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Overview

The region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a rolling land of farms and green-space sloping gently to the Baltic Sea. Sumptuous palaces and manor houses gleam from recent restoration, after the near-century of neglect and damage caused by war and Soviet oppression. Wismar and Stralsund, two of the Hanseatic port cities that were members of the trading league that dominated the Baltic from the 13th to the 17th centuries, have gained recognition as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Traditional stair-step gables of medieval merchant's houses that mark the Hansa cities around the Baltic and North Atlantic line entire streets and harbors. Some of these ...

The region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a rolling land of farms and green-space sloping gently to the Baltic Sea. Sumptuous palaces and manor houses gleam from recent restoration, after the near-century of neglect and damage caused by war and Soviet oppression. Wismar and Stralsund, two of the Hanseatic port cities that were members of the trading league that dominated the Baltic from the 13th to the 17th centuries, have gained recognition as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Traditional stair-step gables of medieval merchant's houses that mark the Hansa cities around the Baltic and North Atlantic line entire streets and harbors. Some of these venerable buildings are open as museums or house restaurants where chefs combine traditional styles with fresh-grown and right-from-the-boat local ingredients.

Early in the 20th century a prosperous new middle class built villas and homes in the contemporary style, called Jugendstyl here and elsewhere known as Art Nouveau. Wismar has a number of these that mix with medieval merchant's homes in a charming blend of styles. A well-mapped tourist trail links together another architectural feature unique to this Baltic coast — monumental medieval churches built entirely of red brick — the most important of them in Wismar, Schwerin, Rostock, Stralsund and Bad Doberan. Long white-sand beaches line the Baltic coast, popular with Europeans but almost unknown to other travelers.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer for the beaches and outdoor sports, all year for the cities, although winter can be gray and cold.