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Art & culture

Other than Lübeck, the Hanseatic town of Stralsund was the most important town in the whole Baltic region in the 14th century and it was chosen as the location for peace negotiations with Denmark in 1370. The Peace of Stralsund marked the pinnacle of Hanseatic power in European history. The outstanding architectural importance of the town hall testifies to this golden age, and together with the Church of St. Nicholas it forms a remarkable architectural unit. The town's striking medieval gabled houses include the Wulflamhaus.
Town Hall
The Town Hall on Alter Markt square, one of the most beautiful secular buildings built of bright-red brick in the north German Gothic style, was first mentioned in 1278. It was used as a trading hall, council chamber and court room. As a sign of the good trading relations which existed at the time, the coats of arms of the Hanseatic towns of Rostock, Greifswald, Lübeck, Hamburg, Wismar and Stralsund have been set into the characteristic decorative facade. The building contains the Achtmannskammer, the Alte Wache and the Löwen Hall. The "Schwedenportal" is also worthy of note.
Church of St. Nicholas, Stralsund
The Church of St. Nicholas on Alter Markt square, named after St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, is the town's largest and most important religious building. The origins of the church date back to 1276 making it the oldest of Stralsund's large parish churches. Due to its close proximity to the Town Hall, it was also the town's principal church. Seafarers and traders used to pray in the church and the interior is correspondingly well appointed. The brick basilica is comprised of three naves, nave chapels, choir ambulatory and radiating chapels. Especially worthy of mention are such priceless pieces as the astronomical clock, the "Bergen traders" altar and the "Novgorod traders" pews.
The "Wulflamhaus", the best known of Stralsund's medieval gabled houses, was built in brick around 1350 at the behest of Bertram Wulflam, alderman and mayor. Typically for this type of house, it has a hallway, gallery, half-timbered annexe and storage rooms and also an additional storey with a large hall, undoubtedly used for representative purposes. With its polygonal columns, the mix of glazed and unglazed bricks and the wealth of decorative shapes, the pediment bears an unmistakeable resemblance to the north facade of the Town Hall. In the courtyard there is a brewery which was used to produce beer over a long period of time.
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