Jomsborg was an ancient fortress of the Jomsvkings in the area of the mouth of the Oder River, which was destroyed in the 12th century. Its location is unknown, the localization is disputed.

History of Jomsborg

Jomsborg Castle was apparently founded in the years between 940 and 970 by the Danish Viking chieftain and influential retainer of King Harald Bluetooth, either on the Baltic Sea island of Wollin or at the mouth of the Peene River on the island of Usedom or the mainland (Spandowerhagener Wiek).

According to Norse sources, this coastal castle was built in the Jom district, which the then ruler of Poland, Duke Mieszko I, gave to Palnatoki and his Vikings for settlement after the subjugation of the Pomorans. Palnatoki's men now called themselves Jomsvikings.

The fortress initially served both to protect the maritime border of the Polish duchy in the Bay of Pomerania and to secure the rich Slavic trading and port city of Jumne, the Vineta of legend, on the Oder Lagoon.

It is said that the harbor of Jomsborg could accommodate 300 Viking longships. The castle had similarities with Hedeby. According to recent research, the Jomsborg and its large harbor may have existed at the Spandowerhagener Wiek near the present-day coastal village of Spandowerhagen in Western Pomerania, which today belongs to the municipality of Kröslin.

According to the size and depth of the Wiek, which is the left bulge of the Peene River at its mouth into the Greifswalder Bodden, a large number of Viking ships could find berths today as they did then.

The Jomsborg, like Haithabu, is said to have been protected by a large earthen rampart that included several longhouses placed together.

The "Jómsvíkinga saga", the "Knytlinga saga" and the "Heimskringla", among others, tell of the Jomsvikings, who are said to have lived on this fortress in a community of men.

According to these, the Jomsvikings fought in the battle of Hjørungavåg against Jarl Haakon around 995 with a particularly heroic contempt for death.

After an essay by Rudolf Virchow in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie of 1872, the thesis that the Jomsborg in the time of Harald Bluetooth and Sven Gabelbart was identical with the legendary city of Vineta was initially pursued with greater vigor.

Around 970, the envoy of the Caliphate of Córdoba, Ibrahim ibn Jaqub, reported that in Pomerania there was a large port city "with twelve gates" whose force was "superior to all the peoples of the north." Adam of Bremen described it in the 11th century as one of the largest and richest cities in Europe, calling the city Jumne.

It was "the largest city that Europe holds", it offered "a much frequented meeting place for barbarians and Greeks in a wide radius".

Near Wollin, a Viking treasure was discovered in 1841 during excavations in a medieval crypt. The discovery of Harald Blauzahn's gold disc was particularly sensational.

In 1975, the Free Scout Association of Jomsborg was founded, which also put a lot of emphasis on the characteristics and the order laws of the Jomsvikings. The scouts built a castle in a few years, which still stands today in Dänisch-Nienhof near Kiel and is used for annual camps.