Even the German Oceanographic Museum building alone is worth seeing: The brick building was erected in the 13th century and served in those days as a convent. Today the chancel of the former church accommodates a huge skeleton. The finback whale, which hovers here above the visitors, would hardly have fit into a smaller room.
The Stralsund Oceanographic Museum was founded in 1951. Soon it became the most popular museum in the German Democratic Republic. The permanent exhibit tells about the maritime habitat, its exploration and exploitation by man in a fascinating and comprehensive way. The exhibits are extremely diverse: a rare huge squid is on display as well as the fishing cutter “Adolf Reichwein”.
For many visitors the aquaria are a magical attraction. Where else in this land can you watch sharks feeding? Different habitats are simulated in the 37 aquaria. Blacktip shark cruise in the tropical warm waters. Large turbot and halibut frolic around the Helgoland rock foundation. In another aquarium you can even observe the tides. The flexible maritime fauna is not disturbed at all by the fact that the intervals are shorter than in real nature.
The huge sea turtles are a very special attraction. The largest specimen weighs in at a proud 102 kilograms. Since recently these unhurried giants have been living in an aquarium with a volume of 350 cubic metres. Enough water to fill 5,000 bathtubs. Their offspring have also been very well cared for: there is even a special sandy beach where the turtles can bury their eggs.
The German Oceanographic Museum has three branches. The special exhibit “Meereswelten” – Sea Worlds – in Stralsund approaches the sea in many different ways: scientifically, culturally, artistically, ecologically and economically. Visitors can even experiment on their own. “Nautineum” on the island of Dänholm in the Strelasund displays watercraft in the broadest sense of the word: from navigational signs and fishing boats to the underwater laboratory “Helgoland”. “Natureum” is located at Darßer Ort in the National Park – Nationalpark Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft. The exhibition shows how the sea, the beach, the dunes and the forest belong together.
May to October:
Daily: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
November to April:
Daily: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
31 December and 1 January: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The German Oceanographic Museum is closed on 24 December.
Adults: € 7.50
Children (age 4 and over), pupils, students: € 5
Families (2 adults, 2 children): € 19