Greifswald The Essential
First mentioned in 1248, this town flourished after joining the Hanseatic League (1281). At the same time, building began on three imposing parish churches, which today give the town its characteristic skyline. The architecture, which fortunately came through the Second World War vitually unscathed, shows evidence of the period when the city was under Swedish rule (1648-1815). The Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich was a native of Greifswald, and drew on the town a great deal in his work.