Land of lakes
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the most popular domestic tourist destination for travellers from Germany: every year, about seven million people visit the sandy beaches of the islands and peninsulas of the Baltic Sea that stretch for kilometres and the nature parks inland. The cities, too, with their rich culture, are popular destinations, including the two Hanseatic cities of Wismar and Stralsund, which have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2002. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which is located in north-eastern Germany, there are over 2200 lakes, most of which are connected by narrow canals. Lake Müritz, in the heart of the Müritz National Park, is the largest lake entirely within Germany and covers an area of 117km² – a paradise not only for cranes and otters, but also for ornithologists.
The long history of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is also reflected in the more than 2000 castles, manor houses and mansions to be found throughout the state. Nowhere else in Europe has more in a comparable area.
Chalk cliffs and beech woods
The coastal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania borders Schleswig-Holstein in the west and Poland in the east. It has almost 2000 km of coastline, of which 337km are outer coasts and 1568km are bodden coasts. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania includes five islands with an area of over 15km², the largest of which is Rügen at 926km². Rügen’s chalk cliffs, some of which reach a height of 117 metres, have been immortalised by the painter Caspar David Friedrich. Rügen is also home to one of the five “Ancient Beech Forests of Germany”, which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage and are over 700 years old. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is part of the North German Plain and is home to three national parks, six nature parks and three biosphere reserves. It is the least densely populated federal state. Its capital is Schwerin.
Sustainable development: a priority
Since Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania benefits from this unique natural setting, tourism is one of the most important sectors for the state’s economy. According to the Forschungsgemeinschaft Urlaub und Reisen (FUR) e.V. (Research Association for Holiday and Travel), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the fourth most popular holiday destination for Germans after Spain, Italy and Turkey. Almost 68% of its electricity is generated by wind power, biomass, hydroelectric power or solar plants. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania therefore plays a pioneering role among the federal states. It benefits from a well-positioned maritime industry, and in 2011 the Baltic I offshore wind farm was inaugurated off the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula. Other important sectors are the food industry, timber and agriculture, and the health sector.
The state’s universities offer innovative courses of study in many future-oriented fields such as high tech, environment, biology and medicine.
Concerts at unique venues
Every year, theatres, orchestras, museums, pageants and festivals delight hundreds of thousands of visitors with a broad repertoire as well as art collections and artistic treasures of international standing, from the ancient to the contemporary. Founded in 1990, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Festival) has become the third largest classical music festival in Germany. Festival venues include magnificent castle parks and Brick Gothic cathedrals as well as barns, industrial halls and factories. Since 1997, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has also been home to one of the most unusual German festivals, the Fusion Festival. Several hundred bands and DJs, mainly from the electronic music scene, gather for four days on the site of the former Soviet military airport of Rechlin-Lärz.
To the state's official website: