ByFlorian Wokurka, writer at
Truth is stranger than fiction
Florian Wokurka

The island Hiddensee

Hiddensee is a car-free island in the Baltic Sea, located west of Germany's largest island, Rügen, on the German coast.

The island is located at 54°33' north 13°07' east, and has about 1,300 inhabitants. It was a popular holiday destination for East German tourists during German Democratic Republic (GDR) times and continues to attract tourists today with its natural beauty. It is the location of the University of Greifswald's ornithological station. Gerhart Hauptmann and Walter Felsenstein are buried there.


The name Hedinsey surfaces as early as the Prose Edda and the Gesta Danorum written by Saxo Grammaticus and means "Island of Hedin". The legendary Norwegian king, Hedin, was supposed to have fought here for a woman or even just for gold. Under Danish rule the name Hedins-Oe ("Hedin's Island") was common. Even in 1880 the island was shown in German maps as Hiddensjö and, in 1929, in German holiday guides as Hiddensöe. Its full Germanization to Hiddensee is thus relatively recent.


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