Overlooking a natural harbour on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, Wismar is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town in Mecklenburg that flourished during the Hanseatic League. It centres around one of the largest market squares in northern Germany and is clustered with beautifully preserved buildings in Brick Gothic, Romanesque Revival and Art Nouveau styles.
Things to do in Wismar
In the heart of Wismar’s market square is the Wasserkunst, a dodecagonal building designed by Philipp Brandin around the turn of the 17th century. It centres around a spring-fed stone constructed to supply the city with water and is notable for its Dutch Renaissance architecture and copper dome.
In the city’s north-west region is the historic Wassertor, a magnificent port gate built in 1450 to link the town centre with the harbour. Gaze up at its red-brick Gothic design and the crenellated stepped gable while taking note of the coat of arms visible above the pointed arches on both sides.
You can delve into the local history at the World Heritage House, which was built around 1350 during the Hanseatic League. In addition to exhibitions detailing the criteria used by UNESCO for World Heritage listing, it houses restored wall paintings and a rare wall panelling created by the Parisian-based company Dufour & Leroy. If technology is more your thing, head to the phanTECHNIKUM, an interactive museum featuring hands-on exhibits that will engage aspiring inventors.
Getting around Wismar
Lübeck is around an hour’s drive from Wismar while Hamburg Airport is just under two hours away and has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Trains connect from Berlin and Rostock to the Wismar railway station and local buses travel throughout Wismar. The old town and harbour of Wismar can easily be explored on foot.