Explore the Hanseatic city Greifswald

The University and Hanseatic town of Greifswald is the district town of the West Pomerania-Greifswald district. It is the economic, scientific and cultural centre of Western Pomerania. Rich in tradition, this Hanseatic town represents itself as an innovative and modern University town in the Baltic region.

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Greifswald’s strengths include the networking of science, research and technology. It is an important scientific and business location with particular skills in the health care, electronics, energy, maritime business and tourism industries. 

Europe-wide renowned top research and technology especially in the sector of plasma technology, life-science and biotechnology as well as animal health make Greifswald unique.

History of Greifswald – Tradition and Modernity

Greifswald owes its existence to Cistercian monks who had to escape from combats over their monastery in Dargun. In 1199, they began to built a new monastery at the south side of the little river Ryck. They profitably traded with salt and increased their wealth by princely donations.

Thanks to the fact that Greifswald never has been destroyed during war times, there are still precious testimonies of all epoch styles. The three brick stone churches “Saint Nicolai”, “Saint Marien” and “Saint Jacobi” characterise the silhouette of the town which is the historic side of Greifswald. Together with other well preserved brick stone buildings, Greifswald belongs to the most important cities of the “European Route of Brick Gothic”. The town is founding member of the association “European Route of Brick Gothic e.V.” and is very active in this international network including numerous other famous Hanseatic cities. 

The maritime heritage of this old Hanseatic town can be visited at the river Ryck, the location of Germany’s biggest museum harbour. Today, modern boat building industry is next to historic “Zeesenboote” and “Gaffelschoner”. 

The University and Hanseatic town of Greifswald is located between Germany’s two largest islands of Rügen and Usedom, directly at the bay with one of the most beautiful sailing area.

The romantic fishing village Wieck as part of Greifswald represents one of the numerous sightseeing attractions for the local population and tourists with its many thatched roofs, the wooden drawbridge of 1887 and the beach. 

Art and Culture

The famous Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich, who was born 1774 in Greifswald and died 1840 in Dresden, chose the ruins of Eldena Abbey as major motive for his pictures and thus made it famous all over the world. The gallery of the Pomeranian State Museum exhibits several well known pictures of this great son of Greifswald. In the birth house of the painter, the so-called “Friedrichschen Seifenseiderei”, the Caspar-David-Friedrich-Centre keeps alive the memory of this excellent artist by various exhibitions.

Moreover, the picture tour, a special walk round the University and Hanseatic town of Greifswald, reminds of Caspar David Friedrich. It leads the visitor to viewpoints which draw the attention to numerous of his picture motives that are still existing. 

The University and Hanseatic town of Greifswald is a lively town with many cultural events. One of the festival highlights with interregional popularity are the “Nordische Klang” the biggest festival of Northern Europe culture outside Scandinavia, the “Greifswalder Bachwoche” a festival of spiritual music in the North and the “Eldenaer Jazz Evenings” a festival offering a range of international musical styles. 

Moreover, many cultural initiatives are developed in Greifswald which increases the attraction of this location.

Science and Research

The Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald was established in 1456 and is the second oldest university in the Baltic. It is the region’s largest employer.

Some inhabitants even say that Greifswald is sort of a university surrounded by town. 

Many local scientific institutions and businesses profit from the innovative spirit, such as the “Max-Planck-Teilinstitut for Plasmaphysik”, the “Leipniz Institut for Plasma Research and Technology” and the “Riemser Arzneimittel AG”.

The University Medicine with its numerous clinics and institutions is a key economic factor. The University hospital constantly develops to Germany’s most modern medicine facility. 


The University and Hanseatic town of Greifswald has become an important tourist destination. This tourism contributes increasingly to the economic growth. 

The most important sights are: The brick stone buildings such as the Hanseatic gabled houses “Markt 11 and 13”, the cathedrals “Saint Nicolai”, the “Marienkirche”, “Saint Jacobi” and “Saint Spiritus”, the ruins of Eldena Abbey, the Pomeranian State Museum, the “Caspar-David-Friedrich-Centre”, the main building of the University including the late baroque auditorium and its collections as well as art treasures, the Botanical Garden, the “Arboretum”, the little animal zoo, the museum harbour with its historic boats and the district “Wieck/Elenda”. 

Thanks to the fact that Greifswald is a town of short distances and ideal for bikers, visitors may explore it and the environment by bike along the river Ryck for example.

Pictures of the Hanseatic City of Greifswald


Rathaus Am Markt
17489 Greifswald