Port history

1211 Foundation of the port

The port looks back on an eventful history that began more than 800 years ago. It was first mentioned in an official document in 1211, even before the town was officially chartered in 1226. It was thus the nucleus from which the town developed and contributed strongly to the economic growth of the future Hanseatic city.

1385 Hanseatic League

In 1385 Wismar became a member of the Hanseatic League and the lively business relations with Visby, Lübeck, Novgorod, Riga, Bergen and Gent made the port grow quickly. Cogs brought herrings in barrels and cloth from Brabant to Wismar. Beer and grain were exported. As the town grew more prosperous the ships increased in size and the port became a versatile place of transhipment for all kinds of seaborne goods. Wismar's membership in the Hanseatic League ended in 1627 when it was occupied by the troops of Wallenstein.

1631 Swedish occupation

In 1631 the Swedes made Wismar the largest fortress in Europe and the port was used almost exclusively as a navy base. For this the Swedish crown needed experienced pilots. The year 1657 is considered the year when piloting emerged in Wismar. Grain export and general cargo forwarding from Wismar to Sweden formed the economic backbone of trade during that time.

1803 Industrialization

In 1803 the Swedes again pawned Wismar to the Duchy of Mecklenburg. Its insignificance as a port town at that time only changed with the advance of industrialization. The deepening of the harbour and the building of the new port with a rail siding only had a lasting effect in the early 20thcentury, however.

1945 GDR times

After World War 2 the port was characterized by potash and timber handling. The construction of the grain quay and fully automatic handling facilities made Wismar a fast port in the 1950s.

2017 Today

After the political changes, Wismar seaport has grown into a modern industrial and logistics site with excellent infrastructure. A variety of industrial companies established here, mainly from the sectors of wood and metal processing as well as chemistry, add to the picture of an all-purpose port. The book “Hiev an” which has been released by Rainer Däbritz in order to the 800th anniversary of the port of Wismar provides a deeper insight into the history of the port (ISBN 978-3-00-032878-7).