The Baltic Sea is in northeastern Europe, surrounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of east and central Europe, and the Danish isles. It drains into Kattegat and the North Sea passing through the Danish isles in Öresund, the Great Belt and the Small Belt.
The name of East Sea is used in much of Continental Europe. The Baltic Sea is called East Sea in Denmark (Østersøen), Germany (Ostsee), Finland (Itämeri), Netherlands (Oostzee), Norway (Østersjøen), and Sweden (Östersjön). In Estonia it is called West Sea (Läänemeri).
The Baltic Sea
|Table of contents|
2 Ports (2002)
3 Coastal cities
8 See also:
9 External links
|PORT OF GDYNIA AUTHORITY||Poland||Gdynia||9,365,200||252,247||364,202|
|PORT OF GDANSK AUTHORITY||Poland||Gdansk||17,371,401||20,136||168,080|
|SZCZECIN-SWINOUJSCIE SEAPORT AUTHORITY||Poland||Swinoujscie||18,163,000||19,960||640,150|
|BULK CARGO - PORT SZCZECIN||Poland||Szczecin||5,577,795||none||none|
|PORT HANDLOWY ŚWINOUJŚCIE||Poland||Swinoujscie||6,169,038||none||none|
|JSC SEA PORT OF ST.PETERSBURG||Russia||Sankt Petersburg||23,210,200||456,836|
|FREE PORT OF VENTSPILS AUTHORITY||Latvia||Ventspils||37,937,000||219||8,370|
|SEA COMMERCIAL PORT OF KALININGRAD||Russia||Kaliningrad||2,719,000||21,313||0|
The biggest coastal cities:
Important ports (though not being big cities):
The northern part of the Baltic Sea is known as the Gulf of Bothnia out of which the northernmost part is referred to as the Bay of Bothnia. Immediately to the south of it lies the Sea of Åland. The Gulf of Finland connects the Baltic Sea with St. Petersburg. The Northern Baltic lies between the Stockholm area, southwestern Finland, and Estonia. The Western and Eastern Gotland Basins form the major parts of the central Baltic Sea. The Gulf of Riga lies between Riga and Saaremaa and Gdansk Basin lies east of the Hel peninsula on the Polish coast. Bay of Pomerania lies north from islands Usedom and Wolin, east from Rugen. Bornholm Basin is the area east of Bornholm and Arkona Basin extends from Bornholm to the Danish isles of Falster and Zealand. The westernmost part of the Baltic Sea is Kiel Bight. The Sound, the Belts, and the Kattegat connect the Baltic Sea with the Skagerrak and the North Sea. The confluence of these two seas at Skagen on the northern tip of Denmark is a visual spectacle visited by many tourists each year.
The biggest coastal cities:
At the time of the Romans, the Baltic Sea was known as the Mare Suebicum or Mare Sarmaticum. Tacitus in his AD 98 Agricola and Germania described the Mare Suebicum, named for the Suebi tribe, during the spring months, as a brackish sea when the ice on the Baltic Sea breaks apart and chunks float about.
In the early middle ages, Vikings of Scandinavia fought for power over the sea with Slavic Pomeranians. Later on, the strongest economic force in Northern Europe became the Hanseatic league, which used the Baltic Sea to establish trade routes between its member cities. In XVI and beginning of XVII centuries, Poland, Denmark and Sweden fought wars for Dominium Maris Baltici (Ruling over the Baltic sea). Eventually, it was the Swedish empire that virtually encompassed the Baltic Sea. In Sweden the sea was then referred to as Mare Nostrum Balticum. In XVIII century Russia and Prussia became the leading powers over the sea. After unification of Germany in 1871, whole southern coast became German. First world war was fought on the Baltic sea. After 1920 Poland returned to the Baltic Sea, and Polish ports Gdynia and Danzig became leading ones. During the WWII Germany almost made a Baltic sea its internall lake. After 1945 the sea was a border between conflicted military blocks: in case of military conflict in Germany, parallel to Soviet offensive towards Atlantic ocean, communists Polish fleet was prepared to invade Danish isles. Fortunately it never happenned. In 1999 the huge bridge over the Sund limited the Baltic sea to the middle size vessels. In mean time, Baltic sea is the main trade route for export of Russian oil.
The Baltic Sea starts to get very rough with the October storms. These winter storms have been the cause of many shipwrecks. In 1945 the Baltic Sea became a mass grave to drowned people on torpedoed refugee ships. But thanks to the cold brackish water, the sea is a time capsule for centuries old shipwrecks.