Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
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City, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Land (state), northeastern Germany. It lies at the head of the Warnow River estuary, 8 miles (13 km) south-southeast of its Baltic outport at Warnemünde. A Wendish settlement in the 12th century, the German town was chartered in 1218. The Hops market and New Town developed separately from the Old Town until the three were united in 1265. A powerful member of the Hanseatic League in the 14th century, Rostock passed to Mecklenburg in 1314 and to the dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1352. Later, it was a joint possession of the Schwerin and Güstrow lines until the extinction of the latter in 1695. From 1952 to 1990 it was the capital of Rostock Bezirk (district) in East Germany.

The town centre was extensively reconstructed after suffering heavy air-raid damage during World War II. Notable Gothic churches in the city include the Church of St. Mary (begun in 1230), the early 14th-century Church of St. Nicholas, and the early 15th-century St. Peter's Church. Wooden ships were built in the Rostock shipyards from the medieval period until 1851, when the first German steam-propelled vessel was built there. The Wilhelm Pieck University of Rostock (1419) was at one time a stronghold of Lutheranism. The town hall is a 15th-century structure with a Baroque facade (1727). Parts of the old town walls and gates dating from the 14th to the 16th century survive. The Volkstheater Rostock (People's Theatre of Rostock) is known throughout Germany. Rostock was extensively developed after World War II as East Germany's principal ocean port. The city is also an important fishing and shipbuilding centre. Rostock's other industries include fish processing, metalworking, and the manufacture of diesel engines, machinery, chemical products, matches, and furniture.

Rye, oats, and sugar beets are grown in the surrounding area. Cattle breeding is also widespread, and fishing is practiced off the coast. Cliffs alternate with sand dunes along the coast, which has tourist resorts. Pop. (1990 est.) 252,956.

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