water sports area between the two largest islands, Ruegen and Usedom. The old university town and Hanseatic city offers visitors, Greifswald's inhabitants, students and scientists an inviting, creative atmosphere.
On the tracks of Caspar David Friedrich
The three imposing church steeples proudly tower high towards the sky – from a distance, they greet Greifswald's residents and their visitors. The painter Caspar David Friedrich – the most famous son of the town – was so taken with them that he eternalised their silhouettes in his paintings. The cathedral St. Nikolai, with its tower rising high to almost 100 metres, is the church where Caspar David Friedrich's baptism took place. It belongs to Greifswald's famous landmarks. The paths leading to the painter go through the historical old part of town along the little stream Ryck out to the bay (Bodden) and up to the monastery ruins of Eldena. (These are considered as the cradle of the town.) The imposing walls were portrayed in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, which made the witnesses of the time in stone famous all over the world. In the summer months they become the location of numerous open-air events and festivals. Several works of the artist, among them the "Ruin Eldena in the Riesengebirge" can be seen in the Pomeranian Regional Museum. A "picture path" with 15 stops leading across Greifswald reminds of the painter's life and work.
From the cradle to the present
The history of Greifswald begins in 1199, when Cistercian monks founded the monastery Eldena. In 1633, Wallenstein's troops destroyed its walls that henceforth were used as a quarry. Only in 1827, Prussia's king Friedrich Wilhelm IV. gave order to put a stop to it – becoming aware of them thanks to the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich. In 1250, the duke Wartislaw III grants the Lubian City Law to the settlement. Within the Hanse federation, Greifswald is growing to become a mighty commercial centre. Even today, Hanseatic gabled houses in the historical old part of the town give evidence of the town's prosperity. With its many, well-preserved brick buildings, Greifswald ranks among the most important towns along the European route of brick Gothic. In Greifswald, those who are interested may become pilgrims themselves on the Baltic-Westphalian Way of St. James or go on a hike along the Road of Swedes.
With the ship up to the town centre
In the immediate vicinity of the town centre, the museal harbour offers a maritime touch. In the largest museal harbour of its kind, 40 old, seaworthy museal and traditional ships have dropped their anchor. When they put to sea, you can image the atmosphere of the former seaside town. The old work sailing ships have their common highlight during the largest maritime spectacle in Vorpommern, the fishers' festival gaff rigging, taking place each year in July in the small fishing village Greifswald-Wieck. The thatched cottages with their idyllic sailing ship and fishing harbour promise the unspoilt romance of a fishing village. The wooden bascule bridge, dating back to the year 1887, is opened several times per day – by hand, today as it was then.
Town of artists and tinkerers
Apart from the Hanse, the foundation of the university in 1456 was decisive for the town's development. It is the second oldest in Northern Europe and, after the Swedish occupation of Greifswald, was the first Swedish university. Today, Greifswald is a modern university and science place – and one of the youngest towns in Germany. It owes this to the 12,000 students, who provide among the 60,000 inhabitants a cheerful, witty and lively atmosphere. It is not for nothing that the saying meanwhile goes "Greifswald is a university with a town".
A comprehensive and, in part even unique offer of study courses makes Greifswald to be a very appealing university location, attracting inquisitive minds from all over the world. Especially among medical students, Greifswald is much sought after, particularly because they are trained here at Germany's most progressive university hospital. About 70 scientific institutes, research institutions and companies take advantage of the innovative spirit as well – like for example the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, the Max Planck Sub-Institute of Plasma Physics or the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology.