Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park

The Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park[1] (Nationalpark Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft) is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's largest national park, situated at the coast of the Baltic Sea. It consists of several peninsulas, islands and lagoon shore areas in the Baltic Sea, belonging to the district of Vorpommern-Rügen.

The national park includes:

  • the Darß peninsula
  • the western coast of the island of Rügen
  • the island of Hiddensee
  • the island of Ummanz
  • several tiny islets between the above places
  • the multiple lagoons in between the land masses

The national park is characterised by very shallow water housing a unique coastal fauna. All portions of the national park are famous for being a resting place for tens of thousands of cranes and geese.

Its area is 805 km².

Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park
Nationalpark Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft
IUCN category II (national park)
NP Vorp. Boddenlandschaft
Coastal vegetation
Map showing the location of Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park
Map showing the location of Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park
LocationMecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Nearest cityRostock and Stralsund
Coordinates54°28′N 12°54′E / 54.467°N 12.900°ECoordinates: 54°28′N 12°54′E / 54.467°N 12.900°E
Area805 km2 (311 sq mi)
Established1 October 1990


Approximately half the area of the park is open Baltic Sea; more than another quarter covers parts of the lagoons in the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain including the West Rügen Bodden. Thus it protects these shallow water areas (in the Baltic Sea, the National Park boundary is based on the ten-metre depth contour) with their rich flora and fauna. The differing salt content of the brackish water habitats of the Baltic and the bodden (shallow lagoons) contribute significantly to the local diversity of nature. For example, the Baltic Herring visits the shallow bays regularly to spawn here.

The territory of the national park includes parts of the Darß and the peninsula of Zingst as well as most of the island of Hiddensee. In addition, a narrow strip of land on the island of Rügen, next to the bodden lies within the national park. Pine and beech woods, such as the Darß Forest, cover much of the land. In treeless areas there are bogs, resulting from coastal flooding.


  1. ^ Western Pomerania Lagoon Area at www.naturefund.de. Accessed on 27 June 2012. Archived 2 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine


  • "Nationalparkplan - Bestandsanalyse" (PDF). Landesamt für Forsten und Großschutzgebiete Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. 2002. p. 209. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
  • "Nationalparkplan - Leitbild und Ziele" (PDF). Landesamt für Forsten und Großschutzgebiete Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. 2002. p. 76. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
  • Frank Gnoth-Austen, Rudolf Specht: Jasmund, Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft. Vehling, Werl 1995, ISBN 3-536-00476-8 (Deutsche Nationalparke, Vol. 2).
  • Norbert Rosing, Sarah Fuchs, Klaus Nigge: Deutsche Nationalparks. Tecklenborg, Steinfurt 1997, ISBN 3-924044-29-5.

External links


Bodden are briny bodies of water often forming lagoons, along the southwestern shores of the Baltic Sea, primarily in Germany's state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. These lagoons can be found especially around the island of Rügen, Usedom and the Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula. Some of them are protected reserves, forming the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park.

They have a distinctive geological origin and are enclosed by peninsulae, spits and islands, leaving only narrow connections to adjacent bodden or the open sea. Freshwater inflow from the mainland and saltwater inflow from the open sea, which depends on wind direction and force as well as the proximity of the bodden to the sea, result in fluctuating salt gradients and distinctive ecosystems.

During the Littorina Sea transgression, an island archipelago was formed by the carving of narrow glacial basins and channels resulting from meltwater. Bodden were formed in a comparatively short period between spits and offshore sandbars. These shallow glacial scoops were then subjected to extensive sedimentation during the Holocene, resulting in lakes with depths of no more than 4–6 metres. Thermal and saline stratification is extremely unstable under these conditions, and bodden have the typical dynamics of small bodies of water with a sea connection, which is a rapid filling and draining due to tidal and wind action, and inflow of fresh water. The frequent movement of water can lead to a scouring effect, but can also with heavy pollution show a tendency toward eutrophication. Due to erosion of cliffs and sedimentary deposition, the shape of the bodden coasts remains unstable. Sudden changes have been caused by stormfloods, which repeatedly closed connections to the sea or opened new ones in the past.

While bodden-type bays can be found in Mecklenburg and Denmark, the most typical bodden are located off the Pomeranian mainland between the mouth of the Recknitz river and the island of Usedom. Several adjacent bodden between the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula, Hiddensee, the northern and western peninsulae of Rügen and the Pomeranian mainland are grouped as Bodden chains (Boddenketten):

Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain (Darß-Zingster Boddenkette), consisting of (from west to east)

Saaler Bodden with Ribnitzer See and Permin, connected by Koppelstrom to

Bodstedter Bodden with Redensee and Prerower Strom, connected by Meiningen to

Barther Bodden with Zingster Strom


West Rügen bodden chain (Westrügensche Boddenkette or Rügensche Außenboddenkette), consisting of (from south to north)

Kubitzer Bodden with Prohner Wiek and Gellenstrom

Schaproder Bodden with Udarser Wiek and Koselower See

Vitter Bodden, connected to the Baltic Sea by Libben

North Rügen bodden chain (Nordrügensche Boddenkette), consisting of (from west to east)

Wieker Bodden, connected by Rassower Strom to Schaproder Bodden and

Breetzer Bodden with Neuendorfer Wiek,

Breeger Bodden

Lebbiner Bodden with Tetzitzer See

Großer Jasmunder Bodden with Mittelsee and Spykerscher See, connected by a narrow ditch to

Kleiner Jasmunder BoddenAnother bodden is the Bay of Greifswald (Greifswalder Bodden), the northern parts of which constitute the Rügischer Bodden with Schoritzer Wiek, Wreechensee, Having Inlet with Neuensiener See and Selliner See, and Hagensche Wiek. To the south, the Bay of Greifswald comprises Gristower Inwiek, Kooser See and Dänische Wieck (Danish Bay).

The Bay of Greifswald is connected to the West Rügen bodden chain by the Strelasund, a bodden-type strait with Glewitzer Wiek, Puddeminer Wiek and Deviner See; it is further connected to the Oder Lagoon by the Peenestrom, another bodden-type strait with Spandowerhagener Wiek, Krösliner See, Hohendorfer See, Krumminer Wiek and Achterwasser.

The bodden are important sanctuaries for many species of birds and are especially important resting places for migratory birds like cranes and geese. This was the reason for the establishment of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park (Nationalpark Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft), comprising most of the bodden between Darß and Rügen.

Traditionally bodden have been good fishing areas, rich in mesolithic community sites, in particular the Pomeranian bodden of Rügen, Greifswald and Peenestrom. From these waters anglers regularly land 10–15 kg pike.

Bodstedter Bodden

The Bodstedter Bodden is a lagoon, of the type known as a bodden, that is part of the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain and the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park in northeastern Germany. It lies south of the peninsula of Fischland-Darß-Zingst on the coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The heavily indented, reed fringed shoreline forms a picturesque landscape with the result that the villages near the shore are popular tourist destinations.

The western boundary of the bodden with the Koppelstrom forms the so-called Borner Bülten (Bulte i.e. small swampy, islands of reed). The Koppelstrom is the transition to another lagoon, the Saaler Bodden. To the east the Bodstedter Bodden is separated from the Barther Bodden and Zingster Strom by the Meiningen Narrows. To the south of the bodden is the lake of Redensee and the village of Fuhlendorf. To the northeast, the Prerower Strom, a former estuary, empties into the bodden. The deepest point of the bodden (10 metres in depth) lies just in front of the Meininger Bülten, the small reed islands by Meiningen. The rest of the bodden is only rarely deeper than 3 metres.

Darßer Ort Natureum

The Darßer Ort Natureum (German: Natureum Darßer Ort) is a satellite of the German Oceanographic Museum at Stralsund that was opened in 1991 at Darßer Ort, the northern point of the Darß on Germany's Baltic Sea coast. The Natureum is located about five kilometres northwest of Prerow and c. 8 km north of Born, in the middle of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. It can only be reached on foot, by bicycle or by horse and carriage (on request there is also a bus).

The focus of the establishment is the nature and landscape of the Darß peninsula. Many stuffed animals (from porpoise, seal, eider duck and lumpfish to beach crab and mussel), a Baltic Sea aquarium with fish and invertebrates of the Baltic Sea portray the variety of animals in the surrounding area.

The Natureum has six permanent exhibitions:

Darßer Ort Natural Region,

Animals of the Darß Landscape,

Baltic Sea Coast,

Landscape in Motion,

Lighthouse History and

the Open Air Site.From the 150‑year‑old, 35‑metre‑high Darßer Ort Lighthouse there are views far and wide over the bodden landscape.

From its foundation in 1991 to the year 2004, the Natureum had more than 1.7 million visitors.


Fischland-Darß-Zingst or Fischland-Darss-Zingst is a 45 km (28 mi) long peninsula in the coastal district of Vorpommern-Rügen, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The three parts of the peninsula, from west to east, are Fischland (part of Mecklenburg), Darß and Zingst (part of Pomerania).

There are six villages on the peninsula - Wustrow, Ahrenshoop, Born, Wieck, Prerow and Zingst. Between the peninsula and the mainland there is a very shallow lagoon (Low German: bodden), the Saaler Bodden, which is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park, together with the peninsula.


The Gellen or Gellen Peninsula (German: Halbinsel Gellen) is a spit at the southern end of the island of Hiddensee off the north German Baltic coast. Its southern part is protected as an important bird reserve and is part of protection zone I of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. It is therefore not accessible to the public.

It consists of post-ice age sand depositions and is growing annually by a few metres to the south. The dredging of the shipping channel between the island of Bock and the Gellen prevents a graded shoreline from being formed, which would otherwise be typical of the eastern Baltic Sea area with its numerous spits.

Grabow (bodden)

The Grabow is a bodden - a lagoon-like waterbody - off the Baltic Sea south of the Zingst and Großer Werder peninsulas and the island group of Kleiner Werder.It lies on the coast of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern between Stralsund and Barth and forms the eastern part of the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain. Its northern part belongs to the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park.

There are three hamlets on the shores of the Grabow: Nisdorf und Kinnbackenhagen in the municipality of Groß Mohrdorf and Dabitz in the municipality of Kenz-Küstrow.

The Grabow is a popular fishing lake.


The tiny uninhabited German island of Gänsewerder lies in the Schaproder Bodden, a lagoon on the Baltic Sea coast, 400 metres east of the Gellen Peninsula on Hiddensee. It is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park and is out of bounds to the public. The surface of Gänsewerder is flat, sandy and damp, and only reeds and small plants grow there. There is a small pond in the northeast of the island. The island has an oval shape and slopes along its longer axis from southwest to northeast. It measures about 328 by 155 metres and has an area of some 4 hectares. When the national park was established, Gänsewerder (like the Gellen) was a coastal nesting area for birds, but is no longer. The island of Fährinsel off Hiddensee, which is inhabited by several species of bird, is managed as one area along with the Gellen and Gänserwerder.


Kirr is an island in the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain south of the Zingst Peninsula on the German Baltic Sea coast. It is separated from the peninsula by the Zingster Strom. The island is a nature reserve within the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. It was formerly and is sometimes still called Großer Kirr or Große Kirr ("Great Kirr"). This is to distinguish it from the northwestern part of the island, which was still a separate albeit much smaller island in the Zingster Strom in the second half of the 20th century, that used to be called Kleiner Kirr or Kleine Kirr ("Small Kirr").

Kleiner Werder

Kleiner Werder is the name of an island and its associated group (aka the Kleine Werder) of uninhabited and not clearly geographically separable German islands in the Baltic Sea that belong to the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The individual island elements are only separated from one another by shallow water channels that occasionally dry out. Their highest points lie no more than one metre above sea level. The Kleiner Werder lies off the mainland east of the peninsula of Großer Werder and west of the likewise uninhabited island of Bock. It is only separated from Bock by narrow, shallow waterways. All the aforementioned islands and peninsulas have been formed in the last 150 years or so by the deposition of sediments that had been carried away from elsewhere on the coast, especially from Darßer Ort and dumped by current further to the east. Numerous birds breed on these treeless islands; as a result they are protected as part of conservation zone I in the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park and may only be visited with special permission.

Kubitzer Bodden

The Kubitzer Bodden is a type of lagoon known as a bodden on the Baltic Sea coast in the southwestern area of the island of Rügen in Germany. In the north the bodden is bounded by the Lieschow peninsula on Rügen. In the east and south the shores of the island of Rügen near Dreschvitz, Samtens and Rambin form its natural perimeter. The boundary with the Strelasund to the west is the line between the hook known as the Bessiner Haken near Bessin in the south and the tip of the Lieschow peninsula in the north.The Kubitzer Bodden reaches its greatest depth in the area of the navigable channel off the village of Rugenhof where it is about 3.5 metres deep. In the central and western areas of the bodden the water depth varies between 2 and 3 metres. The zones near the shore are about 1.5 metres deep. The shipping channel, the so-called Schwarze Strom ("Black Stream") runs through the middle of the bodden in and east-west direction.

The bodden is named after the village of Groß Kubitz on the island of Rügen. The bodden is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park and it is one of the West Rügen Bodden.

On the Bessiner Haken there is a beacon.

In the east of the bodden lies the island of Liebitz.

Möwenstein (Ummanz)

The Möwenstein is a glacial erratic that was transported south from the area of the present-day island of Bornholm by the ice sheet during the last glaciation. It is located on the island of Ummanz in the west of Rügen within the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. Erratics are relatively uncommon here, most of them lie east of the island of Rügen.

The rock is damaged by boreholes and it is feared that further damage could be caused by frost shattering.

The block, which is made of syenogranite and hammer granite, is legally protected as a natural monument and is indexed by the State Office for the Environment, Conservation and Geologie (de:Landesamt für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Geologie Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) as number G2 91. It is 15.0 metres in circumference and has a volume of about 13.5 m3.


Prerow is a municipality in the district of Vorpommern-Rügen in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. This Baltic seaside resort on the Darß peninsula is located about halfway between the historic Hanseatic towns of Rostock and Stralsund. It is one of three main settlements on the Darß, the others being the villages of Born and Wieck. Prerow has fine, sandy beaches and a picturesque landscape. It is hard to say where the forest ends and the village begins. The primeval Darß Forest has over 50 km of footpaths and cycle ways, a bridleway and tracks for horse-drawn carriages. West of the forest is West Beach with rugged terrain formed by wind and waves. South of Prerow is the bodden countryside. Visitors can take trips on a steam paddle boat and experience wildlife first-hand, nesting areas and various birds as the seasons change.

The seaside resort of Prerow is located within the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park which stretches from Ahrenshoop along the southern coast to the island of Hiddensee.

Prerow itself was a fishing village, but has now been a seaside resort for over 130 years. Thanks to its varied climatic environment with the sea, meadows, forest and reeds, combined with good water quality, it was always recognised as a health spa. In 1998, the Minister of Social and Economic Affairs officially recognized the village as a seaside and health resort.

Prerower Strom

The Prerower Strom, Prerow Strom or Prerowstrom is an arm of the Baltic Sea in northeast Germany. It begins near the island of Schmidtbülten in the Bodstedter Bodden and winds its way through the countryside of the peninsula of Fischland-Darß-Zingst, where it separates Darß from the peninsula of Zingst. It ends at the harbour of the village of Prerow that gives it its name. The Prerower Strom is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park.

Schaproder Bodden

The Schaproder Bodden is a bodden on the Baltic Sea coast between the island of Hiddensee in the west and the islands of Rügen and Ummanz in the east. To the north the Schaproder Bodden is linked to the Vitter Bodden by the so-called Trog between the Fährinsel and the Stolper Haken of Rügen island. To the south the bodden transitions into the Kubitzer Bodden. A boundary would be the line between the southern tips of the Hiddensee (Geller Haken) and Ummanz or the link from the Geller Haken - Insel Heuwiese.

The Schaproder Bodden is 4.5 metres deep at three places, otherwise it is very shallow (mostly under 1.5 metres deep). Another source claims water depts. of 6 m.The bodden was named after Schaprode, the main village on its shores on the island of Rügen. The bodden is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park and it belongs to the West Rügen Bodden.

In the southwestern part the bodden runs in front of Hiddensee into a very low windwatt or wind-exposed mudflat. The islands in this bodden are the Gänsewerder, the Fährinsel and the Öhe.

Ferries to Hiddensee from Schaprode, Stralsund and Zingst cross the bodden.


The island of Ummanz lies in the Baltic Sea, off the west coast of the island of Rügen, and belongs, like the latter, to the county of Vorpommern-Rügen in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Ummanz is around 20 square kilometres in area and thus, after Rügen, the second largest island in the former county of Rügen. It is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. The island is bounded to the west and northwest by the Schaproder Bodden, to the north, by the inlet of Udarser Wiek, to the east by the lake of Koselower See and the Breite and to the south by the Kubitzer Bodden. The island of Ummanz is very flat; its highest point lying just 3 metres above sea level (NN).

Since 1901 the island has been linked to the island of Rügen by a 250-metre-long bridge. The largest settlement on the island is the parish village of Waase; other villages are Haide, Markow, Suhrendorf, Freesenort, Tankow and Wusse. Together with several villages on Rügen itself it forms the municipality of Ummanz.

From 1341 the island was owned by the Heiliggeisthospital at Stralsund. As a result, Stralsund's citizens exercised lordship over the island for centuries on behalf of the church foundation.

Vitter Bodden

The Vitter Bodden is a type of lagoon called a bodden between the northern part of the island of Hiddensee (with the Neubessin and Altbessin peninsulas) to the west and north and the peninsula of Bug, the Wieker Bodden and the northern part of the Schaprode peninsula to the east. In the north the bodden borders on the Bay of Libben on the open Baltic Sea and in the south on the Schaproder Bodden. It is one of the West Rügen Bodden.The bodden was named after Vitte, the main settlement on the shores of the bodden on Hiddensee. The bodden is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. The Vitter Bodden is very shallow throughout (generally below 1.5 metres in depth), only the navigable channel and an area in the middle are over 2 metres deep. In the northwest the bodden is very shallow and peters out into a windwatt (wind-exposed mudflat) in front of Hiddensee. In this area the two peninsulas of Neubessin and Altbessin are steadily growing into the bodden as a result of sand masses washed along from the north of the island.


Vorpommern-Rügen is a district in the north of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is bounded by (from the west and clockwise) the Baltic Sea and the districts Vorpommern-Greifswald, Mecklenburgische Seenplatte and Rostock. The district seat is the Hanseatic city of Stralsund.Vorpommern-Rügen is characterized by diverse shore line landscapes with many lagoons, beaches and cliff lines, part of them protected in the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park and in the Jasmund National Park.

The area is also a very popular destination for national and international tourism, including Rügen, the biggest island of Germany, the island of Hiddensee, the Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula and its adjacent town of Barth with the Stralsund Barth Airport, the port of Sassnitz and the UNESCO World Heritage city of Stralsund.

The Vorpommern-Rügen district is one of the most popular places for national and international tourism in Germany, thanks to its unique protected nature, good infrastructure, popular resort architecture spas, historical towns and vast beaches at the shores of the Baltic Sea.

West Rügen Bodden

The West Rügen Bodden (German: Westrügener Bodden or Rügenschen Außenboddenkette) are a string of lagoons and embayments, known as bodden, in Western Pomerania on the Baltic Sea coast. They lie in the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park west and southwest of the island of Rügen, and east and southeast of Hiddensee.

The individual lagoons or bodden that make up the West Rügen Bodden are the:

Vitter Bodden

Schaproder Bodden

Udarser Wiek

Kubitzer Bodden(listed from north to south; several smaller linking waterbodies are not mentioned)


A windwatt is a mudflat exposed as a result of wind action on water. They occur especially in the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park on Germany's Baltic Sea coast. The term is German.Unlike the Wadden Sea along Europe's North Sea coast, the shallow water zones of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park are largely unaffected by oceanic tides. When there are strong winds in a certain direction, however, water is driven out of the lagoons (the so-called bodden) into the Baltic Sea, so that several particularly shallow areas of mud become exposed and dry out. The water flows back when the wind turns again.

These windwatts are a major source of food for migrating birds in the autumn. For the Crane, which cross Western Pomeranian bodden country during migration, the windwatts are one of the most important resting areas in Western Europe.

North Germany
Central Germany
South Germany
Geography of Pomerania
Bays, lagoons
National parks


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.