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Wollin

WOLLIN, an island of Germany, in the Prussian province of Pomerania, the more easterly of the islands at the mouth of the Oder which separate the Stettiner Haff from the Baltic Sea. It is divided from the mainland on the E. by the Dievenow Channel, and from Usedom on the W. by the Swine. It is roughly triangular in shape, and has an area of 95 sq. m. Heath and sand alternate with swamps, lakes and forest on its surface, which is flat, except towards the south-west, where the low hills of Lebbin rise. Cattle-rearing and fishing are the chief resources of the inhabitants, who number about 14,000. Misdroy, on the N.W. coast, is a favourite sea-bathing resort, and some of the other villages, as Ostswine, opposite Swinemiinde, Fritter, famous for its eels, and Lebbin, are also visited in summer. Wollin, the only town, is situated on the Dievenow, and is connected with the mainland by three bridges. It carries on the industries of a small seaport and fishing-town. Pop. (1900) 4679.

Near the modern town once stood the ancient and opulent Wendish city of Wolin or Jumne, called Julin by the Danes, and Winetha or Vineta (i.e. Wendish town) by the Germans. In the loth and nth centuries it was the centre of an active and extensive trade. Adam of Bremen (d. 1076) extols its size and wealth, and mentions that Greeks and other foreigners frequented it, and that Saxons were permitted to settle there on equal terms with the Wends, so long as they did not obtrude the fact of their Christianity. The Northmen made a settlement here about 970, and built a fortress on the " silver hill," called Jomsburg, which is often mentioned in the sagas. Its foundation was attributed to a legendary Viking exiled from Denmark, called Palnotoke or Palnatoki. The stronghold of Jomsburg was destroyed in 1098 by King Magnus Barfod of Norway. This is probably the origin of the legend that Vineta was overthrown by a storm or earthquake and overwhelmed by the sea. Some submarine granite rocks near Damerow in Usedom are still popularly regarded as its ruins. The town of Wollin became in 1140 the seat of the Pomeranian bishopric, which was transferred to Kammin about 1170. Wollin was burnt by Canute VI. of Denmark in 1183, and was taken by the Swedes in 1630 and 1759 and by the Brandenburgers in 1659 and 1675.

See Khull, Die Gesckickte Palnatokis und der Jomsburgtr (Graz, 1892); Koch, Vineta in Prosa und Poesie (Stettin, 1905); W. von Raumer, Die Insel Wollin (Berlin, 1851); Haas, Sagen und Erzahlungen von den Inseln Usedom und Wollin (Stettin, 1904).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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