Infobox German Location
Art = Town
image_photo = Wismarer Wasserkunst.jpg
image_caption = Market Square
Wappen = Wappen_Wismar.svg
lat_deg = 53 | lat_min = 54 | lat_sec=0
lon_deg = 11 | lon_min = 28 | lon_sec=0
Lageplan = De Wismar Stadtteile.pngLageplanbeschreibung = Boroughs of Wismar
Bundesland = Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Kreis = urban
Höhe = 15
Fläche = 41.36
Einwohner = 45182
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 23952, 23966, 23968, 23970
Vorwahl = 03841
Kfz = HWI
Gemeindeschlüssel = 13 0 06 000
Adresse = Am Markt 1
23966 Wismar
Website = http://www.wismar.de
Bürgermeister = Dr. Rosemarie Wilcken
Partei = SPD
pop_ref = [cite web |url=http://www.statistik-mv.de/berichte/a__/a-i__/a123__/2006/daten/a123-2006-21.pdf |title=Population of the districts "Ämter" and Municipalities, 30.06.2006 |author=Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Statistical Office |language=German]
Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar

State Party = GER
Type = Cultural
Criteria = ii, iv
ID = 1067
Region = Europe and North America
Year = 2002
Session = 26th
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1067

Wismar (IPA2|ˈvɪsmaʁ) is a small port and Hanseatic League town in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea, in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,about 45 km due east of Lübeck, and 30 km due north of Schwerin. Its natural harbour, located in the Bay of Wismar is well-protected by a promontory. The population was 45,414 in March 2005, more than doubled from 21,902 in 1905.

Representative of Hanseatic League city brick construction as well as the German brick churches, the city has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 2002.

The town was the setting of the 1922 vampire movie "Nosferatu" (in the film however, the town is named "Wisborg").


Wismar is said to have received civic rights in 1229, and came into the possession of Mecklenburg in 1301. In 1259 it had entered a pact with Lübeck and Rostock, intended to defend against the numerous Baltic sea pirates, which developed into the Hanseatic League. During the 13th and 14th centuries it was a flourishing Hanseatic town, with important woollen factories. Though a plague carried off 10,000 of the inhabitants in 1376, the town seems to have remained tolerably prosperous until the 16th century.

Under Swedish rule

By the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 Wismar passed to Sweden, with a lordship to which it gives its name. Through Wismar and the other dominions in the Holy Roman Empire, the Swedish monarchs in their roles as princes, or "Reichsfürsten", took part in the Imperial Diets. From 1653 it was the seat of the highest court for that part of Sweden. In 1803 Sweden pledged both town and lordship to Mecklenburg for 1,258,000 Riksdaler, reserving, however, the right of redemption after 100 years. In view of this contingent right of Sweden, Wismar was not represented in the diet of Mecklenburg until 1897. In 1903 Sweden finally renounced its claims. Wismar still retains a few relics of its old liberties, including the right to fly its own flag.

Modern times

At the turn of the 19th century the most important manufactures of Wismar were in iron, machinery, paper, roofing-felt and asphalt. There was also a considerable trade, especially by sea, with exports including grain, oil-seeds and butter, and the imports coal, timber and iron. The harbour was deep enough to admit vessels of 5 m draught, and permitting large steamers to unload along its quays. Wismar was the location of the Norddeutsche Dornier-Werke aviation plant and railway - factories. Throughout World War II Wismar was heavily destroyed by Allied Air raids and occupied by British and Canadian Forces on May 2, 1945, which retreated again on July 1, 1945 due to the agreements of the Yalta Conference making Wismar a part of the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany.

Main sights

The centre of the old town is the huge Market Place, the largest in Germany (10,000 square metres), surrounded by elegant buildings with styles ranging from 14th-century North German Gothic to 19th-century Romanesque revival. The square's focal point is the "Wasserkunst", an elaborate wrought-iron fountain imported from Holland in 1602. The northern side of the square is occupied by the Town Hall, built in neoclassical style in 1817–1819. Another notable building in the square is an ancient Gothic warehouse called "Alter Schwede" (The Old Swede), erected around 1380.

The 80 m high tower church of St Mary ("Marienkirche") is the only remainder of the original Brick Gothic edifice, built in the first half of the 13th century. It suffered heavy damage in World War II, and was deliberately destroyed in 1960 under the East German Communist government.

The church of St Nicholas ("Nikolaikirche"), built in 1381–1460, with very lofty vaulting, together with the Marienkirche, are regarded as good examples of the influence exercised in these northern provinces by the large church of St Mary in Lübeck.

The elegant cruciform church of St George ("St Georgen-Kirche") dates from the first half of the 13th century. It was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 1990.

The "Fürstenhof", at one time a ducal residence, and later occupied by the municipal authorities, is a richly decorated specimen of the Italian early Renaissance style. Built in 1552–1565, it was restored in 1877–1879. The "Old School", dating from about 1300, has been restored, and used as a museum. The town hall, rebuilt in 1829, contains a collection of pictures.

Notable people from Wismar

* Gottlob Frege – philosopher, logican, mathematician



External links

* [http://www.wismar.de official site]
* [http://www.hs-wismar.de Hochschule Wismar, University of Technology, Business and Design]
* [http://www.germanplaces.com/germany/wismar.html Unesco World Heritage Wismar]

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