With their waterfront locations, retained urban layout, brick buildings and traces of the Swedish period, these two Hanseatic cities share many similarities. The Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar are recognised as globally significant and worthy of special protection.
At the end of the year 2000, Stralsund and Wismar submitted their joint World Heritage nomination to UNESCO in Paris. At the same time management plans and monitoring measures were developed as tools to monitor the conservation status of each city.
As a result of German colonization of Slavic territories in the 12th and 13th centuries, Wismar and Stralsund were founded as planned city settlements. With the first written references to Wismar and Stralsund in 1229 and 1234 respectively, the existence of larger settlements can already be assumed.