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Rostock is a city in northern Germany. It is the largest town of the state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Rostock is situated at the Warnow[?] river; the quarter of Warnemünde 12 km north of the city centre lies directly at the coast of the Baltic Sea. Population: 212,700 (1997).

In the 11th century there was a Slavic settlement at the Warnow river called Roztoc; the name Rostock is obviously derived from that designation. The Danish king Valdemar I set the town aflame in 1161. Afterwards the place was settled by German traders.

The rise of the city began with its membership in the Hanseatic League. In the 14th century it was a powerful seaport with 12,000 inhabitants. Ships for cruising the Baltic Sea were constructed in Rostock. In 1419 the oldest university of the Baltic was founded.

At the end of the 15th century the dukes of Mecklenburg succeeded in capturing the town of Rostock, which had until then been independent. They took advantage of a riot known as Domfehde, a failed uprising of the impoverished population. Subsequently quarrels with the dukes and persistent plunders lead to the ultimate loss of power.

In the 19th century Rostock regained much of its power, due to its shipyards constructing the first propeller-driven steamers of Germany. The city grew, was almost totally destroyed in World War II and became a major industrial centre of the GDR.

Sights in Rostock:

  • Saint Mary (Marienkirche, 13th century, with an astronomical clock from 1472
  • Saint Nikolai (Nikolaikirche, 13th century)
  • Town hall (1290)
  • Medieval city wall with three town gates

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