Rostock (Berlin), Germany
Dutch Guided: Highlights of Rostock
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Approximately 3½ Hours
A Dutch-speaking guide leads this tour (or a guide with a Dutch interpreter). A limited number of Dutch guides and interpreters are available in this port; book early to avoid disappointment. This is not a bilingual tour; EXC tours guided in English are available at Exploration Central on our website.
Visit on foot and by coach the Hanseatic city of Rostock. Other cities feature glass and aluminum jungles, but the architecture of Rostock honors different stylistic periods, from the Middle Ages to the 1950s, in its center. Its suburbs feature 19th-century villas and modern social housing estates.
The University of Rostock, founded in 1419, is the oldest and largest university in northern Europe. Walk along Kröpeliner Strasse and past the city gate -- one of the four original city gates (out of 22) that have stood the test of time. Kröpeliner Strasse boasts many shops and cafés, and is a popular pedestrian boulevard. Houses from the 17th and 19th centuries line the sides, and don't miss the Fountain of Joy with its bronze statues.
Even though central Rostock was largely destroyed during World War II, some historical buildings remain. The medieval marketplace is enclosed by six intact houses from the 15th and 16th centuries. The City Hall is probably the most admired of all the buildings -- it dates back to the 13th century and has seven towers, a Gothic façade, and a Baroque front.
St Mary's Church is an impressive Gothic building from the 13th century. The fantastic astronomical clock is still functional and has an accurate calendar that ends in 2017. Step inside to have a look at the interior.
The Abbey of the Holy Cross was founded in 1270 for Cistercian nuns and the complex still bears witness to its original isolation.
Stalinist-style brick office and apartment buildings, with unusual Gothic elements, line the prestigious boulevard known as Lange Strasse. The Ständehaus -- a very decorative neo-Gothic brick building built 1893 -- was once a meeting-place for traders of Mecklenburg handicrafts.
Take a look at the old harbor and its warehouse complexes. Rostock has centuries-old traditions in shipbuilding which ensured that this Hanseatic city was a successful trade center during the Middle Ages. Rostock is the largest city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and was the original city in the Hanseatic League of Merchant Cities. Watch for the old port area where antique and modern ships are surrounded by restaurants located on the water.
The stiff East German architecture of the '60s offers a stark contrast to the charming buildings of the Old Rostock. Today, about 60% of the population of Rostock lives in this type of building.
Participants must be able to walk about a mile and 1½ hours over cobblestones and uneven surfaces. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring photo ID. Shops in Rostock are closed on Sundays and holidays. Bring local currency, as many vendors do not accept credit cards or US dollars. Use of public restroom facilities costs 50¢ - €1 .