New pedestrian zone
On my short visit in 2009 I was asked a couple of times by people in Rostock how I liked their new pedestrian zone in the city center.
Well, I think it does look attractive and even prosperous, especially compared with the way it was twenty years ago.
You even see young women with baby carriages, as in my first photo, even though statistically the birth rate in this part of Germany is at an all-time low, and young women are especially prone to pack up and move away.
Why young women, particularly? The reason, I'm told, is that girls and young women tend to pay attention in school, get good grades, get some job training and then move to the West to work or study -- leaving behind a growing number of poorly educated young men who are frustrated because they can't even find girl friends, much less jobs.
As a general rule in Germany, the further north or east you go, the poorer it gets. Since this region is both north and east, it is not nearly as affluent as some other parts of the country.
On the other hand, the people here are quite well off compared to their neighbors in some of the Eastern European countries -- but that's not who they compare themselves with.
GPS 54° 5'17.71" North; 12° 8'2.08" East
1. Young women with baby carriages at University Square, in the new pedestrian zone.
2. Pedestrian zone Kröpeliner Straße.
Gabled Houses on Neue Markt
Since the reunification of Germany, the buildings, streets, monuments etc etc of Rostock have been, and are still being, restored to their former glory. The grey, run down and shabby buildings are quickly becoming a thing of the past, although it is still possible to see evidence here and there.
These gabled houses in New Market square have been carefully preserved and show how this city was once extremely prosperous and important in the Hanseatic league trading association.
Harbour Promenade along the Warnow
The river bank by the old town, harbour area in former times, has been turned into a promenade. Some of the old storage buildings, like the one built in 1935 at the end of Grubenstraße, still serve their original purpose while others have been turned into a business, shopping and living complex. The marina has long-term rental spaces as well as space for overnight visitors. A bit further west the harbour cruise boats to Warnemünde depart.
The historical harbour crane is a remake of 1997 (see separate tip).
If you like smoked fish, follow the smell to the restaurant ship close to the crane with the oven in the bow.
St Petri Steeple
The tall steeple of St Petri church is Rostock's best viewpoint. Before going up, however, we had a look round the church. The bells are not on the steeple but in some scaffolding on the ground.
I tried to ring them but my pushing was not strong enough.
I guess Mommy knew, otherwise she would not have allowed me to try.
From the steeple you have a view of the whole town in all four directions.
The windows have wire nets so you cannot fall out even if you are as little as me.
Old market square with St Nikolai church in the background
View towards the harbour and Warnow River
The view east reveals how close the edge of the city actually is.
The church is standing on a hill and must look imposing from down there on the highway.
I guess I was the first wombat on top of this steeple!
The steeple is really user-friendly: It has a lift and you do not have to climb all those stairs. In fact, you can enter the church, enter the lift, go up the steeple and enjoy the view to all sides without a single step. Even people in wheelchairs should be able to go up without any problem.