Stralsund is a Hanseatic town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is located at the Southern coast of the Strelasund (a sound of the Baltic Sea separating the island of Rugia from the mainland).
The Strelasund Crossing with its two bridges and several ferry services connect Stralsund with Rugia. The Western Pomeranian town is the capital of the Vorpommern-Rügen district since the 2011 district reforms.
It is the fourth largest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and together with Greifswald Stralsund forms an Oberzentrum, one of four high level urban centers of the region. It is favourably located within the metropolitan regions of Hamburg, Berlin, Copenhagen-Malmö and Stettin and the nearby regiopolis of Rostock.
Stralsund was founded in 1234 and was one of the most prospering members of the medieval Hanseatic League. Since 2002, Stralsund's old town with its rich heritage is honored as a UNESCO World Heritage, along with Wismar in Mecklenburg.
The main industries of Stralsund are shipyards, fishing, mechanical engineering, and, to an increasing degree, tourism, life sciences, services and high tech industries, especially IT (Information Technology) and biotechnology.