Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze; German, Low German and North Germanic languages: Pommern; Kashubian: Pòmòrskô) is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Germany and Poland.
The largest Pomeranian islands are Rügen, Usedom/Uznam and Wolin. The largest Pomeranian city is Gdańsk, or, when using a narrower definition of the region, Szczecin. Outside its urban areas, Pomerania is characterized by farmland, dotted with numerous lakes, forests, and towns. The region was strongly affected by post–World War I and II border and population shifts, with most of its pre-war inhabitants leaving or being expelled after 1945.
Pomorze, Pommern, Pòmòrskô
Coat of arms
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Pomerania is the area along the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea between the rivers Recknitz and Trebel in the west and Vistula in the east. It formerly reached perhaps as far south as the Noteć river, but since the 13th century its southern boundary has been placed further north.
Most of the region is coastal lowland, being part of the Central European Plain, but its southern, hilly parts belong to the Baltic Ridge, a belt of terminal moraines formed during the Pleistocene. Within this ridge, a chain of moraine-dammed lakes constitutes the Pomeranian Lake District. The soil is generally rather poor, sometimes sandy or marshy.
The western coastline is jagged, with many peninsulas (such as Darß–Zingst) and islands (including Rügen, Usedom, and Wolin) enclosing numerous bays (Bodden) and lagoons (the biggest being the Lagoon of Szczecin).
The eastern coastline is smooth. Łebsko and several other lakes were formerly bays, but have been cut off from the sea. The easternmost coastline along the Gdańsk Bay (with the Bay of Puck) and Vistula Lagoon, has the Hel Peninsula and the Vistula peninsula jutting out into the Baltic.
The Pomeranian region has the following administrative divisions:
The bulk of Farther Pomerania is included within the modern West Pomeranian Voivodeship, but its easternmost parts (the Słupsk area) now constitute the northwest of Pomeranian Voivodeship. Farther Pomerania in turn comprises several other historical subregions, most notably the Principality of Cammin, the County of Naugard, the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp, and also the Lauenburg and Bütow Land (the last, however, is sometimes regarded as a part of Pomerelia or Kashubia).
Parts of Pomerania and surrounding regions have constituted a euroregion since 1995. The Pomerania euroregion comprises Hither Pomerania and Uckermark in Germany, West Pomerania in Poland, and Scania in Sweden.
"Pomerania" and its cognates in other languages are derived from Old Slavic po, meaning "by/next to/along", and more, meaning "sea", thus "Pomerania" literally means "seacoast" or "land by the sea", referring to its proximity to the Baltic Sea.
Pomerania was first mentioned in an imperial document of 1046, referring to a Zemuzil dux Bomeranorum (Zemuzil, Duke of the Pomeranians). Pomerania is mentioned repeatedly in the chronicles of Adam of Bremen (c. 1070) and Gallus Anonymous (ca. 1113).
The term "West Pomerania" is ambiguous, since it may refer to either Hither Pomerania (in historical and German usage) or to the West Pomeranian Voivodeship (in common Polish usage).
The term "East Pomerania" may similarly carry different meanings, referring either to Farther Pomerania (in historical and German usage), or to Pomerelia or the Pomeranian Voivodeship (in Polish usage).
(West Pomeranian Voivodeship)
(corresponding English term)
in modern usage excluding Szczecin
(corresponding English term)
before World War II Pomorze
(Pomerelia, literally Pomerania)
(corresponding English term)
Settlement in the area called Pomerania for the last 1,000 years started by the end of the Vistula Glacial Stage, some 13,000 years ago. Archeological traces have been found of various cultures during the Stone and Bronze Age, Baltic peoples, Germanic peoples and Veneti during the Iron Age and, in the Dark Ages, Slavic tribes and Vikings. Starting in the 10th century, early Polish dukes on several occasions subdued parts of the region from the southeast, while the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark augmented their territory from the west and north.
In the 12th century, narrow Pomerania became Christian under saint Otto of Bamberg (the Apostle of the Pomeranians); at the same time Pomerelia became a part of diocese of Włocławek. Since then, the Griffin Duchy of Pomerania stayed with the Holy Roman Empire and the Principality of Rugia with Denmark, while Pomerelia, under the ruling of Samborides, was a part of Poland. Pomerania, during its alliance in the Holy Roman Empire, shared borders with Slavic state Oldenburg, as well as Poland and Brandenburg. The Teutonic Knights succeeded in integrating Pomerelia into their monastic state in the early 14th century. Meanwhile, the Ostsiedlung started to turn Slavic narrow Pomerania into an increasingly German-settled area; the remaining Wends and Polish people, often known as Kashubians, continued to settle within Pomerelia. In 1325 the line of the princes of Rügen died out, and the principality was inherited by the Griffins. In 1466, with the Teutonic Order's defeat, Pomerelia became again subject to the Polish Crown as a part of Royal Prussia. While the German population in the Duchy of Pomerania adopted the Protestant reformation in 1534, the Polish (along with Kashubian) population remained with the Roman Catholic Church. The Thirty Years' War severely ravaged and depopulated narrow Pomerania; few years later this same happened to Pomerelia (the Deluge). With the extinction of the Griffin house during the same period, the Duchy of Pomerania was divided between the Swedish Empire and Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648, while Pomerelia remained in with the Polish Crown.
Prussia gained the southern parts of Swedish Pomerania in 1720,:341–343 invaded and annexed Pomerelia from Poland in 1772, and gained the remainder of Swedish Pomerania in 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars.:363, 364 The former Brandenburg-Prussian Pomerania and the former Swedish parts were reorganized into the Prussian Province of Pomerania,:366 while Pomerelia was made part of the Province of West Prussia. With Prussia, both provinces joined the newly constituted German Empire in 1871. Under the German rule the Polish minority suffered discrimination and oppressive measures aimed at eradicating its culture. Following the empire's defeat in World War I, however, Pomorze Gdańskie/Pomerelia was returned to the rebuilt Polish state as part of the so-called Polish Corridor), while German-majority Gdansk/Danzig was transformed into the independent Free City of Danzig. Germany's Province of Pomerania was expanded in 1938 to include northern parts of the former Province of Posen–West Prussia, and in late 1939 the annexed Pomorze Gdańskie/Polish Corridor became part of the wartime Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. The Nazis deported the Pomeranian Jews to a reservation near Lublin in Pomerelia. The Polish population suffered heavily during the Nazi oppression; more than 40,000 died in executions, death camps, prisons and forced labour, primarily those who were teachers, businessmen, priests, politicians, former army officers, and civil servants. Thousands of Poles and Kashubians suffered deportation, their homes taken over by the German military and civil servants, as well as some Baltic Germans resettled there between 1940-1943.
After Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II, the German–Polish border was shifted west to the Oder–Neisse line, and all of Pomerania was under Soviet military control.:512–515:373ff The German citizens of the former eastern territories of Germany and Poles of German ethnicity from Pomerelia were expelled, and the area was resettled primarily with Poles of Polish ethnicity, (some themselves expellees from former eastern Poland) and some Poles of Ukrainian ethnicity (resettled under Operation Vistula) and few Polish Jews.:381ff Most of Hither or Western Pomerania (Vorpommern) remained in Germany, and at first about 500,000 fled and expelled Farther Pomeranians found refuge there, later many moved on to other German regions and abroad. Today German Hither Pomerania forms the eastern part of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, while the Polish part is divided between the West Pomeranian and Pomeranian voivodeships, with their capitals in Szczecin and Gdańsk. During the 1980s, the Solidarity and Die Wende ("the change") movements overthrew the Communist regimes implemented during the post-war era; since then, Pomerania is democratically governed.
Pomerania still lives in the country of Brazil in a colony where the language is still spoken. The arrival of Pomerania immigrants with Germans and Italians helped form the state of Espírito Santo since the early 1930s, from Gustavo Barreto. Their importance and respect are one of the cultural signatures of the area. Brazilian city Pomerode (state os Santa Catarina) was founded by Pomeranian Germans in 1861 and is considered the most typically German of all German towns of southern Brazil.
Western Pomerania is inhabited by German Pomeranians. In the eastern parts, Poles are the dominating ethnic group since the territorial changes of Poland after World War II, and the resulting Polonization. Kashubians, descendants of the medieval Slavic Pomeranians, are numerous in rural Pomerelia.
Polish 31 December 1999
German December 2010
|Bydgoszcz (Voivod office)
Toruń (Voivod council)
|West Pomeranian Voivodeship||Szczecin||Z||22,901.48||1,732,838||32|
|Polish Pomerania and Kuyavia total||59,164.08||6,025,877|
|Vorpommern-Greifswald||Greifswald||VG and locally optional: ANK, GW, HGW, PW, SBG, UEM, WLG||3,927||245,733|
|Vorpommern-Rügen||Stralsund||VR and locally optional: GMN, HST, NVP, RDG, and RÜG||3,188||230,743|
|German Pomerania total||7,115||476,476|
German Hither Pomerania had a population of about 470,000 in 2012 (districts of Vorpommern-Rügen and Vorpommern-Greifswald combined) - while the Polish districts of the region had a population of about 520,000 in 2012 (cities of Szczecin, Świnoujście and Police County combined). So overall, about 1 million people live in the historical region of Hither Pomerania today, while the Szczecin metropolitan area reaches even further.
Cities in the historical region of Pomerania (with population figures for 2012):
Other cities in the Pomeranian and Kuyavian-Pomeranian voivodeships:
In the German part of Pomerania, Standard German and the East Low German Mecklenburgisch-Vorpommersch and Central Pomeranian dialects are spoken, though Standard German dominates. Polish is the dominating language in the Polish part; Kashubian dialects are also spoken by the Kashubians in Pomerelia.
East Pomeranian, the East Low German dialect of Farther Pomerania and western Pomerelia, Low Prussian, the East Low German dialect of eastern Pomerelia, and Standard German were dominating in Pomerania east of the Oder-Neisse line before most of its speakers were expelled after World War II. Slovincian was spoken at the Farther Pomeranian–Pomerelian frontier, but is now extinct.
For typical food and beverages of the region, see Pomeranian cuisine.
The Pomeranian State Museum in Greifswald, dedicated to the history of Pomerania, has a variety of archeological findings and artefacts from the different periods covered in this article. At least 50 museums in Poland cover history of Pomerania, the most important of them The National Museum in Gdańsk, Central Pomerania Museum in Słupsk, Darłowo Museum, Koszalin Museum, National Museum in Szczecin.
Agriculture primarily consists of raising livestock, forestry, fishery and the cultivation of cereals, sugar beets, and potatoes. Industrial food processing is increasingly relevant in the region. Since the late 19th century, tourism has become an important sector of the economy, primarily in the numerous seaside resorts along the coast. Key producing industries are shipyards, mechanical engineering facilities (i.a. renewable energy components), sugar refineries, paper and wood fabricators. Service industries today are an important economical factor in Pomerania, most notably with logistics, information technology, life sciences/biotechnology/health care and other high tech branches often clustering around research facilities of the Pomeranian universities.
Medieval Pomerania was converted from Slavic paganism to Christianity by Otto von Bamberg in 1124 and 1128 (Duchy of Pomerania), and in 1168 by Absalon (Principality of Rügen).
Earlier attempts at Christianization, undertaken since the 10th century, failed or were short-lived. The new religion stabilized when the Pomeranian dukes founded several monasteries and called in Christian, primarily German settlers during the Ostsiedlung. The first Pomeranian abbey was founded in 1153 at the site where the first Christian duke of Pomerania, Wartislaw I, was slain by a pagan. The Duchy of Pomerania was organized by the Roman Catholic Church in the Bishopric of Cammin in 1140. Pomeranian areas not belonging to the duchy at this time were attached to the dioceses of Włocławek (East), Roskilde (Rügen) and Schwerin (West).Duchy of Pomerania
The Duchy of Pomerania (German: Herzogtum Pommern, Polish: Księstwo Pomorskie, 12th century – 1637) was a duchy in Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, ruled by dukes of the House of Pomerania (Griffins).
The duchy originated from the realm of Wartislaw I, a Slavic Pomeranian duke, and was extended by the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp in 1317, the Principality of Rügen in 1325, and the Lauenburg and Bütow Land in 1455. During the High Middle Ages, it also comprised the northern Neumark and Uckermark areas as well as Circipania and Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
The Dukes of Pomerania were vassals (by conquest) of Poland from 1122 to 1138; of the Duchy of Saxony from 1164 to 1181, of the Holy Roman Empire from 1181 to 1185, of Denmark from 1185 to 1227 and the Holy Roman Empire again from 1227 to 1806 (including periods of vassalage to the Margraves of Brandenburg). Most of the time, the duchy was ruled by several "Griffin" dukes in common, resulting in various internal partitions. After the last Griffin duke had died during the Thirty Years' War in 1637, the duchy was partitioned between Brandenburg-Prussia and Sweden. The Kings of Sweden and the Margraves of Brandenburg, later Kings of Prussia, became members as Dukes of Pomerania in the List of Reichstag participants.
The name Pomerania comes from Slavic po more, which means Land by the Sea.Eric of Pomerania
Eric of Pomerania KG (1381 or 1382 – 24 September 1459) was the ruler of the Kalmar Union from 1396 until 1439, succeeding his grandaunt, Queen Margaret I. He is numbered Eric III as King of Norway (1389–1442), Eric VII as King of Denmark (1396–1439) and Eric XIII as King of Sweden (1396–1434, 1436–39). Today, in all three countries he is more commonly known as Erik av Pommern.
Eric was ultimately deposed from all three kingdoms of the union, but in 1449 he inherited one of the partitions of the Duchy of Pomerania and ruled it as duke until his death.Farther Pomerania
Farther Pomerania, Further Pomerania, Transpomerania or Eastern Pomerania (German: Hinterpommern, Ostpommern), is the part of Pomerania which comprised the eastern part of the Duchy and later Province of Pomerania. It stretched roughly from the Oder River in the West to Pomerelia in the East. Since 1945 Farther Pomerania has been part of Poland; the bulk of former Farther Pomerania is within the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, while its easternmost parts are within the Pomeranian Voivodeship. The Polish term Pomorze Zachodnie ("Western Pomerania"), in modern Polish usage, is a synonym to the West Pomeranian Voivodship; in Polish historical usage it applied to all areas west of Pomerelia (i.e. whole narrow Pomerania).
Farther Pomerania emerged as a subdivision of the Duchy of Pomerania in the partition of 1532, then known as Pomerania-Stettin and already including the historical regions Principality of Cammin, County of Naugard, Land of Słupsk-Sławno, and the Lauenburg and Bütow Land. After the Brandenburg-Swedish partition of Pomerania, Farther Pomerania became the Brandenburg-Prussian Province of Pomerania (1653–1815). After the reorganization of the Prussian Province of Pomerania in 1815, Farther Pomerania was administered as Regierungsbezirk Köslin (Koszalin). In 1938, Grenzmark Posen-West Prussia was merged in. In 1945, Farther Pomerania was placed first under Soviet, subsequently under Polish administration, resettled primarily with Poles after the former German population fled or was expelled. Before 1999, the Szczecin Voivodeship (1945–1998) and its spin-offs Koszalin Voivodeship (1950–1998) and Słupsk Voivodeship (1975–1998) roughly resembled the area of former Farther Pomerania. The Szczecin and Koszalin Voivodeships were merged in 1999 and now constitute the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, while Słupsk Voivodeship was merged into the Pomeranian Voivodeship.History of Pomerania
The history of Pomerania starts shortly before 1000 AD with ongoing conquests by newly arrived Polans rulers. Before that the area was recorded nearly 2000 years ago as Germania, and in modern-day times Pomerania is split between Germany and Poland. The name Pomerania comes from the Slavic po more, which means Land at the Sea.Settlement in the area started by the end of the Vistula Glacial Stage, about 13,000 years ago. Archeological traces have been found of various cultures during the Stone and Bronze Age, of Veneti and Germanic peoples during the Iron Age and, in the Middle Ages, Slavic tribes and Vikings. Starting in the 10th century, Piast Poland on several occasions acquired parts of the region from the south-east, while the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark reached the region in augmenting their territory to the west and north.In the High Middle Ages, the area became Christian and was ruled by local dukes of the House of Pomerania and the Samborides, at various times vassals of Denmark, the Holy Roman Empire and Poland. From the late 12th century, the Griffin Duchy of Pomerania stayed with the Holy Roman Empire and the Principality of Rugia with Denmark, while Denmark, Brandenburg, Poland and the Teutonic Knights struggled for control in Samboride Pomerelia. The Teutonic Knights succeeded in annexing Pomerelia to their monastic state in the early 14th century. Meanwhile, the Ostsiedlung started to turn Pomerania into a German-settled area; the remaining Wends, who became known as Slovincians and Kashubians, continued to settle within the rural East. In 1325 the line of the princes of Rugia (Rügen) died out, and the principality was inherited by House of Pomerania, themselves involved in the Brandenburg-Pomeranian conflict about superiority in their often internally divided duchy. In 1466, with the Teutonic Order's defeat, Pomerelia became subject to the Polish Crown as a part of Royal Prussia. While the Duchy of Pomerania adopted the Protestant Reformation in 1534, Kashubia remained with the Roman Catholic Church. The Thirty Years' and subsequent wars severely ravaged and depopulated most of Pomerania. With the extinction of the Griffin house during the same period, the Duchy of Pomerania was divided between the Swedish Empire and Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648.
Prussia gained the southern parts of Swedish Pomerania in 1720. It gained the remainder of Swedish Pomerania in 1815, when French occupation during the Napoleonic Wars was lifted. The former Brandenburg-Prussian Pomerania and the former Swedish parts were reorganized into the Prussian Province of Pomerania, while Pomerelia in the partitions of Poland was made part of the Province of West Prussia. With Prussia, both provinces joined the newly constituted German Empire in 1871. Following the empire's defeat in World War I, Pomerelia became part of the Second Polish Republic (Polish Corridor) and the Free City of Danzig was created. Germany's Province of Pomerania was expanded in 1938 to include northern parts of the former Province of Posen–West Prussia, and in 1939 the annexed Polish territories became the part of Nazi Germany known as Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. The Nazis deported the Pomeranian Jews to a reservation near Lublin and mass-murdered Jews, Poles and Kashubians in Pomerania, planning to eventually exterminate Jews and Poles and Germanise the Kashubians.
After Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II, the German–Polish border was shifted west to the Oder–Neisse line and all of Pomerania was placed under Soviet military control. The area west of the line became part of East Germany, the other areas part of the People's Republic of Poland even though it did not have a sizeable Polish population. The German population of the areas east of the line was expelled, and the area was resettled primarily with Poles, some of whom were themselves expellees from former eastern Poland) and some Ukrainians who were resettled under Operation Vistula) and Jews. Most of Western Pomerania (Vorpommern) today forms the eastern part of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Federal Republic of Germany, while the Polish part of the region is divided between West Pomeranian Voivodeship and Pomeranian Voivodeship, with their capitals in Szczecin and Gdańsk, respectively. During the late 1980s, the Solidarność and Die Wende movements overthrew the Communist regimes implemented during the post-war era . Since then, Pomerania has been democratically governed.House of Griffin
The House of Griffin or Griffin dynasty (German: Greifen; Polish: Gryfici) was a dynasty ruling the Duchy of Pomerania from the 12th century until 1637. The name "Griffins" was used by the dynasty after the 15th century and had been taken from the ducal coat of arms. Duke Wartislaw I (died 1135) was the first historical ruler of the Duchy of Pomerania and the founder of the Griffin dynasty. The most prominent Griffin was Eric of Pomerania, who became king of the Kalmar Union in 1397, thus ruling Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The last Griffin duke of Pomerania was Bogislaw XIV, who died during the Thirty Years' War, which led to the division of Pomerania between Brandenburg-Prussia and Sweden. Duchess Anna von Croy, daughter of Duke Bogislaw XIII and the last Griffin, died in 1660.Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship
Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, also known as Cuiavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship or simply Kujawsko-Pomorskie, or Kujawy-Pomerania Province (Polish: województwo kujawsko-pomorskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ kuˈjafskɔ pɔˈmɔrskʲɛ]), is one of the 16 voivodeships (provinces) into which Poland is divided. It is situated in mid-northern Poland, on the boundary between the two historic regions from which it takes its name: Kuyavia (Polish: Kujawy) and Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze). Its two chief cities, serving as the province's joint capitals, are Bydgoszcz and Toruń.List of Pomeranian duchies and dukes
This is a list of the duchies and dukes of Pomerania.Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (German: [ˈmeːklənbʊʁk ˈfoːɐ̯pɔmɐn], abbreviated MV), also known by its anglicized name Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, is a state of Germany. Of the country's 16 states, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern ranks 14th in population, 6th in area, and 16th in population density. Schwerin is the state capital and Rostock is the largest city. Other major cities include Neubrandenburg, Stralsund, Greifswald, Wismar and Güstrow.
The state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was established in 1945 after World War II through the merger of the historic regions of Mecklenburg and the Prussian Western Pomerania by the Soviet military administration in Allied-occupied Germany. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern became part of the German Democratic Republic in 1947, but was dissolved in 1952 during administrative reforms and its territory divided into the districts of Rostock, Schwerin, and Neubrandenburg. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was re-established in 1990 following German reunification, and became one of the Federal Republic of Germany's new states.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's coastline on the Baltic Sea features many holiday resorts and much unspoilt nature, including the islands such as Rügen and Usedom, as well as the Mecklenburg Lake District, making the state one of Germany's leading tourist destinations. Three of Germany's fourteen national parks, as well as several hundred nature conservation areas, are in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The University of Rostock, established in 1419, and the University of Greifswald, established in 1456, are among the oldest universities in Europe. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was the site of the 33rd G8 summit in 2007.New Britain
New Britain (Tok Pisin: Niu Briten) is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. It is separated from the island of New Guinea by the Dampier and Vitiaz Straits and from New Ireland by St. George's Channel. The main towns of New Britain are Rabaul/Kokopo and Kimbe. The island is roughly the size of Taiwan. While the island was part of German New Guinea, it was named Neupommern ("New Pomerania").Pomeranian Voivodeship
Pomeranian Voivodeship, Pomorskie Region, or Pomerania Province (Polish: województwo pomorskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ pɔˈmɔrskʲɛ]; Kashubian Pòmòrsczé wòjewództwò), is a voivodeship, or province, in north-western Poland. The provincial capital is Gdańsk.
The voivodeship was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former voivodeships of Gdańsk, Elbląg and Słupsk, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It is bordered by West Pomeranian Voivodeship to the west, Greater Poland and Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeships to the south, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship to the east, and the Baltic Sea to the north. It also shares a short land border with Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast), on the Vistula Spit. The voivodeship comprises most of Pomerelia (the easternmost part of historical Pomerania), as well as an area east of the Vistula River. The western part of the province, around Słupsk, belonged historically to Farther Pomerania, while Pomerelia and the eastern bank of the Vistula belonged to the historical region of Prussia. The central parts of the province are also known as Kashubia, named after the Kashubian minority.
A province of rich cultural heritage. The Tricity urban area, consisting of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, is one of the main cultural, commercial and educational centres of Poland. Gdańsk and Gdynia are two of the major Polish seaports, the first erected by Mieszko I of Poland in the Middle Ages, the latter built in the interwar period. Amongst the most recognisable landmarks of the region are the historic city centre of Gdańsk filled with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, the Museum of the National Anthem in Będomin, located at the birthplace of Józef Wybicki, poet and politician, author of the national anthem of Poland, the largest medieval churches of Poland (the St. Mary's Church in Gdańsk and the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Pelplin) and the Malbork Castle. The voivodeship also includes the narrow Hel Peninsula and the Polish half of the Vistula Spit. Other tourist destinations include Wejherowo, Sopot, Jurata, Łeba, Władysławowo, Puck, Krynica Morska, Ustka, Jastarnia, Kuźnica, Bytów and many fishing ports and lighthouses.
The name Pomerania derives from the Slavic po more, meaning "by the sea" or "on the sea".Pomerelia
Pomerelia (Latin: Pomerelia; German: Pomerellen, Pommerellen), also referred to as Eastern Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze Wschodnie) or as Danzig Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze Gdańskie), is a historical region in northern Poland. Pomerelia lay on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, west of the Vistula river and east of the Łeba river. Its biggest city was Gdańsk. Since 1999 the region has formed the core of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Gdańsk Pomerania is traditionally divided into Kashubia and Kociewie.Province of Pomerania (1653–1815)
The Province of Pomerania was a province of Brandenburg-Prussia, the later Kingdom of Prussia. After the Thirty Years' War, the province consisted of Farther Pomerania. Subsequently, the Lauenburg and Bütow Land, Draheim, and Swedish Pomerania south of the Peene river were joined into the province. The province was succeeded by the Province of Pomerania set up in 1815.
The name Pomerania comes from Slavic po more, which means "Land at the Sea".Province of Pomerania (1815–1945)
The Province of Pomerania (German: Provinz Pommern; Polish: Prowincja Pomorze) was a province of Prussia from 1815 to 1945. Pomerania was established as a province of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815, an expansion of the older Brandenburg-Prussia province of Pomerania, and then became part of the German Empire in 1871. From 1918, Pomerania was a province of the Free State of Prussia until it was dissolved in 1945 following World War II, and its territory divided between Poland and Allied-occupied Germany.
Stettin (present-day Szczecin, Poland) was the provincial capital.Rügen
Rügen (German pronunciation: [ˈʁyːɡn̩]; also lat. Rugia; Ruegen) is Germany's largest island by area. It is located off the Pomeranian coast in the Baltic Sea and belongs to the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
The "gateway" to Rügen island is the Hanseatic city of Stralsund, where it is linked to the mainland by road and railway via the Rügen Bridge and Causeway, two routes crossing the two-kilometre-wide Strelasund, a sound of the Baltic Sea.
Rügen has a maximum length of 51.4 km (from north to south), a maximum width of 42.8 km in the south and an area of 926 km². The coast is characterized by numerous sandy beaches, lagoons (Bodden) and open bays (Wieke), as well as projecting peninsulas and headlands. In June 2011, UNESCO awarded the status of a World Heritage Site to the Jasmund National Park, famous for its vast stands of beeches and chalk cliffs like King's Chair, the main landmark of Rügen island.The island of Rügen is part of the district of Vorpommern-Rügen, with its county seat in Stralsund.
The towns on Rügen are: Bergen, Sassnitz, Putbus and Garz. In addition, there are the Baltic seaside resorts of Binz, Baabe, Göhren, Sellin and Thiessow.
Rügen is very popular as a tourist destination because of its resort architecture, the diverse landscape and its long, sandy beaches.Swedish Pomerania
Swedish Pomerania (Swedish: Svenska Pommern; German: Schwedisch-Pommern) was a Dominion under the Swedish Crown from 1630 to 1815, situated on what is now the Baltic coast of Germany and Poland. Following the Polish War and the Thirty Years' War, Sweden held extensive control over the lands on the southern Baltic coast, including Pomerania and parts of Livonia and Prussia (dominium maris baltici).
Sweden, present in Pomerania with a garrison at Stralsund since 1628, had gained effective control of the Duchy of Pomerania with the Treaty of Stettin in 1630. At the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and the Treaty of Stettin in 1653, Sweden received Western Pomerania (German Vorpommern), with the islands of Rügen, Usedom, and Wolin, and a strip of Farther Pomerania (Hinterpommern). The peace treaties were negotiated while the Swedish queen Christina was a minor, and the Swedish Empire was governed by members of the high aristocracy. As a consequence, Pomerania was not annexed to Sweden like the French war gains, which would have meant abolition of serfdom, since the Pomeranian peasant laws of 1616 was practised there in its most severe form. Instead, it remained part of the Holy Roman Empire, making the Swedish rulers Reichsfürsten (imperial princes) and leaving the nobility in full charge of the rural areas and its inhabitants. While the Swedish Pomeranian nobles were subjected to reduction when the late 17th century kings regained political power, the provisions of the peace of Westphalia continued to prevent the pursuit of the uniformity policy in Pomerania until the Holy Roman empire was dissolved in 1806.
In 1679, Sweden lost most of her Pomeranian possessions east of the Oder river in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and in 1720, Sweden lost her possessions south of the Peene and east of the Peenestrom rivers in the Treaty of Stockholm. These areas were ceded to Brandenburg-Prussia and were integrated into Brandenburgian Pomerania. Also in 1720, Sweden regained the remainder of her dominion in the Treaty of Frederiksborg, which had been lost to Denmark in 1715. In 1814, as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, Swedish Pomerania was ceded to Denmark in exchange for Norway in the Treaty of Kiel, and in 1815, as a result of the Congress of Vienna, transferred to Prussia.Szczecin
Szczecin (Polish: [ˈʂtʂɛtɕin] (listen); German: Stettin [ʃtɛˈtiːn], Swedish: Stettin [stɛˈtiːn]; known also by other alternative names) is the capital and largest city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. Located near the Baltic Sea and the German border, it is a major seaport and Poland's seventh-largest city. As of June 2018, the population was 403,274.Szczecin is located on the Oder, south of the Szczecin Lagoon and the Bay of Pomerania. The city is situated along the southwestern shore of Dąbie Lake, on both sides of the Oder and on several large islands between the western and eastern branches of the river. Szczecin is adjacent to the town of Police and is the urban centre of the Szczecin agglomeration, an extended metropolitan area that includes communities in the German states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The city's recorded history began in the 8th century as a Slavic Pomeranian stronghold, built at the site of the Ducal castle. In the 12th century, when Szczecin had become one of Pomerania's main urban centres, it lost its independence to Piast Poland, the Duchy of Saxony, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark. At the same time, the House of Griffins established themselves as local rulers and the population was Christianized. After the Treaty of Stettin in 1630, the town came under the control of the Swedish Empire and became in 1648 the Capital of Swedish Pomerania until 1720, when it was acquired by the Kingdom of Prussia and then the German Empire. Following World War II Stettin became part of Poland in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, resulting in expulsion of the pre-war German population.
Szczecin is the administrative and industrial centre of West Pomeranian Voivodeship and is the site of the University of Szczecin, Pomeranian Medical University, Maritime University, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin Art Academy, and the see of the Szczecin-Kamień Catholic Archdiocese. From 1999 onwards, Szczecin has served as the site of the headquarters of NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast.
Szczecin was a candidate for the European Capital of Culture in 2016.West Pomeranian Voivodeship
West Pomeranian Voivodeship or West Pomerania Province (in Polish, województwo zachodniopomorskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ zaˈxɔdɲɔ pɔˈmɔrskʲɛ]), is a voivodeship (province) in northwestern Poland. It borders on Pomeranian Voivodeship to the east, Greater Poland Voivodeship to the southeast, Lubusz Voivodeship to the south, the German federal-states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Brandenburg to the west, and the Baltic Sea to the north. Its capital and largest city is Szczecin.
It was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former Szczecin and Koszalin Voivodeships and parts of other neighboring voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It is named for the historical region of Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze). In spite of the name ("West Pomeranian"), the voivodeship does not include the most westerly parts of historical Pomerania, which lie in Germany's Vorpommern (see Western Pomerania).
The name "Pomerania" comes from the Slavic "po more", meaning "Land by the Sea".Western Pomerania
Western Pomerania, also called Cispomerania or Hither Pomerania (German: Vorpommern), is the western extremity of the historic region of the Duchy, later Province of Pomerania, nowadays divided between the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Poland.
The name Pomerania comes from Slavic po more, which means "land by the sea". The adjective for the region is (Western) Pomeranian (Polish: pomorski, German: pommersch), inhabitants are called (Western) Pomeranians (Polish: Pomorzanie, German: Pommern).
Forming part of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, Western Pomerania's boundaries have changed through the centuries and it belonged to countries such as Poland, Sweden, Denmark, and Prussia. Before 1945, it embraced the whole area of Pomerania west of the Oder River. Today the cities of Szczecin (German: Stettin), Świnoujście (German: Swinemünde) and Police (German: Pölitz) are part of Poland (see Territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II), with the remainder of the region staying part of Germany. German Vorpommern now forms about one-third of the present-day north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
German Western Pomerania had a population of about 470,000 in 2012 (districts of Vorpommern-Rügen and Vorpommern-Greifswald combined) - while the Polish districts of the region had a population of about 520,000 in 2012 (cities of Szczecin, Świnoujście and Police County combined). So overall, about 1 million people live in the historical region of Western Pomerania today, while the Szczecin agglomeration reaches even further.
Towns on the German side include Damgarten, Bergen (Rügen Island), Anklam, Wolgast, Demmin, Pasewalk, Grimmen, Sassnitz (Rügen Island), Ueckermünde, Torgelow and Barth.
Geography of Pomerania