Eastward along Germany's Baltic Coast

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Follow the Red Brick Buildings

Germany's coast on the southern Baltic was the headquarters of world commerce. This area was the center of the Hanseatic League, an association of merchants and suppliers, eliminating the international boundaries between traders. Though the old towns are somewhat pock-marked due to deterioration from time, many fires, and war, there's still a Gothic spirit to the landscape.

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Kremper Tor
This gate marks the entrance to the town of Neustadt. The lower part was constructed in 1244, the same year that the town was founded.
View from St. Peter's
Lübeck was the largest and most important member of the Hanseatic League. From the top of St. Peter's Church, you can see the 15th-century Holstentor city gate and some of the salt houses, where salt from Lüneborg was stored before its export around Scandinavia.
Water Art
This lovely water tower in Wismar's old market was imported from Holland in 1602. This tower was needed when the town’s consumption of water increased beyond the capabilities of their wells, largely due to the introduction of beer to Germans.
One Man Band
Wismar held its annual Harbor Days festival while we were visiting. The instruments for this one-man band are powered nearly entirely by air pressure.
Ferry to Warnemunde
The marina where we stayed in Warnemünde occupies a large tract across the river from the old town. There's a public ferry, but the resort also maintains this 1930s-era vessel to take its residents to town. We rode it once and then it was out of commission for the rest of our visit.
Church pews in Warnemunde
These carved pieces from the pews of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Warnemünde once held the pews for the important families in town, like you'd save a place at a movie with your sweater. Apparently the good citizens wanted to pray for their afterlife in a comfortable beforelife.
University Square in Rostock
This is University Square in Rostock, festooned with the Fountain of Happiness. The university was founded in 1419, and bestowed honorary degrees on Albert Einstein and Max Planck when it celebrated its 500th birthday.
Town Hall in Stralsund
The fourteenth-century town hall in Stralsund was the site of a 1370 peace treaty that ended a war in which Denmark was defeated for its failure to comply with Hanseatic trade agreements. Those guys were strict.