Infobox German Location
Art = Stadt
image_photo = Greifswald_-_Town_Hall.jpg
image_caption = Town Hall (red) and Cathedral
Wappen = Wappen Greifswald.png
lat_deg = 54 | lat_min = 5 | lat_sec=0
lon_deg = 13 | lon_min = 23 | lon_sec=0
Bundesland = Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Kreis = urban
Höhe = 5
Fläche = 50.50
Einwohner = 53434
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 17489-17493
Vorwahl = 03834
Kfz = HGW
Gemeindeschlüssel = 13 0 01 000
Gliederung = 16 boroughs
Adresse = Markt 1
Website = [http://www.greifswald.de/ www.greifswald.de]
Bürgermeister = Dr. Arthur König
Bürgermeistertitel = Oberbürgermeister
Partei = CDU
pop_ref = [ [http://www.statistik-mv.de/berichte/ Population source] ]
Greifswald (pronounced|ˈɡʁaɪ̯fsvalt; from German: popular etymology: "Greif", "griffin", proper etymology: akin to "grip, a plot not yet cleared and taken into possession", and "Wald", "forest") is a town in northeastern
Germany. The town is situated approximately 200 km to the north of Berlinin the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, borders the Baltic Seaand is crossed by a small river called "Ryck".
The population of the town is approximately 55,000, including some 12,500 students and 5,000 employees of the
University of Greifswald. Besides for the university, it has also become internationally known because of the construction of the Nord Streamgas-pipeline between Russia and Germany.
Greifswald is located near the
Bay of Greifswald, which is the part of the Baltic Seabetween the islands of Rügenand Usedom, in the north German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The small river
Ryckpasses through the old town which is about km to mi|5 away from the "Dänische Wieck" ("Danish Bay", on the southern end of the Bay of Greifswald). The small nearby islands of "Koos" and "Riems" are also part of the City of Greifswald. The area is rather flat, the highest point reaching only as high as 36 metres.
The seaside part of Greifswald at the mouth of the "Ryck" river, named "Greifswald-Wieck", evolved from a fishing village and today provides a small beach, a marina and the main port of Greifswald.
In medieval times, the Greifswald site was an unsettled woodland which marked the border between the Danish
Principality of Rügenand the Pomeranian County of Gützkow, which at that time was also under Danish control. In 1199, Rugian prince Jaromar Iallowed Danish Cistercian monks to build Hilda (now Eldena) abbey at the mouth of the RyckRiver. Among the lands granted to the monks by Jaromar I, there was a natural salt evaporation ponda short way up the river, a site also crossed by the important "via regia" trade route. This site was named "Gryp(he)swold(e)", which is the Low Germanprecursor of the city's modern name. A legend tells that the monks were shown the best site for the settlement by a mighty griffin, living in a tree that was supposed to have grown in Greifswald's oldest street "Schuhagen". The town's erection followed a scheme of rectangular streets, with church and market sites reserved in central positions. It was settled primarily with Germans in the course of the Ostsiedlung, but settlers from other nations and Wendsfrom nearby were attracted, too.
salttrade helped Eldena abbey to grow to a monumental religious centre and Greifswald to become a known market. When the Danes had to surrender the Pomeranian lands south of the Ryck River after the lost 1227 Bornhöved battle, the town became of particular interest to Pomeranian dukes. In 1241, Rugian prince Wizlaw Iand Pomeranian duke Wartislaw IIIboth granted her market rights. In 1250, the latter granted Lübeck lawto her, after he was admitted to take the town site as a fief from Eldena abbey in 1248. Gützkow's Jazco of Salzwedelhad a Franciscanabbey founded within Greifswald's walls; Eldena lost much of her influence on the city's further fate. Just beyond Greifswald's western limits, a town-like suburb ("Neustadt") arose, just separated from Greifswald by a ditch. In 1264, Neustadt was incorporated and the ditch was filled up.
Eldena abbey as well as Greifswald's major buildings were erected in
Enjoying a steady increase in population, Greifswald also became one of the earliest members of the
Hanseatic Leagueat the end of the 13th century, which further increased trade and wealth. After 1296, Greifswald's citizens did not need to serve in the Pomeranian army, and Pomeranian dukes would not reside in the city.
1456, Greifswald's mayor Heinrich Rubenow laid the foundations of one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Greifswald, which was one of the first in Germany, and was, periodically, the single oldest in Swedenand Prussiarespectively.
In the course of
Reformation, Eldena abbey ceased to function as a monastery. Her possessions fell to the Pomeranian dukes, the bricks of her Gothic buildings were used by locals as a quarry. Eldena lost its status and later became enclosed by Greifswald's city limits. Also, the monasteries within the town walls, the "Black abbey" of the Dominican Orderin the Northwest and the "Grey abbey" of the Franciscan order in the Southeast, were secularized. The Black abbey was turned over to the university, the site is still used as part of her medical campus. The Grey abbey and its succeeding buildings now are the Pomeranian State Museum.
As a result of the
Thirty Years' WarGreifswald became part of the Kingdom of Swedenin 1631and remained in Swedish Pomeraniauntil 1815, when it became part of Prussia's Province of Pomerania.
The Thirty Years' War led to high starvation rates all over Pomerania. By 1630, Greifswald's population had shrunken by two thirds. Many buildings were left vacant and decayed in the following years. Soon other wars were to follow, the
Swedish-Polish Warand the Swedisch-Brandenburgian Warboth involved the then Swedish town of Greifswald. In 1659 and 1678, Brandenburgian troops bombarded the town. The first bombardement hit primarily the Northeast, 16 houses burned down completely. The second bombardement levelled 30 houses and damaged some additional hundred all over the town. Cannon balls of this second bombardement still stick in the walls of St Mary's today. During the Northern War(1711-1713), the town had to house soldiers, who vandalized several houses. In 1713, the town hall and the stables burned down. In 1736, an even greater fire destroyed 26 houses and damaged several others. In 1669 and 1689, the Swedish government issued decrees ("Freiheitspatente") freeing anyone of taxes who built or rebuilt a house. These decrees were in force, though frequently modified, until 1824. [Felix Schönrock's studies in: Frank Braun, Stefan Kroll, "Städtesystem und Urbanisierung im Ostseeraum in der frühen Neuzeit: Wirtschaft, Baukultur und historische Informationssysteme: Beiträge des wissenschaftlichen Kolloquiums in Wismar vom 4. Und 5. September 2003",2004, pp.184ff, ISBN 382587396X, 9783825873967, [http://books.google.de/books?id=kwOzlHo7h0QC&pg=PA88&dq=geschichte+pommern&lr=&as_brr=3&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U1rPSdUeHUPmstXk-Ia-i6Z4H428Q#PPA184,M1] ]
Around the 1900s, the city for the first time since the Middle Ages expanded significantly beyond the old city walls. Also, a major railway connected Greifswald to
Stralsundand Berlin, a local railway further connected Greifswald to Wolgast.
The city survived World War II without much destruction although it housed a larger army garrison. In April
1945, Oberst Rudolf Petershagen surrendered the city to the Red Army without combat. From 1949 to 1989, Greifswald was part of the German Democratic Republic. During this time, most historical buildings in the city's medieval parts where neglected and a number of buildings were torn down. The population rose significantly, because of the construction of a power plant in Lubmin, which was closed down in the early 1990s. New suburbs were erected in uniform, industrial socialist style ("see Plattenbau"), that until now house most of the city's population. These new suburbs were all placed east and southeast of downtown Greifswald, shifting the former town center to the northwest edge of the today's city.
Reconstruction of the old town began in the late 1980s and at present nearly all of it has been restored. However, in the 1980s almost all of the old northern town adjactend to the former port was torn down and thereafter build up completely new. The historic marketplace is especially worth mentioning which is considered one of the most beautiful in northern Germany. The city attracts many tourists, also due to its proximity to the
The highest number of inhabitants was reached in 1988 with about 68,000 inhabitants, but the population decreased to roughly 55,000 where it has now stabilised. The reasons included migration to western states as well as
suburbanisation. However, the number of students quadrupled from 3,000 in 1990 to more than 11,000 in 2007 and the university employs 5,000 people - so that nearly one in three people is linked to higher education.Despite its rather small population, Greifswald retains a certain supraregional relevance which can be linked to its intellectual role as a university town and to the take-over of central functions of the former Prussian Province of Pomeraniaafter World War II, for instance the Bishop's see of the Pomeranian Protestant Church, the state archives ("Landesarchiv") and the Pomeranian Museum ("Pommersches Landesmuseum"). Three courts of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommernare also based at Greifswald:
* Supreme Administrative Court ("Oberverwaltungsgericht")
* Supreme Constitutional Court ("Landesverfassungsgericht")
* Financial Court ("Finanzgericht")
Stralsundare the largest cities in the Vorpommernpart of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Of great importance to the city's economy is the local university with its 11,000 students and nearly 5,000 employees in addition to many people employed at research facilities. Greifswald is also the seat of the bishopof the Pomeranian Evangelical Church as well as the seat of the state's constitutional and financial court. Tourismplays a vital role as Greifswald is situated between the islands of Rügenand Usedomat the popular German Baltic coast, which brings in many tourists.
Maritime industry and the energy sector are rapidly growing. The fifth largest producer of
yachts worldwide, [http://www.hanseyachts.com Hanse Yachts] , is based in Greifswald as well as "Solon AG fuer Solartechnik" which produces solar panels. In the engery sector, a transnational gas pipeline from Russia to Germany will stop in Lubmin near Greifswald and Danish company DONG Energyintends to build a power station there. "Riemser Arzeimittel" is a pharmaceutical company based on the isle of Riems, which is part of the city of Greifswald. SiemensCommunications F & E produces here as well.
In a recent survey [Siehe Handelsblatt: http://www.handelsblatt.com/news/Default.aspx?_p=302919&_t=ft&_b=1245899] , Greifswald was declared
Germany's most dynamic city.
Politics is traditionally, as in most of
Pomerania, dominated by the conservative CDU.
The city council is elected for five year terms. Since the last election on 13 June 2004, the 42 city council seats are allocated as follows:
* CDU (conservatives) - 16 seats
* Left Party (socialists) - 9 seats
* SPD (social democrats) - 8 seats
* Greens - 3 seats
* FDP (liberals) - 2 seats
* others - 4 seats
Kotka, Finland, since 1959
Goleniów, Poland, since 1986, twin town since 2006
Osnabrück, Germany, since 1988
Lund, Sweden, Since 1990
Hamar, Norway, since 1997
Newport News, Virginia, USA, since 2007
Szczecin, Poland, city friendship since 1996
Angers, France, contacts since 1994
Bryan, Texas/ College Station, Texas, USA, contacts since 1995
1456, the University of Greifswaldis one of the oldest universities in both Germanyand Europe. Currently, about 11,000 students study at with five faculties: theology, law/ economics, medicine, philosophy, and mathematics/natural sciences.
The university co-operates with many research facilities, such as:
Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik( plasma physics) with its second site (after Garching) in Greifswald and is experimenting with a stellarator, Wendelstein7-X.
* Alfried Krupp Institute of Advanced Study
Friedrich Loeffler Instituteon the Isle of Riems(National Research Institute for Animal Health)
* Institut für Niedertemperatur-Plasmaphysik (Institute of Low
* Technologiezentrum (Centre for
* Biotechnikum (Centre for
* Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Gymnasium (founded in
1561as "schola senatoria" and one of the oldest still existing schools in Germany)
Pomeranian State Museum( _de. Pommersches Landesmuseum): History of Pomeraniaand arts, e.g. of Caspar David Friedrich, a Greifswald local.
Compared to the size of the city, Greifswald there is a wide range of events, for instance:
* theatre and opera
* Pommersches Landesmuseum (state museum)
* Greifswald is one of the sites of a musical festival ("Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern")
* music festival "Nordic Sound" ("Nordischer Klang")
* Bach week
* Eldena Jazz Evenings
* Fishermen Festival "Gaffelrigg" every summer
* old ships in the "Museumshafen" ("museum port")
* regular events at "Literaturzentrum Vorpommern" (literary centre) and "St. Spiritus" (cultural centre)
* Greifswald International Students Festival (GrIStuF e. V.)
* Radio 98eins (open radio)
* Greifswald Night of Music ("Greifswalder Musiknacht")
* Greifswalder Drachenbootfest
Greifswald has a port to the
Baltic Sea, a train connection to Hamburg(via Stralsundand Rostock), Germany's capital city Berlinas well as the islands of Usedomand Rügen.
By car, it can be reached by
Autobahn20 and Bundesstraße105 and 109.
Notable people from Greifswald
Caspar David Friedrich, Romanticist painter
Hans Fallada, author
Wolfgang Koeppen, author
Josef Sommer, actor
Toni Kroos, Professional footballer currently playing for Bayern Munich
* see also list of people associated with the local university here
Pomerania, Hither Pomerania, Swedish Pomerania
* [http://www.greifswald.de City of Greifswald (official website)]
* [http://www.uni-greifswald.de university]
* [http://www.searchix.net/greifswald.html pictures of Greifswald]
* [http://erwin-rosenthal.de/vorpommern/greifswald.htm more pictures]
* [http://www.pommersches-landesmuseum.de Pomeranian State Museum, Greifswald]
* [http://www.theater-vorpommern.de theatre]
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