Hansa Rostock's Ostseestadion has a capacity of 29,000. - © imago images/Fotostand
Hansa Rostock's Ostseestadion has a capacity of 29,000. - © imago images/Fotostand
60 years of Bundesliga

Bundesliga club-by-club historical guide: Hansa Rostock


Hansa Rostock are the longest serving club from East Germany in the Bundesliga - playing in it for a decade between 1995 and 2005, but they haven't graced the top flight much before or since.

bundesliga.com is taking you through all the teams to have graced Germany’s first division over the last 60 years – based on the number of seasons they’ve played up to and including 2023/24.

Hansa Rostock
Years in Bundesliga:
 12 (1991/92, 1995-2005, 2007/08)
Most appearances: Timo Lange (165)
Most goals:
Magnus Arvidsson (27)
Youngest player:
Sven Oldenburg (18 years, four months, three days)

Rostock took their place in history alongside Dynamo Dresden as one of the first teams from former East Germany to play in the Bundesliga, with the league expanded in 1991/92 to accommodate the influx of teams in a reunified Germany. However, they were by no means big hitters in East German football, with a string of runners-up finishes in the 1960s about as good as things got. Yet they won the league and cup double in the final season before reunification, earning themselves a place in the Bundesliga and also the European Cup, going out to Barcelona in the first round despite a second-leg win.

Magnus Arvidsson (l.) is Hansa Rostock's record Bundesliga goalscorer (27 goals) and was also one of six Swedish players to feature in the same Bundesliga line-up in December 2002. - IMAGO / Sportnah

Although the last East German champions were relegated in their maiden Bundesliga season, Hansa are still the longest-serving team from the former East in the Bundesliga after 12 campaigns at the top level. Their best period was a 10-year spell in the division that included two sixth-place finishes. They have bounced around leagues since their 2005 relegation, spending the majority of the 2010s in the third division after financial struggles, but currently reside in Bundesliga 2 again.

Like many clubs from East Germany, Hansa Rostock is not the original name. The club was first created by the East German government in 1954 as SC Empor Rostock and provided seven different sports. The football team was bolstered by the decision to move the majority of the team from Empor Lauter to Rostock. It was only in December 1965 that the football section left Empor to form FC Hansa Rostock. The name was the majority suggestion of fans and in reference to Rostock’s history as a Hanseatic city on the Baltic Sea. The Kogge (cog), a typical ship in the Hanseatic League, was chosen as the club emblem. Seafaring references are still common in the club’s media output today.

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