Rügen, Germany's largest island

Geology of Rügen

Rügen history

Fig. 1. Rügen Cape Arkona
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Rügen was created by the recent ice age glaciers approximately 60 thousand years ago. She left moraines and glacial meltwater through their advance over the former Mainland. At this time the Baltic Sea did not exist yet.

The origin of Rügen goes back until in the Cretaceous period about 70 million years ago. Where today Rugen is deposited huge quantities of lime peel of very small micro-organisms that were partly up to 400 m thick.

Today, there are still lots of fossils, such as calcareous, coral, sea urchins, Thunderbolts and flints in the chalk cliffs of Cape Arkona, in the North West of Rügen, or in the Jasmund National Park. The flints were formed by the emplacement of silicic acid.

History of Rügen

From the stone age until today

The history of the island of Rügen can be traced through various finds to the stone age. Nowadays there's still about 50 so-called dolmens, which are dated 3000-2000 b.c..

Abb2. Jagdschloss Granitz
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Rügen from the East Germanic tribe of Rugians was inhabited in Roman times, Rügen also type your name. Through the migration South like other Germanic tribes also left the island. Then Slavic tribes in the abandoned areas migrated to about 400. Now, the island of Rügen was settled by the tribe of the Rani. They built shrines and fortifications for their God Svantevit, whose largest Tempel at Cape Arkona is currently excavated by archaeologists. The mounting and the temple were made of wood. It is a race against the destruction of nature, because the resources directly on the cliff and are vulnerable to erosion. The people of the Rani was feared as once the Vikings, but 1168, the Danish King Waldemar I together with Henry the lion conquered the island of Rügen.

In 1325, the Slavic rule took their final end and Rügen came under Pomeranian control. Between 1648 and 1815, Rügen belonged to Sweden. In those years, there were three major wars, 2 Nordic wars and the Dutch war between Sweden and Prussia. Rügen belonged to the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and other parts of Western Pomerania with Stralsund and Greifswald to Prussia. Rügen among 1990 formed Mecklenburg-Pomerania in the GDR to the Rostock of district of, and after the turn.

Geography of Rügen

The island of Rügen has a unique geography

Die Insel Rügen ist mit 926 km² Fläche die größte Insel von Deutschland. Der alte Rügendamm und die neue Rügenbrücke sind die einzige Verbindung zum Festland und die Stadt Stralsund ist das “Tor zur Insel Rügen”.

Abb3. Rügen bridge under construction
Rügen bridge

The maximum stretch of Rügen from North to South is 42.8 km 51.4 km and from East to West. No place on the island is more than 7 km away from the water. The total coast length is 570 km the islands of Vilm, Libitz, Dänholm, hay meadow, Ummanz and Hiddensee are situated in front of the coast.
On to find further information, as well Rügen has two national parks: The national Park vorpommersche boddenlandschaft and Jasmund national Park.

Der höchste Punkt der Insel mit 161m ist der Piekberg auf der Halbinsel Jasmund. Im Landesinneren findet man fruchtbare Hügellandschaften, umsäumt von Kiefern- und Buchenwäldern. Die verschiedenen Seebrücken der Seebäder, z.B. in Sellin sind die Wahrzeichen von Rügen.
Rügens Natur ist einfach herrlich. Da bleibt einem selbst ein ein Wochenendurlaub an der Ostseeküste in bester Erinnerung.

Rügen personalities:

A selection:

Ernst Moritz Arndt
Theodor Billroth
Gebhard Leberecht
Berthold Delbrück
Maximilian Kaller
Ludwig Gotthard Kosegarten
Matthäus von Normann
Franziska Tiburtius

Sources:,,, Wikipedia
Image sources: pixelio