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Rügen(rü`gən), island (1994 est. pop. 85,000), 358 sq mi (927 sq km), Mecklenburg–West Pomerania, NE Germany, in the Baltic Sea, separated from the mainland by the Strelasund. The chief towns are Bergen and Sassnitz, the largest port and the terminus of a train ferry to Trelleborg, Sweden. The island is also connected by a 1.5-mile road and rail bridge to the German mainland. Agriculture and herring fishing are the main occupations on Rügen. There are many popular seaside resorts; tourism has become a popular industry. The famous chalk cliffs rise on the eastern shore. Rügen was conquered by Denmark in 1168, passed to Pomerania in 1325, and shared the history of Swedish Pomerania from 1648 to 1815, when the island was taken by Prussia. It is the largest island of Germany.
an island in the Baltic Sea, in the northern part of the German Democratic Republic. Area, 926 sq km. Population, including that of the small adjacent islands, 86,200 (1971).
The shores are low and very irregular, with many spits, barrier beaches, and dunes. The relief is a rolling plain with ridges of terminal moraines overlying limestones. The highest elevation is 161 m. Most of the land is under cultivation, primarily with rye, oats, potatoes, and sugar beets. There are large beech forests in the eastern and central parts of the island. Dairy farming, fishing for herring, and eeling are common. The chief port is Sassnitz; chalk is quarried nearby. Seaside resorts include Binz and Sellin. Rügen is linked with the mainland by a railroad and highway by way of a 2.5-km-long dam and a bridge. There is a ferry between Sassnitz and Trelleborg, Sweden.