Caspar David Friedrich was born in Greifswald on 5 September 1774. It is fair to say that, together with Hans Fallada and Wolfgang Koeppen, Friedrich is Greifswald’s most famous son. At the time, Greifswald totalled only a tenth of its present population, that is to say 5.000 inhabitants, and there were 60 students enrolled at the University, then under Swedish rule. Friedrich lived in Greifswald until he was 20 years old and later studied in Copenhagen, before settling permanently in Dresden. He did, however, maintain a close link with his native town Greifswald and the surroundings throughout his life. Countless visits to Greifswald and walking-tours of the area demonstrate this vividly, as can be seen most impressively in his drawings and paintings of the city’s landmarks.
People all over the world are familiar with and fascinated by his paintings of the ruins of Eldena Abbey, the market square and the silhouette of Greifswald. They have become icons of Romantic landscape painting and have made the city known well beyond the region’s borders.
Even today you see and visit many of the original locations featured in Caspar David Friedrich’s paintings in and around Greifswald. The University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald invites you to trace Friedrich’s steps and to “meet” his art at various places as well as at exhibitions and events in a number of ways.