Wolin [vɔlin] ( German : Wollin , German pronunciation: [vɔliːn] , Pomeranian Wòlin ) is the name of a Polish island in the Baltic Sea , just off the Polish coast, and a town on that island. Administratively the island belongs to the West Pomeranian Voivodeship . Wolin is separated from the island of Usedom (Uznam) by the Strait of Świna , and from mainland Pomerania by the Strait of Dziwna . The island has an area of ​​265 km 2 (102 sq mi) Mount Grzywacz at 116 m above sea level

Water from the river Odra ( German : Oder ) flows into the Szczecin Lagoon and from there through the Peene west of Usedom, Świna and Dziwna into the Bay of Pomerania in the Baltic Sea .

Most of the island consists of forests and postglacial hills. In the middle is the Wolin National Park . The island is a main tourist attraction of northwestern Poland, and it is crossed by several specially marked tourist trails, such as a 73-kilometer-long (45 mi) trail from Międzyzdroje to Dziwnówek. There is one, electrified rail line, which connects Szczecin and Świnoujście , plus the international road E65 ( national road 3 / S3 expressway ) crosses the island.

The origins of the name are unknown, but it is likely of Slavic origin. In the old Slavic language the word wolyn meant a wetland. quote needed ]


The ford across the river Dzwina on which Wolin is located as far back as the Stone age . Archaeological excavations of soil in the area during the migration period , at the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries. The place was then abandoned for approximately one hundred years. At the end of the 8th or the beginning of the 9th century and a new settlement constructed. The earliest evidence of fortification dates to the first half of the 9th century. In the second half of the 9th century there is a central fortified area and two suburbs, to the north and south of the center. These become enclosed and fortified between the end of the 9th and the 10th centuries.[1]

A medieval document from the mid-9th century, called the Bavarian Geographer after its anonymous creator, mentions the Slavic tribe of Wolinians who had 70 strongholds at that time ( Uelunzani civitates LXX ). The town of Wolin was first mentioned in 965, by Ibrahim ibn Jakub , who referred to the place as Weltaba . [1]

The period of greatest development during the medieval period between 9th and 11th centuries. Around 896 AD Was constructed a new port and the main part of the town Acquired new, stronger fortifications, comprenant un wooden palisade made of halved 50 centimeter wide tree trunks, a rampart and a retaining wall. [1]

Archaeologists believe that in the early Middle Ages Wolin was a great trade emporium, spreading along the shore for four kilometers and rivaling in importance Birka and Hedeby .

Around 972 est devenu the island controlled by Poland , under Prince Mieszko I . However, it has not been established if Wolin became part of Poland, or if it was a fief. In the following years Wolin became famous for its pirates, who would plunder ships cruising the Baltic. As a resumed, in 1043 it was attacked by the Norwegian King Magnus the Good . [1]

In the early 12th century the island, as part of the Pomeranian duchy, was captured by the Polish king Boleslaw III Wrymouth . Shortly after, the inhabitants of Wolin accepted Christianity, and in 1140 Pope Innocent II created a diocese there, with its capital in the town of Wolin. In 1181 the dukes of Pomerania decided to accept the Holy Roman emperor as their liege lord instead of the Polish king.

In 1535 Wolin accepted Protestant Lutheranism . In 1630 the island was captured by Sweden . Later, Pomerania became part of Brandenburg-Prussia (later the Kingdom of Prussia ). Wolin followed in 1679. From 1871, the town was part of Germany. After the German-induced Second World War and the Allied Agreements of the Western Pomerania to Poland in 1945, the (German) population was forcibly expelled to Germany and was replaced by Poles who had been expelled from territories in eastern Poland . by the Soviet Union .

Connection with Jomsborg and Vineta

They are an area of ​​20 hectares, making it the second largest Baltic marketplace of the Viking Age after Hedeby. citation needed ] Some scholars have speculated that Wolin may have been the basis for the semi-legendary settlements Jomsborg and Vineta . However, others have rejected the identification, or even the historical existence of Jomsborg and Vineta (for example, Gerard Labuda ). [2]

Gwyn Jones notes that the size of the town was exaggerated in contemporary sources, for example by Adam of Bremen who claimed Wolin / Jomsborg was “the largest town in Europe”. Archaeological excavations, however, does not have a large harbor for 360 warships (as claimed by Adam) or of a major citadel. The town was inhabited by both Slavs and Scandinavians. [3]

Viking festival

Annually, the island is home to Europe’s biggest Germanic-Slavic Viking festival. [4] [5]

See also

  • Curmsun Disc
  • Jomsborg
  • Jomsvikings

Places on Wolin

  • Chorzelin
  • Dargobądz
  • Darzowice
  • Domysłów
  • Dziwnów
  • Jarzębowo
  • Gmina Kodrąb
  • Kołczewo
  • Ładzin
  • Łunowo
  • Łuskowo
  • Międzywodzie
  • Międzyzdroje
  • Mokrzyca Mała
  • Mokrzyca Wielka
  • Ognica
  • Przytór
  • Rabiąż
  • Świętoujść
  • Świnoujście
  • Warnowo
  • Wapnica
  • Wicko
  • Wisełka
  • Wolin


  • Szczecin-Goleniów “Solidarność” Airport ~ 60 km
  • Szczecin ~ 90 km
  • Police ~ 110 km
  • Berlin ~ 220 km
  • Rostock ~ 240 km
  • Copenhagen ~ 250 km
  • Malmo ~ 250 km
  • Warsaw ~ 650 km


  1. ^ Jump up to:d Filipowiak, Władysław (2004). “Some aspects of the development of Wolin in the 8th-11th centuries in the light of the results of new research”. In Przemysław, Urbanczyk. Polish lands at the turn of the first and the second millennium . Institute of Archeology and Ethnology. Polish Academy of Sciences. pp. 47-74.
  2. Jump up^ Koczy, Leon (1960). “Jomsborg” . The Polish Review . 5 (3): 38-58. doi : 10.2307 / 25776319 .
  3. Jump up^ Gwyn Jones. A History of the Vikings. Oxford University Press, 2001.ISBN 0-19-280134-1. Page 127.
  4. Jump up^ http://www.jomsborg-vineta.com
  5. Jump up^ http://www.wolin.pl

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