This building was part of the medieval fortifications that once surrounded Greifswald.
The Fangenturm was first mentioned in the city register in 1329 as "Vangentorm". After the grounds in the area of the Schützenwall were levelled in the 18th century and the Hansering was built in the 1970s, the 13.50-metre-high tower remained as a rudiment. Later, when the building no longer met the requirements as a powder tower, the city leased it to the university in 1775, which used the tower as an observatory for a while due to its height and location on the edge of the city. The battlements were not added until the middle of the 19th century, when the Fangenturm was even used as a public toilet. After extensive conservation and renovation work in the 1990s, the harbour master of the museum harbour was able to move into his office on the first floor. He has organizational responsibility for the harbour with over 50 berths, which are reserved exclusively for seaworthy traditional ships.