Before visiting MEERESMUSEUM, visitors enter the north courtyard. The fishing cutter ADOLF REICHWEIN stands right in the yard’s centre. It has been one of MEERESMUSEUM’s landmarks for over 40 years. The museum’s yard is accessible through two gates – from Mönchstraße and from Bielkenhagen. A showcase at the corner of both streets gives information about porpoises and intends to arouse the visitor’s interest in the other oceanographic exhibitions.
The first exhibit you will see on the museum’s yard is the huge 17-metre-long wooden cutter Adolf Reichwein SAS 95 – an original historic fishing vessel from GDR times. It belongs to the first cutters that were built in East Germany after World War II and documents the difficult new start of GDR deep-sea fishery. The vessel was built at the Boddenwerft in Damgarten in 1949 and served as a fishing cutter in the North and Baltic Sea until 1969. After decommissioning in 1973, it was finally transferred to the museum’s yard and restored with great effort where it now stands as a technical monument. The ship has always borne the name of museum educator and anti-fascist Adolf Reichwein who was murdered in 1944.
St. Catherine’s Monastery was founded in 1251 by Dominican monks. Soon after, construction of an early Gothic hall church – St. Catherine’s hall – started. During reformation in 1525, the monks were expelled from Stralsund and the monastery’s buildings became city property. The following generations used the compound secularly. The buildings were damaged, abandoned and left exposed to decay. The monastery later housed an orphanage, a hospital or a grammar school. It was not before 1924 that the Cultural History Museum moved into parts of the monastery. St. Catherine’s hall had been used as a silo, an arsenal, a vegetable warehouse and even as a horse stable in the centuries before acquisition by the museum. It was in a truly bad condition back then.