Schiffe im Museumshafen

Schiffe im Hafen

Greifswald’s city harbour on the river Ryck, which can also be regarded as one of the popular motifs of Caspar David Friedrich, remains virtually unchanged until today. While at Friedrich’s time it was a large and important city harbour, today the museum harbour is home to more than 40 historical and traditional ships, evoking the great era of sailing ships. Friedrich captured many views of the harbour on the river Ryck, with the city in the background, and studied the different types of ships in great detail. A vivid example of which is his oil painting ‘Greifswald Harbour’ (1818/20, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin). The exaggerated high-rising masts are as characteristic of Friedrich’s style as the excessively imposing church towers in some of his other works.

Today, the harbour is a ‘living museum and a tribute to the skills of the forebears of the art of traditional ship building and seamanship’. It is the biggest of its kind in Germany and is financed and managed by the Museum Harbour Association. It is home to seaworthy traditional ships, a considerable collection of old fishing boats and freight vessels, including ewers, tjalks (both types of old Dutch barges), tugboats, launch boats, schooners, ketches and cutters. The keel of the oldest vessel was laid down in 1880. Most ships are used as pleasure boats, the rest as traditional ships, which are also licensed to sail with guests on board.


Press of Universitäts- und Hansestadt Greifswald, Kai Kornow and Michael Lissok