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St. George's Church, the third so-named edifice on the site, dates from 1404. It had escaped significant damage during most of World War II but was heavily damaged by "Blockbuster bombs" dropped by the British Royal Air Force on April 14, 1945, three weeks before the end of the war. The church is a prominent landmark of Wismar, seen from far away in the sea, along with Marienkirche.
The 80 m high tower church of St. Mary's Church (the Marienkirche) is the only remainder of the original Brick Gothic structure, built in the first half of the 13th century. It suffered substantial damage in World War II and was partially razed in 1960 by the East German government. The Marienkirche tower is a prominent landmark of Wismar, seen from far away in the sea, along with St. George's church.
Traditional red brick houses are the distinctive feature of all Hanseatic towns. Wismar has a significant number of those carefully preserved.
As Wismar was the second founding town of the Hanseatic Trade league, the center of the old town is the huge Market Place, one of the largest in northern Germany. It is surrounded by elegant buildings with styles ranging from 14th-century North German Gothic to 19th-century Romanesque Revival to Art Nouveau. The square's center 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, another notable building in the square is a Brick Gothic Bürgerhaus (patrician's home) called the Alter Schwede (The Old Swede).
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.
The Queen of the Hanseatic League as Lübeck is often called has preserved its medieval splendor and is UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1987. The main sites are the rebuilt St. Marien church, the town hall and market, the landmark Holsten Gate, the medieval mews and courts and the Holy Spirit Hospital. Lübeck has ties to 3 winners of the Nobel Prize, all represented in exhibitions. Learn more about Willy Brandt, Günter Grass or Thomas Mann. The favored Marzipan candy is also made in Lübeck. Lübeck is an old yet modern city - not too big but with a high significance in history and a very pretty natural setting. Driving distance from Warnemünde is approx. 90 min.
After Lubeck we will continue to Wismar. The beautifully preserved old town was awarded UNESCO World Heritage in 2001. On your guided tour you will see the market square, typical merchants houses, the town hall, the medieval water system and the pretty Fuerstenhof festive building. In the Gothic quarter the churches of St. Marien and St. Georgen are (partly) preserved and part of a fascinating exhibition about the construction of the medieval cathedrals.
Alternatively you can combine Lübeck with a visit to Rostock or Schwerin instead of Wismar (please let us know in advance if you would like to do that).
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