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Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is one of Germany's 16 federal states, located in the country's northeastern corner, forming a state border with Poland to the east. The region's natural boundary is represented to the north by the Baltic Sea's coast. Mecklenburg-West Pomerania also neighbors Germany's federal states of Brandenburg to the south, Lower Saxony to the southwest, and Schleswig-Holstein to the west. The country's two largest islands, Rügen and Usedom, also belong to the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.[4] Historically, the region was formed by fusing two territories: the duchy of Mecklenburg—named after the aristocratic family ruling the territory—and West Pomerania, part of the Pomerania Region mostly belonging to Poland. Nowadays, the environment is one of Germany's least populated and urbanized areas.[3] An abundance of marshes and woods represent the landscape, with a predominance of lakes, as over 1700 lakes can be found within the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's territory. Additionally, the country's largest lake, Müritz, is also located within the state's borders.[4] Thus, a considerable number of visitors coming to the region seek natural destinations, such as the white chalk cliffs of Rügen or Müritz National Park.[11] Among the predominant historical sites in the area, Schwerin Castle can be found, which is reportedly the most visited cultural landmark in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.[9]

What Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is known for

Schwerin, the Mecklenburg–West Pomerania's capital, is located in the western part of the region, on the shores of Schwerin Lake. The city is Germany's smallest capital city, with over 100,000 residents. Even though Schwerin is a relatively minor city, it can offer several sights, such as the castle gardens, State Museum, the Victory Column, the Old Palace, Marktplatz Square, Schelfstadt District, and the State Chancellery. Often nicknamed the "city of seven lakes," Schwerin is intertwined with numerous inner-city lakes, representing recreational areas to tourists and visitors, as well as combining nature and history. [8] However, Schwerin's and arguably the whole state's predominant landmark is Schwerin Castle. The castle stands on an island, surrounded by forests. Until the 20th century, Schwerin castle was the seat of the grand duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Nowadays, the castle is used as the Mecklenburg–Vorpommern parliament seat. However, it can still be visited by means of guided tours available to visitors.[9]

Mecklenburg–West Pomerania is one of Germany's least inhabited federal states. Considering the lack of urbanization, the territory is filled with numerous protected and well-preserved areas. Among them is the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park, the largest protected area on the Baltic Coast. Additionally, the park is also the largest roosting spot for cranes in Europe. However, the national park is most famous for the Baltic Sea's lagoons called the "Bodden." Besides lagoons, the park is comprised of beaches, dunes, heaths, wind flats, salt marshes, forests, and numerous other habitats, allowing for considerable species diversity. Thus, Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park is reportedly presented as a popular attraction among tourists seeking outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, boating, and surfing, to name a few.[10]

One of Germany's largest islands, Rügen, is also part of the Mecklenburg–Vorpommern. The island is reportedly known the best for its white chalk cliffs, which are also part of the Jasmund National Park. The white cliffs cover approximately 15 km of the island's coastal area, rising 120 m above sea level. The height combined with the white color of the cliffs is presumably one of the primary reasons tourists visit the natural landmark. According to archeologists and researchers, calcareous, fossil-like remains of various small animals solidified over time, forming a rock. Together with sand and clay, the white cliffs were formed, posing as Mecklenburg-West Pomerania's major attraction.[11]


Mecklenburg–West Pomerania is located in the northeastern part of Germany. To the east, the state forms a country border with Poland, whereas, to the north, the natural border represented by the Baltic Sea can be found. The coastal territory is bounded by the Bay of Lübeck in the west and the Szczecinski Lagoon (Stettiner Haff) in the east. Germany's two largest islands, Rügen and Usedom, also belong to the Mecklenburg–Vorpommern territory. In terms of the state's nature and landscape, the region is filled with wetlands, lakes, and meandering streams. Over 1,700 lakes can be found within Mecklenburg–West Pomerania's borders, among them Lake Müritz, Germany's largest lake. Approximately two-thirds of the territory is constituted by farmlands, while one-fifth is covered in forested regions. Most of the area in the east-west direction is traversed by plateaus of highland landscape covered in fertile soils and beech forests. Further to the north, coastal nature and habitats can be found. The predominant part of the coastal area is represented by steep cliffs alternating with beaches and dunes.[4]

Belonging among Germany's least populated territories with a relative lack of urbanization, Mecklenburg–Vorpommern contains an abundance of green areas, protected landscapes, nature preserves, and parks. Three national parks contribute to the state's territory. Two of them, the West Pomeranian Boddenlandschaft National Park and the Jasmund National Park, protect the region's coastal areas and nature. Jasmund, located on the Rügen island, is Germany's smallest national park, protecting the most extensive beech forests on the Baltic coast. Additionally, the national park is known for its white chalk coast and cliffs, which are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.[5] In the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania inland, a Müritz National Park is located. Named after Germany's largest lake, the national park protects over 130 lakes, ancient beech forests, and moors. White-tailed eagles, ospreys, and cranes are among the rare species inhabiting the national park. Due to an abundance of lakes, Müritz National Park is a popular tourist attraction—offering water activities such as canoeing—but also abounds with several walking, hiking, and cycling trails.[6]

Regarding climatic conditions, Mecklenburg–Vorpommern is mainly affected by the Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea, with a moderate climate.[4] In the region's capital, Schwerin, the warmest month is July, with an average daily temperature of 22°C, while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 4°C. April tends to be the driest month in Schwerin, with an average of 35 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during June, with an average of 72 mm.[7]


Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state is composed of two separate historical regions, Mecklenburg and Vorpommern. The first human settlements of the territory date back to the Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years BC. Germanic tribes came to the area around the start of the Christian era. However, most left during the Great Migration for Spain, Italy, or France. Thus, the relatively free territory was available for Polabian Slavs, who populated the area. By the beginning of the 12th century, Mecklenburg and Vorpommern became under the rule of Henry the Lion and were part of the Duchy of Saxony within the Holy Roman Empire.[2] 

Mecklenburg is named after an aristocratic family who ruled the territory since 1348 when King Charles IV appointed various empirical dukes and princes from the Mecklenburg lineage. However, Mecklenburg was divided into smaller duchies over the year and reunited several times again. The territory, which was then separated into two duchies, Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz, became part of the German Reich in 1871. The ducal regime ended after the First World War, and both regions transformed into electorally governed states. Mecklenburg was united in 1934 by the Nazi government, and by 1990, the territory was reconstituted and became Mecklenburg–West Pomerania.[3] Concerning the history of Vorpommern (meaning Fore-Pomerania) or Western Pomerania, the area belonged to the Polish province of Pomerania. In the 18th century, the three Partitions of Poland took place. Poland ceased to exist, and its territory was divided between Prussia, Russia, and the Habsburg monarchy. Thus, Pomerania became part of Prussia. However, Poland was re-established as a sovereign state after World War I. After the Second World War, the eastern part of Pomerania became Polish, whereas the western part became German, forming the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.[2]

Nowadays, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is one of Germany's least populated and also least densely populated states. The region's major cities, Rostock, Schwerin, and Neubrandenburg, are reportedly relatively small compared to Germany's other urban areas.[4]