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The building of the former defence system started in 1264. The ramparts and narrow moats are what remained of the sophisticated defence structure with walls, towers, gates, moats, ramparts and watercourses until today. Garden art, which came into fashion in the second half of the 18th century to make landscapes look more beautiful, created an early monument here, a unique green promenade. The rampart almost encloses the whole old town in a roughly 2 kilometre long oval. The “Lindenwall” leads into the Credner grounds (Rudolf Credner, 1850-1908, geographer, founder of Greifswald’s academic geography) to the local zoo and harbour museum. The “Kastanienwall” leads in an easterly direction past the Münter grounds (Julius Münter 1815-1885, botanist, rector of Greifswald university) to “Am Mühlentor” and then on to the “Schützenwall” and then “Fangenturm” at the harbour museum. In the old days you used to get into the old town through stately gates, which were torn down over the centuries though, just like parts of the city wall. The “green belt” was extensively renovated in 2014.
The Old Cemetery is an important garden and cemetery architecture monument. It was created based on a design by the academic university master builder and art teacher Johann Gottfried Quistorp (1755-1835) and consecrated in 1818. Burials were not allowed in churches and within the city walls in 1808. As a result, the city brickworks’ clay pit in front of the city was filled up with earth that was accrued while levelling out the “Schießwall” and the future graveyard was created there. As in the original draft, a central main cross path divides the plot up into four areas of even size. Connecting paths were added to the cemetery during the course of the 19th century. Important Greifswald families had the large tomb chapels on the western and southern wall built in the 19th century. The Old Cemetery is the last resting place for many important people in Greifswald, including the Mayor, the railway pioneer Johann Carl Päpke (1797–1858), and scientists like Friedrich Loeffler (1852–1915). The cemetery is still used as an urn burial ground today.
The strictly geometric layout of the New Cemetery, which was inaugurated in 1864, is based on the example of the Dessau cemetery of 1787 and the Herrnhuter brothers' community. The entire ensemble, individual buildings and grave sites are protected as historical monuments. A chapel, which had stood at the crossing point of the roads since 1887, had to be demolished in 1981 due to dilapidation. Since then, the main road directly leads to the crematorium built over a hundred years ago by means of a private foundation. A celebration hall was inaugurated in 1985. Special memorials commemorate the dead of the two world wars. The city of Greifswald has a number of honorary tombs. Rudolf Petershagen is buried here for example. He rendered outstanding services to the peaceful surrender of the city to the Red Army in April 1945. The regional writer Otto Wobbe and the poet Alwine Wuthenow also found their last resting place at the New Cemetery.
The Botanical Garden was founded by Samuel Gustav Wilcke (1736-1790) in 1763 and created between the former college building, today’s main university building and the city wall. The garden had to be moved to Grimmer Straße in 1886 though due to lack of space. Prof. Julius Münter (1815–1885) was responsible for the planning. Greenhouses and an outdoor area were developed in themed quarters over an area of roughly two hectares. The historical greenhouses from the 19th century cannot be visited. They had to be closed in June 2014 due to their poor structural condition. Renovation would cost 2.5 million euros.The Botanical Garden was extended by the Arboretum in 1934, a respectable collection of trees in Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Straße. The garden and Arboretum are still used for teaching and research today.
Foto: Historical greenhouses
The zoo with its more than 100 species of animals invites you to stroll around and explore its roughly 3.6 hectares of park grounds near the train station. Around the idyllic swan lake, besides domestic pets, such as goats and ponies, you can also observe donkeys, meerkats, raccoons, coatis, dingos, alpacas or kangaroos and be inspired by the diversity of bird life. The Capuchin monkeys in their new monkey house, the petting enclosure, chick pen and apiary are particularly appealing. Both the young and old can not just measure their strength but also train all their senses at numerous play elements along the circular path. A large adventure playground invites you to let off steam. Anyone who is brave enough can paddle across the pond on a raft. A visit to the zoo café is worth it when you are feeling a bit peckish, it’s just above the South America section. The zoo has been managed by the “Heimattierpark Hansestadt Greifswald e.V.” association since 1993.
The Eldena post windmill’s large blades attract attention even from far away. Its predecessor was already listed in the inventory list of the Hilda/Eldena monastery in 1533. Corn was milled on the Mühlenberg until 1932. After this the landmark of the Greifswald district fell into disrepair and ultimately collapsed in 1972. An association rebuilt the mill on their own. A hearty mill festival has been celebrated every year on Whit Monday as part the German Mill Day since 1997. Then, if there’s a good wind, the canvas covered blades turn just like in the good old days. There are just five of these kinds of post windmills left in Western Pomerania. This type, where the whole mill house was turned, was used in Europe for the first time in the 12th century.