My History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


31/01/2016
  Harbour Impressions from Stralsund

Since I stayed in a hotel on the harbour island adjacent to Stralsund's old town, I had plenty of chances to catch impressions of the harbour district from various angles and in different light. Here are a few of them.

View to the town harbour entrance, with Rügen island in the background

Stralsund started out as a Slavonic fishing village in the 10th century. In 1168, King Valdemar I of Denmark conquered the tribe of the Rujani and made their princes his vassals. The Danes then used the stragegically well positioned settlement with its sea front facing the Rügen pensinsula and the lagoon as their harbour for campaigns further inland. Stralsund received the rights of town according to the Lübeck Charta in 1234 and rose to one of the preeminent members of the Hanseatic League in the 14th century.

View from my hotel room to St.Nikolai Church

Stralsund fell to Sweden in the Peace of Westphalia which ended the Thirty Years Was (1648) and would remain in Swedish possession until the late 19th century when the town came to Prussia. Like so many other places, the old town of Stralsund which had already been hit by several bombs at the end of WW2, suffered neglect during the GDR (the government was more interested in erecting large panel-system buildings - Plattenbauten - in the suburbs which could house more people than restoring old buildings) but was renovated after the reunion. The old town is now part of the Unesco World Heritage.

Stralsund seen from the sea: St.John's Church to the left, St.Nikolai to the right

The town looked a bit different during the Middle Ages, of course, though the churches were already dominating the skyline. The harbour island did not exist; instead long wooden quays were built into the shallow waters of the lagoon. The cogs anchored further out and the wares were shifted to smaller vessels which could be unloaded at the quays. The wares were then transported into the town on well kept cobblestone ways.

Stralsund seen from the sea: Gorch Fock (right), Oceanographic Museum, some hotels
(I took these pictures from the ferry to Hiddensee)

Another feature that has changed is the town wall which once surrounded the entire town since the 13th century, with additional fortifications from later times. Now, only some ruins at the land side remain; the harbour walls had been dismantled 1873 because they stood in the way of expanding the town.

Part of the harbour isle (the red and white house is the hotel I've been staying)

One of the expanding industries were shipyards. To give the shipwrights more space, an artificial insula was constructed outside the old town in 1860. Where once the quays for the Hansa cogs stretched into the shallow waters of the lagoon between Rügen and Hiddensee, piles were rammed into the ground and earth deposited. Twenty new sailing ships were built on the harbour isle in 1862.

View from my hotel room to the canals separating the harbour isle from the old town

But the ship building industry declined with the rise of steam engines, and other uses for the isle had to be found, mostly by building warehouses. A number of those today house hotels and restaurants. The newest addition to the harbour isle is the Oceanographic Museum which opened in 2008. Due to its shape it is nicknamed the toilet paper roll.

St.Nikolai and one of the warehouses (left) on the harbour isle, seen from the sea

Stralsund has a town harbour, a sea harbour for cargo vessels, and several marinas. The sea harbour manages the handling of bulk goods and piece goods, especially salt. The transhipping in 2013 was 1.5 million tons. The town harbour is the starting point for the ferries to Hiddensee and harbour cruises; it also offers anchorage for river cruise ships. A pretty addition to the town harbour is the sail training ship Gorch Fock I.

One of the marinas in the morning light

I took the chance to visit the ship, but that will be a post of its own. Here are some basic informations about her history. The Gorch Fock I is a three mast barque built for the Reichsmarine in 1933. She was used as training ship until the beginning of the war and then as stationary office ship in Kiel and Stralsund. She was briefly activated towards the end of the war and finally sunk by its crew. The Sovjets had her salvaged and restored. She was renamed Tovarishch and used as training ship for the Russian Marine until 1991. During that time she participated in several tall ships' races around the world.

Gorch Fock I

From 1991 the ship sailed under Ukrainian flag, but the money for necessary repairs was lacking, so she ended up in a dock in Wilhelmshaven until 2003, when she was bought by the Tall Ships Society, transfered to Stralsund and renamed Gorch Fock. The society plans to restore the ship so she can sail again, but money is still an issue. New engines have been installed and the decks made useable for events like weddings. But much remains to be done until the Gorch Fock I can safely sail around the world again.

Gorch Fock I, from a different angle

A feature you can see on several photos is the new Rügen Bridge across the Strelasund which separates the island of Rügen from the mainland. The sound is about ten metres deep which is unusually deep for the waters in the area. The sound was crossed by ferries between Stralsund and Altefähr via the island of Stralov, later named Dänholm, already in the 13th century. During the time Stralsund belonged to Sweden, the ferries - in form of sailing vessels - were part of the Swedish postal service from Ystad to Stralsund and operated on a regular schedule since 1684.

View from the upper deck of the Gorch Fock to one of the inner quays, the Rügen Bridge,
the outer dockyard and a warehouse (right)

But increasing traffic made the building of a bridge necessary. The first one was the Rügen Causeway with railway and double lane road, completed in 1936. It consists of a 133 metres long bridge spanning the Ziegelgraben, the part of the sound between Stralsund and Dänholm island. It is constructed as bascule drawbridge in its middle part. The bridge is still in use, esp. for the railway connection, and opens at regular times to allow taller ships passage. The second part is an embankment extending from Dänholm and a second bridge that connects to Rügen.

The new bridge to Rügen

The new bridge, or rather a set of bridges and embankments, was finished in 2007. It has three lanes for car traffic and an overall length of 583 metres. It too, uses the Dänholm as crossing and consists of a viadcut spanning the Ziegelgraben and another bridge across the Strelasund to Rügen. The 126 metres long viaduct is the most stunning feature. It is a cable-stayed bridge that allows passage to ships up to 42 metres height. The pylon is 128 metres high and grounded in the sound by 40 bored pilings with a 1.5 metre diameter. The 32 cables that spread in harp shape have a three layered protection against corrosion and can carry a tension of 4,000 kN.

Rügen Bridge and Dänholm in the morning light

Since Rügen has a number of pretty sea bath towns, it is a popular holiday spot, and the new bridge was needed to cope with the increasing traffic. Since I didn't have so much time, I decided for a trip to Hiddensee instead. It is easier to get there by public transport and it is quieter, too. But Rügen is still on my list.

View from the bow of the Gorch Fock to the lagoon

I hope you liked the little tour through the harbour of Stralsund. The weather offered everything form sunshine to lightning storms during the three days I stayed in Stralsund, thus the photos show very different moods.
 
Comments:
Ein Besuch mit Stadtrundgang und Besuch des Meereskundemuseums in Stralsund ist schon eine ganze Weile her. Das letzte Mal sind wir nur durchgefahren, als wir unterwegs zur Insel Rügen waren. Das war jetzt eine schöne Erinnerung an einen sehr schönen und interessanten Tag in der alten Hansestadt. Ein schön bebilderter Beitrag und meine schon etwas weggerutschten Geschichtskenntnisse sind nun wieder ein wenig aufgefrischt :-) Danke dafür!
Liebe Grüße von der Silberdistel
 
What fantastic views from your hotel room.
 
Dann wird es ja Zeit, Stralsund einmal wieder zu besuchen, liebe Silberdistel. Das Ozeaneum lohnt sich auch; es ist der große Bruder des Meereskundemuseums (das ich im übrigen 2004 besucht hatte, weshalb es diesmal nicht auf der Liste war).

Anerje, it was one of the lovlier hotel room views. Only topped by the park and forest I could see from a hotel in Derenburg in the Harz.
 
I live so far from any body of water that it's a vicarious thrill to see sea images, boats and waterfronts. Thanks!
 
What a lovely town, and your photos (as always) are stunning. I'm guessing you were on the top floor of the hotel to get those amazing views?
 
Thank you Carla. Yes, hauling the luggage up three sets of stairs, but it was totally worth it. :-)
 
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The Lost Fort is a history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history and architecture, as well as some geology, illustrated with my own photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, pretty towns and beautiful landscapes.

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Location: Goettingen, Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who still hasn't got an Instagram account.
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Shores of History - The Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea Cruise

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Nida and the Curonian Spit
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- Roman History
- Mediaeval History
- Other Times and Miscellanea


Roman History

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The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

Along the Limes
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Limes Fort Saalburg

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Hadrian's Wall

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The Batavian Rebellion

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Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles

Life and Religion

Religion
The Mithras Cult
Isis Worship
Curse Tablets and Good Luck Charms

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
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Roman Transport - Amphorae and Barrels
Roman Water Supply

Roman villae
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Miscellaneous
Legend of Alaric's Burial


Mediaeval History

Feudalism
Feudalism, Beginnings
Feudalism, 10th Century
The Privilege of the deditio
A Note on handgenginn maðr

The Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings
Stockfish Trade


Germany

Geneaologies

List of Mediaeval German Emperors

Geneaology
Anglo-German Marriage Connections
Heinrich the Lion's Ancestors

Biographies

Kings and Emperors
King Heinrich IV
Emperor Otto IV, Introduction

Princes
Otto the Quarrelsome of Braunschweig-Göttingen
The Dukes of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen
Otto of Northeim
The Ludowing Landgraves of Thuringia
Albrecht II and Friedrich I of Thuringia

Counts and Local Lords
The Marshals of Ebersburg
The Counts of Everstein
The Counts of Hohnstein
The Lords of Plesse
The Counts of Reichenbach
The Counts of Winzenburg

Famous Feuds

Local Feuds
The Lüneburg Succession War
The Thuringian Succession War - Introduction
The Star Wars

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg


England and Normandy

From the Conquest to King John

Normans, Britons, and Angevins
The Dukes of Brittany and the Honour of Richmond

From Henry III to the War of the Roses

Great Fiefs
The Earldom of Richmond and the Duchy of Brittany


Scotland

Kings of Scots

House Dunkeld
Malcolm III and Northumbria
Struggle for the Throne: Malcolm III to David I
King David and the Civil War (1)
King David and the Civil War (2)

Houses Bruce and Stewart
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle
The Early Stewart Kings

Scottish Nobles and their Quarrels

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding


Wales

Princes and Rebels

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

The Rebellions
From Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Scandinavia

Kings and Vikings

Kings of Norway
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages

Famous Nobles and their Feuds
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


Other Times and Miscellanea

Post-Mediaeval History

Discoveries
Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)

Explorers
Fram Expedition to the North Pole
Fram Expedition to the South Pole

History in Opera and Literature

Opera

Belcanto and Historicism
Maria Padilla - Mistress Royal
The Siege of Calais in Donizetti's Opera

Historical Ballads

Ballads by Th. Fontane, translated by me
About Theodor Fontane
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan


Geological Landscapes

The Baltic Sea
Geology of the Curonian Spit

The Harz
Karst Landscape
Karst - Lonau Falls
Karst - Rhume Springs

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bogs
The Hannover Cliffs

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Paleontology

Fossils
Ammonites


Fun Stuff

Not So Serious Romans
Aelius Rufus Visits the Future Series
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Royal (Hi)Stories
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Historical Memes
Charlemagne meme
Historical Christmas Wishes
New Year Resolutions
Aelius Rufus does a Meme
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances

Funny Sights
Tourist Kitsch in St.Petersburg

My Novels in Progress / Planning

I'm a bit of a writer, too; here are the novel projects on which I'm currently working

Roman Novels (Historical Fiction)
The Saga of House Sichelstein (Historical Fiction)
Kings and Rebels (Fantasy)


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The Northern Antiquarian
The Roman Archaeology Blog

History Blogs - Mediaeval

Þaér wæs Hearpan Swég
Anglo Saxon, Norse & Celtic Blog
Casting Light upon the Shadow (A. Whitehead)
Norse and Viking Ramblings
Outtakes of a Historical Novelist (Kim Rendfeld)

Beholden Ye Aulde Blogges
A Clerk of Oxford
Daily Medieval
Historical Britain Blog (Mercedes Rochelle)
Magistra et Mater (Rachel Stone)
Michelle of Heavenfield (Michelle Ziegler)
Senchus (Tim Clarkson)

Royal and Other Troubles
Edward II (Kathryn Warner)
Henry the Young King (Kasia Ogrodnik)
Piers Gaveston (Anerje)
Lady Despenser's Scribery
Simon de Montfort (Darren Baker)
Weaving the Tapestry (Scottish Houses Dunkeld and Stewart)

A Mixed Bag of History
English Historical Fiction Authors
The Freelance History Writer (Susan Abernethy)
The History Blog
History, the Interesting Bits (S.B. Connolly)
Mediaeval Manuscripts Blog
Mediaeval News (Niall O'Brian)
Time Present and Time Past (Mark Patton)

Thoughts and Images

Reading and Reviews
Black Gate Blog
The Blog That Time Forgot (Al Harron)
Parmenion Books
Reading the Past
The Wertzone

Imaginations
David Blixt
Ex Urbe (Ada Palmer)
Constance A. Brewer
Jenny Dolfen Illustrations
Wild and Wonderful (Caroline Gill)

German Travel Blogs
Alte Steine
Blickgewinkelt
Meerblog
Reiseaufnahmen
Sonne und Wolken
Teilzeitreisender
Travelita
Unterwegs und Daheim

Highland Mountains
The Hazel Tree (Jo Woolf)
Helen in Wales
Mountains and Sea Scotland

The Colours of the World
Shutterbugs


Research

Archaeology
Past Horizons
Archaeology in Europe
Orkneyar

Roman History
Deutsche Limeskommission
Internet Ancient Sourcebook
Livius.org
Roman Army
Roman Britain
The Romans in Britain
Vindolanda Tablets

Not so Dark Ages
Burgundians in the Mist
Viking Society for Northern Research

Mediaeval History
De Re Militari
Internet Mediaeval Sourcebook
Kulturzeit
The Labyrinth
Mediaeval Crusades
Medievalists.Net

Castles
Burgenarchiv
Burgerbe
Burgenwelt
Exploring Castles
The World of Castles

Miscellaneous History
Heritage Daily
The History Files

Mythology
Ancient History
Encyclopedia Mythica

Online Journals
Ancient Warfare
The Heroic Age
The History Files

Travel and Guide Sites

Germany - History
Antike Stätten in Deutschland
Burgenarchiv
Strasse der Romanik

Germany - Nature
HarzLife
Naturpark Meissner
Naturpark Solling-Vogler

England
English Heritage
Visit Northumberland

Scotland
The Chain Mail (Scottish History)
Historic Scotland
National Trust Scotland

Books and Writing

Interesting Author Websites
Bernard Cornwell
Dorothy Dunnett
Steven Erikson
Diana Gabaldon
Guy Gavriel Kay
George R.R. Martin
Sharon Kay Penman
Brandon Sanderson
J.R.R. Tolkien
Tad Williams

Historical Fiction
Historical Novel Society
Historia Magazine

Writing Sites
Absolute Write
TheLitForum.com
National Novel Writing Month


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