Rostock Astronomical Clock of 1472
After invention of mechanical clockwork around the year 1300, clocks spread rapidly. They were usually colossal constructions which were placed in main churches or atop towers in affluent cities. By far the most of several dozens of such clocks were destroyed in the turmoil of later centuries. The Rostock clock of 1472 alone keeps on running with all the original parts (consumables like ropes have been replaced, of course).
This makes it a unique witness of the most advanced technology in the late Middle Ages. At the same time, its artistic decorations are remarkable.
St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church is Rostocks main church. Construction began in the 1220ies; in 1454 the building had reached, by and large, its present appearance. It is a representative example of the North German Brick Gothic style.
St. Mary’s is centrally located at the New Market (Neuer Markt), across City Hall (Rathaus). From Central Railway Station take the tram (line 5 or 6 ) for three stops to Neuer Markt. The nearest car parking garage is in Long Street (Lange Straße).
Opening hours of St. Mary’s Church
November to Sunday before Easter:
Mon-Sat 10 am - 4 pm,
Sun/holidays 11:15 am - 12:15 pm.
Monday before Easter to October:
Mon - Sat 10 am - 6 pm,
Sun/holidays 11:15 - 5 pm.
The City of Rostock
The City of Rostock has a population of just above 200,000. Located on the Baltic Sea, it is an important port, and also the largest city in the state of Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), a popular holiday destination.
City rights for Rostock were confirmed by charter in 1218; the city is thus more than 800 years old – archeological findings even suggest a much longer history of settlements.
Rostock was among the first and most important members of the Hanseatic League. The 'Hanse' was a powerful trade cooperation of, at some time, ca. 200 cities which from the 12. century on dominated commerce in the Baltic Sea region and beyond for nearly 5 centuries, all across Northern Europe from London to Nowgorod.
The University of Rostock, founded 1419, was the first in the Baltic Sea area and, 6 years after St. Andrews (Scotland), the second in Northern Europe. At the time of its founding, it was the fifth university in Germany in its present borders (after Heidelberg, Cologne, Erfurt and Leipzig; in Würzburg the university of 1402 was closed in 1413).
Rostock is two hours driving northeast of Hamburg, two hours northwest of Berlin, two hours west of Sczeczin (Poland), and in a similar distance southwest of Copenhague (Denmark) – but for the latter, the water in between renders the travel time longer.