The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #28 July / August 2017
Where Are You?
by Erik Zidowecki
July / August 2017 | 

This city is a major port, sitting on a river in the northern part of its country. Its distinctive and extensive Gothic brick architecture has earned it a place in UNESCO's list of Word Heritage Sites. The oldest part is actually on an island in the river.

Historically, humans settled the area as far back as the end of the last Ice Age, around 9700 BCE. Circa 700 CE, Slavic people moved in as part of a migration period. Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor from 800-814, brought in Polabian Slavs, loyal to him, to take control, and the city was then founded on the banks of the river, a few miles north of its present day location. The name given to it meant "lovely", but that beauty did not last, for, in 1128, the pagan Rani from Rügen burned the place to the ground.

The city was rebuilt as a German settlement by a German count in 1143 and he built a castle there. Almost 40 years later, an Emperor ordained that the city be ruled by a council of twenty, which included merchants, helping to turn the "lovely" city into a trade port. This became a main point of departure for colonists heading to the Baltic territories in 1200. In 1226, the city was given the status of Imperial Free City.

During World War II, it was the first German city to suffer substantial Royal Air Force (RAF) bombing and large areas were destroyed. After the war, the population grew considerably, owing to an influx of refugees. It took decades to restore the historic city centre.

Can you name this city and country?

Last month's answer: Helsinki, Finland

Where Are You?
Writer: Erik Zidowecki
Petey: Mystery image

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.


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