Stralsund is a city in Western Pomerania, Germany, situated at the Southern coast of the Strelasund (a sound of the Baltic Sea separating the island of Rügen from the mainland). Two bridges (the Rügendamm and since October 2007 the new Rügen Bridge) and several ferry services connect Stralsund with the ports of Rügen. A former district-free town, it is the capital of the new district of Vorpommern-Rügen since the September 2011 district reforms.
Since 2002, Stralsund's old town is honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage, along with Wismar. Together with Greifswald, Stralsund forms one of 4 high level urban centers of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The main industries of Stralsund are shipyards, fishing, and, to an increasing degree, tourism, services and IT (Information Technology).
Main landmark of Stralsund: Its unique Brick Gothic city hall from Hanseatic times. This building from 1278 features a remarkable 'show façade' that serves the sole purpose of displaying wealth of the city. Citizens can walk through the city hall and its gallery like they could walk any other street. The city hall also offers one of Europe's biggest Gothic cellar vaults.
The City Hall is one of Stralsund´s oldest and most beautiful buildings in the North German Brick Gothic style. Its origins date back to the thirteenth century. The magnificent decorated facade at the northern end of the building has become one of the city´s emblems. Together with St. Nicholas´ Church, the City Hall facade forms one of the city’s most splendid sights. The complex, originally composed of two long parallel wings, was originally used as a place for merchants to trade, with small shops and stalls on both sides of the inner courtyard as well as in the "Butter Passage" that led through the City Hall from Ossenreyerstrasse to the former main entrance of St. Nicholas´ Church. The coats of arms of Lueneburg and Bremen on the eastern side and Hamburg, Luebeck, Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund and Gerifswald on the northern are reminders of the once powerful Hanseatic League. The City Hall was comprehensively restored between 2001 and 2011, and it is from here that the city is still ruled today.