Prince Wizlaw I. bestowed a town charter on the Slavonic fishing village of Stralow in 1234. The accompanying privileges such as the right to trade, to levy tolls and custom duties and fishing rights made the town very wealthy and powerful; thanks to its site as a seaport and right to maritime trading, for centuries after becoming a member of the Union of Hanseatic Towns, it was one of the most influential towns in Northern Europe. Large areas of the town centre have been preserved to the present day and the buildings in Gothic, Baroque and Classical style bear witness to the architectural and urban planning practised by the old Hanseatic League. If you are looking for peace and quiet after a sightseeing trip downtown - there are many architectural momuments dating back to different eras in the vicinity of our hotel - take a stroll in one of the many parks or in the nearby, unspoilt, rugged countryside on the coast. As a special service for those guests who are interested in learning more about the region, we can organize tours with professional local guides. In this way, even visitors who are only staying in the town for a short period of time can get to know and experience the particular charm and diversity of the this part of the country.
The imposing Parish Church of St. Marien is to be found directly adjacent to our hotel. Along with the churches of St. Nikolai and St. Jakobi, which are also built in brick, these are internationally recognised examples of North German architecture of their time. The History Museum, which is more or less just around the corner from the Hotel Zur Post, demonstrates the milestones in the development of the Hanseatic town: a diversity of exhibits show how the Slavonic people caught eels, describes the events of the Thirty Years War and Wallenstein's luckless siege and includes items on day-to-day life in the German Democratic Republic.
The authenticated oldest building in Stralsund, at Moenchsstrasse 38, belongs to the Museum and is open to the public.
Although Stralsund is a coastal town, it does not lie on the open sea - the Island of Ruegen protects the town from the high waves coming in off the Baltic Sea, making it ideal for water sports enthusiasts. The sprawling docks are a place where local and international water sportsmen meet before they set off to enjoy sailing trips or cruises or just go fishing. Maritime events, such as "Seafaring Day" or the varous regattas and the annual German Powerboat Grand Prix, underline our affinity to the sea.
During a visit to Stralsund, you must go to the Maritime Museum, which is to be found in the former Katharinen Monastry, next-door to the History Museum. Permanent exhibits and large aquariums present the marine fauna and flora and closely acquaint visitors with oceanography, marine biology, whales and dolphins, as well as fishing methods. The "Man and the Sea" (Mensch und Meer) Section and the information on the Baltic Sea clearly illustrate the current state of the sea. Some of the extraordinary exhibits on show are, for example, a 15 m long skeleton of a finwhale and a Japanese Giant Crab. The aquariums contain creatures which originate not only from the North Sea or Baltic Sea but also from tropical waters, thus giving visitors a fascinating insight into the underwater world. Further attractions are on display in the Nautineum Daenholm, an Exhibition Centre for fishing, marine research, hydrography and waterways. The impressive underwater laboratory "Helgoland" can be marvelled at from inside - as well as the 14 m high hall in which the Museum keeps the Zeesboot STR 9. A multi-media show produces sea worlds to touch, to experience, to be awed at, covering such themes as natural maritime phenomena, the threat to the seas and their future, in addition to showing the importance of the sea in history, culture and art.
On the 27th of June, 2002, the "Historical Old Towns of Stralsund and Wismar" were included on the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritages, on the recommendation of the Internal Commitee for the Preservation of Historical Monuments (ICOMOS), which praised not only their "universal value" but also the co-operation between the townspeople and their endeavours to preserve unique historic monuments. On the other hand, ICOMOS emphasised the sensitivity of "living" old towns and the necessity to take great care, at present and particularly in the future, to ensure that these are protected and developed with caution. Stralsund and Wismar were also commended for initiating the "World Heritage Foundation" which translates into action the thought that world heritage is the responsibility of all people in an exemplary fashion: places considered to be part of the heritage of the world are the inheritance of us all and must be conserved at all costs.
Stralsund is the gate to the island world of West Pomerania. Thanks to the new B96a ringroad which was opened in 2003, the flow of traffic to the Island of Ruegen must no longer crawl through the narrow streets of the town centre. Vistors can drive staight onto the Peninsula of Fischland/Darss on the B105 and the B96 leads to the Island of Usedom via the Hanseatic Town of Greifswald. From Stralsund Harbour, the White Fleet Ferries take passengers to the idyllic Isle of Hiddensee, Ruegen's little sister, where no cars are allowed.