Rostock is home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Rostock, founded in 1419.
The city territory of Rostock stretches for about 20 km (12 mi) along the Warnow to the Baltic Sea.
The Danish king Valdemar I set the town aflame in 1161.
Afterwards the place was settled by German traders.
It was at their facilities in what used to be named the Rostock-Marienehe neighborhood (today's Rostock-Schmarl community, along the west bank of the Unterwarnow estuary) that the world's first airworthy jet plane prototype made its test flights.
In the early 1930s, the Nazi Party began to gain among Rostock's voters, many of whom had suffered economic hardship during the 1920s.
In 1584 it finally came to the Second Rostock Inheritance Agreement, which resulted in a further loss of former tax privileges.
Two notable developments were added to house the increasing population at around 1900: In the 20th century, important aircraft manufacturing facilities were situated in the city, such as the Arado Flugzeugwerke in Warnemünde and the Heinkel Works with facilities at various places, including their secondary Heinkel-Süd facility in Schwechat, Austria — the original Heinkel firm's Rostock facilities being named Heinkel-Nord.
In the 14th century it was a powerful seaport town with 12,000 inhabitants and the biggest city of Mecklenburg.