Market Square of Wismar

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Wismar, Germany

Market Square of Wismar Reviews

Kathrin_E Kathrin_E
369 reviews
Market Square of Wismar Jun 27, 2009
The wide square has a size of 100 x 100 m. The historical buildings around it were already restored and kept in good shape in DDR times. Notable buildings are located around market square: the neoclassical city hall, the gothic house named „Alter Schwede“, and the renaissance water reservoir known as Wasserkunst. A farmers’ market takes place on Saturday mornings.

The renaissance building in the southeastern corner of market square was the centre of old Wismar’s supply of drinking water. It was built by a Dutch architect between 1580 and 1602. Water pipes lead from here to the public fountains in the streets and into the ‘better’ houses. The inscriptions in Latin and German tell about the water system in former times.

Wismar’s oldest house, known as „Alter Schwede“, was built around 1380. In the middle ages the lower floors contained living rooms and offices, the attics served as storage. In 1878 the building became a pub which was named the „Old Swede“, referring to Wismar’s history under Swedish government from 1648 to 1803. Its name is also a pun, because „Alter Schwede!“ is also a popular exclamation to express astonishment.

The house next door was built around 1900 when Jugendstil was en vogue. The architect tried to adapt shape and proportions to its much older next-door neighbour but at the same time use the then modern style. Its stepped gable is an interesting translation of Hanseatic brick gothic architecture into the language of art nouveau.

The town hall occupies the whole northern side of the square. After one wing of the medieval town hall had collapsed, the present building was erected in neoclassical style in 1817-1819. Remains of the medieval building, especially the cellars, were integrated in the new one. The gothic vaulted cellars contain the permanent exhibition „Wismar - Pictures of a City“ about the history of the city. Opening hours: daily 10:00-18:00 (from January to March it closes at 16:00 on Sundays).
Alter Schwede
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photo by: Kathrin_E