Die Vineta-Brücke am Strand von Zinnowitz auf der Ostsee-Insel Usedom

Myth or Truth ?: Vineta – the mysterious Atlantis of the Baltic Sea


The small community of Koserow on the coast of the island of Usedom is a place where you always come across a name: Vineta. There is a Vineta street, a Vineta pharmacy, the Vineta holiday park is not far away, the Vineta reef off the coast. The name suggests something big – for many people it is nothing more than a fairy tale. Others firmly believe that Vineta actually existed.

When people talk about Vineta, some also speak of the “Atlantis of the North” in awe – because just like the legendary city that was mentioned in ancient Greece and that, according to the story, sank into the sea’s floods, it is said to do the same Vineta is about such a place. According to “Deutschlandfunk”Wrote chronicler Adam von Bremen about the city of myths back in 1075:“ It is really the largest of all cities that Europe has. The city is filled with goods from all the peoples of the north, nothing desirable or rare is missing. ”

Punished for godlessness

And maybe that’s exactly what happened to her: she disappeared, or rather, she was swallowed up by the tides of the sea. According to legend, Vineta’s wealthy inhabitants had given themselves up to arrogance and waste, which is why fate punished them and the city was devoured by the water. Variants of this legend can be found throughout human history, for the first time in ancient Babylon.

Vineta is drawn on old maps

According to the State Archives of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Vineta suffered a different fate. Accordingly, the city was attacked and destroyed by a fleet of Danish warships. The search for the legendary place began as early as the 16th century, and excavations in the 1930s, which unearthed more than 50,000 finds around today’s Wollin, actually indicate that there could once have been an important trading center here. Scientists and archaeologists are still debating exactly where Vineta – if it existed at all – was located exactly.

Vineta, or rather the idea of ​​it, has had a tremendous fascination for people in past centuries: For example, the city is marked on Swedish maps that were created after the Thirty Years’ War. The area of ​​what is now Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had fallen to the Swedes in the course of the “Peace of Westphalia”. The maps can be viewed on the website of the state archive.

Several places argue about Vineta

In Koserow, one of the possible places where Vineta could have been, both secular and spiritual institutions are wrestling with the evidence today: According to “Deutschlandfunk” there is a cross in the local field stone church that fishermen are said to have recovered from the sea and that according to which it used to hang in a church in Vineta. In fact, it is proven to be a Swedish work from the 18th century. Then again there is the near Zinnowitz since 1997 Vineta festival, in which a different chapter from the history of the city and its inhabitants is re-enacted every year. With the towns of Damerow, Wollin and Barth, however, other localities claim that Vineta used to be exactly on their territory, since 1999 Barth has even been nicknamed “Vineta City”.

If you want to learn more about the Atlantis of the Baltic Sea, you will surely find a piece in all of these places – so the people of Kosovo are also convinced that the stone accumulations on the seabed of the Vineta reef are the former foundations of the Nordic Atlantis (which is historically already is also refuted). If you want to learn more about the city, we recommend the book “Vineta – Mirage”. The author Martina Krüger has been the spokeswoman for the Vineta Festival for more than 20 years. When asked about TRAVELBOOK, she said: “I was fascinated by where Vineta appears everywhere, the idea of ​​the sunken city can be found above all in literature, for example in works by Heinrich Heine, Gerhard Hauptmann and Christian Morgenstern. Thanks to the help of two scientists, I analyzed historical sources for half a year and also collected everything there is to know about Vineta. ”

Krüger believes that the legend has lasted so long because “everyone can interpret something different into the city under water”. However, there is no denying a true core, as there were places on the island of Usedom early on in which many peoples lived together and did business with one another: “These were real multi-cultural cities – just as the legend says . ” When asked what she thinks of Vineta herself, she says with a smile: “It’s a beautiful dream.”