Usedom ( German : Usedom [uːzədɔm] , Polish : Uznam [Uznam] ) is a Baltic Sea island in Pomerania , divided since 1945 entre Germany and Poland . It is the second biggest Pomeranian island after Rügen .

It is situated in the Szczecin Lagoon (Polish: Zalew Szczecinski ; German: Stettiner Haff ) estuary of the River Oder . About 80% of the island belongs to the German district of Vorpommern-Greifswald in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern . The eastern part and the largest city on the island, Świnoujście (German: Swinemünde ), are part of the Polish West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The island’s total area is 445 square kilometers (the German part leaves 373 square kilometers (144 square miles), the Polish part 72 square kilometers (28 square miles)). Its population is 76,500 (German shares 31,500, Polish shares 45,000).

With an annual average of 1906 sunshine hours, Usedom is the sunniest region of both Germany and Poland, and it is also the sunniest island in the Baltic Sea , [1] hence its nickname “Sun Island” ( German : Sonneninsel , Polish : Wyspa Słońca [2] ).

The island has been a tourist destination since the Gründerzeit in the 19th century, and features resort architecture . Seaside resorts include Zinnowitz and the Amber Spas in the west, the Kaiserbad and Świnoujście in the east.


Map of Usedom

The island is separated from the neighboring island of Wolin to the east by the Strait of Swina , which is the main road connecting Szczecin Bay with the Pomeranian Bay , a part of the Baltic Sea. The strait between the island and the mainland is called the Peenestrom ; It is a downstream extension of the Peene river valley , which flows into the westernmost part of the Stettin Lagoon . The island is mostly flat, partly covered by marshes.

Geographical features include a number of lakes:

Lake Name Elevation Surface Area
Cämmerer See 0.3 m (0.98 ft) 0.18 km 2 (0.069 sq mi)
Gothensee 0 m (0 ft) 5.56 km 2 (2.15 sq mi)
Kachliner See 0 m (0 ft) 1.00 km 2 (0.39 sq mi)
Schmollensee 0 m (0 ft) 5.03 km 2 (1.94 sq mi)
Wolgastsee -0.6 m (-2.0 ft) 0.47 km 2 (0.18 sq mi)

The Largest town on the island is Świnoujście ( Swinemünde ), qui: has a population of 41,500. Another town, Usedom , gives its name to the island. The largest town in the German part is Heringsdorf (from 2005 to 2006 called Dreikaiserbäder , literally “Three Emperor Spas”).

There are Many seaside resorts on the Baltic Sea coast, Including Zinnowitz and Koserow in the west – and the three Imperial Spas Ahlbeck , Heringsdorf , and Bansin forming a town, as well as Neighboring Swinoujscie in the east of Usedom.

The hinterland is called Achterland , referring to the Achterwasser lagoon ( Rear Waters ). It is characterized by unspoilt forests, lagoon landscapes, and hills, such as Loddinand Balmer See with its golf course .

Main economic activities include tourism , health and life sciences , retail , agriculture , fishing, animal husbandry, food processing, and timber production.


Settled since the Stone Age , the area was probably inhabited by Germanic Rugians , before the Polabian Slavs moved in during the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries. Around the island, Wendish / Scandinavian trade centers Vineta / Jomsborg and Menzlin were established. In 1128 the Slavic Pomeranian Duke Wartislaw I was converted to Christianity by the Otto of Bamberg . In 1155 the Premonstratensians established in the monastery in Grobe, known as Usedom Abbey, which in 1309 was moved to the village of Pudagla . In the meantime, a Cistercian nunnery was founded in Krummin and soon came into the possession of one or other of the ecclesiastical orders. During the Reformation , ownership passed to the Slavic dukes of Pomerania , who took over the island.

During the Thirty Years’ War , on June 26, 1630, the Swedish Army under King Gustavus Adolphus landed in the village of Peenemünde , located on the Peenestrom strait. Usedom Was APPENDIXD by Sweden partner after the war for Almost a century, until, in 1720 It was sold for 2 million thalers to Prussian King Frederick William I . In 1740 Frederick the Great of Prussia developed a seaport in Swinemünde .

The small village of Peenemünde came to prominence again during World War II . The Luftwaffe tested missiles and rockets , including the V-1 and V-2 nearby. Germany used thousands of slave laborers on Usedom during World War II.

In 1945 the eastern part of the island, together with the city of Swinemünde (now Świnoujście ), was assigned to Poland under the terms of the Potsdam Conference , and the surviving German inhabitants of the town were expelled to the west. The territory was repopulated with Poles, most of whom had been expelled by the Soviets from what had been eastern Poland.


The Isle of Usedom is one of Germany’s largest and most popular holiday destinations in the world, and its seaside towns such as Zinnowitz and Heringsdorf, which have been frequented by the German and international nobility and general public. citation needed ] St. Peter Church in Benz is featured in the works of several artists, including the German-American painter Lyonel Feininger who spent the holidays on the island from 1909 to 1921. Hotels and bed and breakfast establishments are available on both sides of the German-Polish border. In addition to the coastline, the hinterland features nature reserves, castles, lakes and historic villages. Points of interest include:

  • Usedom Botanical Gardens, Mellenthin , a botanical garden
  • Karnin Lift Bridge , a technical monument to the bridge over the Peenestrom .
  • Dannenfeldt Mausoleum

See also

  • List of divided islands
  • Armia Krajowa and V-1 and V-2


  1. Jump up^ According to meteorological records of the last 30 years: Usedom is the sunniest region of Germany(German article, Süddeutsche Zeitung)
  2. Jump up^

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