Usedom is a Baltic island divided between Germany and Poland since 1945. About 80% of the island belongs to the German district of Vorpommern-Greifswald in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The eastern part and the largest city on the island, Świnoujście (German: Swinemünde), are part of the Polish West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The island’s total area is 445 square kilometres (the German part 373 square kilometres; the Polish part 72 square kilometres. Its population is 76,500 (German part 31,500; Polish part 45,000).
In 2005 there was only one road border crossing for pedestrians only. Since 2008 that crossing was opened to cars and a rail and further road crossing at the end of the B110 near Garz has been created. Two further pedestrian footbridges in Kamminke have facilitated cross border tourism.
The Ahlbeck – Świnoujście Border Crossing was interesting as it was a busy tourist crossing point, had a closed beach and was the terminus station for the UBB. It also had a sea route from Ahlbeck Pier to Świnoujście Port
In 2005 the border on the beach was closed. It now is open with sculptures celebrating the partnership between the 2 countries.
Ahlbeck Pier to Świnoujście Port
An alternative to the road crossing at Ahlbeck was to take a coastal ferry that connected the German resort towns with Świnoujście. In 2006 there were passport controls at exit and entry points.
In 2006 the UBB railway ended at the border. It was not until 2008 after a number of delays and the establishment of a Polish subsidiary company that the line continued to Świnoujście. There is no direct connection to the Polish network.
There are plans to reinstate the line from Świnoujście to connect with a rebuilt Karniner Bridge via Golm to Ducherow (ultimately reducing the time to Berlin further). Cross border bus lines are being established.
The old railway bridge for the Golm extension is just south of the B110 road crossing and will need rebuilding. In 2006 I visited the point where bridge used to be.
Date of Visit: August 2005