Vineta
Overview
 
Vineta or Wineta was a possibly legendary ancient town believed to have been on the coast of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. It was commonly said to be on the present site of Wolin
Wolin
Wolin is the name both of an island in the Baltic Sea, just off the Polish coast, and a town on that island. It is separated from the island of Usedom by the Świna river, and from mainland Pomerania by the Dziwna river...

 in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 or of Zinnowitz
Zinnowitz
Zinnowitz is a spa town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on the northern German island of Usedom on the Baltic Sea. The town has rail connections to Wolgast and Ahlbeck.-History:...

 on Usedom
Usedom
Usedom is a Baltic Sea island on the border between Germany and Poland. It is situated north of the Szczecin Lagoon estuary of the River Oder in Pomerania...

 island in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Today it is said to have been near Barth in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. At all these places, Vineta museums and Vineta festivals try to attract tourists.

Around 970 Ibrāhīm ibn Ya`qūb
Abraham ben Jacob
Abraham ben Jacob, better known under his Arabic name of Ibrâhîm ibn Ya`qûb was a 10th century Hispano-Arabic, plausibly Sephardi Jewish, traveller, probably a merchant, whose brief may have included diplomacy and espionage...

, envoy of the Caliph of Córdoba, reported that in Pomerania
Pomerania
Pomerania is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East...

 was a large port "with twelve gates", whose armed force is superior to "all peoples of the north".

In 1043 Vineta was to be conquered by the fleet of the Danish and Norwegian king Magnus I of Norway
Magnus I of Norway
Magnus I , known as the Good or the Noble, was the King of Norway from 1035 to 1047 and the King of Denmark from 1042 to 1047. He was an illegitimate son of king Olaf II of Norway, but fled with his mother in 1028 when his father was dethroned. In 1035 he returned to Norway and was crowned king at...

.

Traders in the eleventh and twelfth century reported about a town that was the most powerful port of the Baltic Sea.
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Encyclopedia
Vineta or Wineta was a possibly legendary ancient town believed to have been on the coast of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. It was commonly said to be on the present site of Wolin
Wolin
Wolin is the name both of an island in the Baltic Sea, just off the Polish coast, and a town on that island. It is separated from the island of Usedom by the Świna river, and from mainland Pomerania by the Dziwna river...

 in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 or of Zinnowitz
Zinnowitz
Zinnowitz is a spa town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on the northern German island of Usedom on the Baltic Sea. The town has rail connections to Wolgast and Ahlbeck.-History:...

 on Usedom
Usedom
Usedom is a Baltic Sea island on the border between Germany and Poland. It is situated north of the Szczecin Lagoon estuary of the River Oder in Pomerania...

 island in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Today it is said to have been near Barth in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. At all these places, Vineta museums and Vineta festivals try to attract tourists.

Around 970 Ibrāhīm ibn Ya`qūb
Abraham ben Jacob
Abraham ben Jacob, better known under his Arabic name of Ibrâhîm ibn Ya`qûb was a 10th century Hispano-Arabic, plausibly Sephardi Jewish, traveller, probably a merchant, whose brief may have included diplomacy and espionage...

, envoy of the Caliph of Córdoba, reported that in Pomerania
Pomerania
Pomerania is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East...

 was a large port "with twelve gates", whose armed force is superior to "all peoples of the north".

In 1043 Vineta was to be conquered by the fleet of the Danish and Norwegian king Magnus I of Norway
Magnus I of Norway
Magnus I , known as the Good or the Noble, was the King of Norway from 1035 to 1047 and the King of Denmark from 1042 to 1047. He was an illegitimate son of king Olaf II of Norway, but fled with his mother in 1028 when his father was dethroned. In 1035 he returned to Norway and was crowned king at...

.

Traders in the eleventh and twelfth century reported about a town that was the most powerful port of the Baltic Sea. Bishop Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen was a German medieval chronicler. He lived and worked in the second half of the eleventh century. He is most famous for his chronicle Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum .-Background:Little is known of his life other than hints from his own chronicles...

 wrote that Vineta was the largest of all towns in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.

A Danish
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 fleet destroyed Vineta in 1159 during the Christianizing of the Wends
Wends
Wends is a historic name for West Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It does not refer to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it is used...

 (Wendish Crusade
Wendish Crusade
The Wendish Crusade was an 1147 campaign, one of the Northern Crusades and also a part of the Second Crusade, led primarily by the Kingdom of Germany inside the Holy Roman Empire and directed against the Polabian Slavs ....

).

There is a legend that Vineta sank in a storm tide because of the sinfulness of its inhabitants, and that before the sinking there were warning portents. It is thought likely that Vineta sank because of shifting of distributary
Distributary
A distributary, or a distributary channel, is a stream that branches off and flows away from a main stream channel. They are a common feature of river deltas. The phenomenon is known as river bifurcation. The opposite of a distributary is a tributary...

 channels in the delta
River delta
A delta is a landform that is formed at the mouth of a river where that river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, flat arid area, or another river. Deltas are formed from the deposition of the sediment carried by the river as the flow leaves the mouth of the river...

 of the river Oder
Oder
The Oder is a river in Central Europe. It rises in the Czech Republic and flows through western Poland, later forming of the border between Poland and Germany, part of the Oder-Neisse line...

.

In Europica Varietas (pub. Kassa, 1620) the Hungarian traveller Márton Szepsi Csombor says that Vineta was destroyed by God with thunderbolts, like the neighouring 'Julinum', and covered with the sea. Its buildings could be seen beneath the water in clear weather and dressed stones were removed from them to nearby towns.

In the 1840s, Timofey Granovsky
Timofey Granovsky
Timofey Nikolayevich Granovsky was a founder of mediaeval studies in the Russian Empire.Granovsky was born in Oryol, Russia. He studied at the universities of Moscow and Berlin, where he was profoundly influenced by Hegelian ideas of Leopold von Ranke and Friedrich Karl von Savigny...

 dismissed the town as a Medieval legend. Scientific evidence for the existence of Vineta is still missing.

In fiction, Vineta is visited by Nils Holgersson in Selma Lagerlöf
Selma Lagerlöf
Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf was a Swedish author. She was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and most widely known for her children's book Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige ....

's The Wonderful Adventures of Nils
The Wonderful Adventures of Nils
The Wonderful Adventures of Nils is a work of fiction by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf. It was published in two books, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils in 1906 and Further Adventures of Nils in 1907...

. It also appears in Günter Grass
Günter Grass
Günter Wilhelm Grass is a Nobel Prize-winning German author, poet, playwright, sculptor and artist.He was born in the Free City of Danzig...

' The Rat and Lawrence Norfolk
Lawrence Norfolk
Lawrence Norfolk is a British novelist known for historical works with complex plots and intricate detail. His novels also feature an unusually large vocabulary....

's The Pope's Rhinoceros. "In Germany, especially during the 18th and 19th centuries, many works of art were created based on the myth of Vineta. There are paintings, poetry and even a Vineta symphony."

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