Muttland is the name of the central region of Ruegen. The peninsulas Wittow, Jasmund and Moenchgut adjoin this area. The sea, in combination with all the other forces of nature, merged the peninsulas either with one another (in the case of Wittow and Jasmund) or with the central region of Ruegen. Particularly stunning are, for instance, the spits of land between the peninsulas Wittow and Jasmund ("Schaabe") and between Jasmund and the Muttland ("Schmale Heide"). Text and photographs R.R
Over many centuries, farming and fishing were the main sources of income on the island of Ruegen. Lohme and Vitt were pure fishing villages. The so-called fisher-farmers lived mainly on the peninsula Moenchgut.
Particularly in the Muttland region, but also on Jasmund and Wittow, you can still visit a remarkable number of castles, castle-like buildings, estates and manors. These were mainly centres of large-area farming (except of a.o. the castle "Lietzower Schloesschen" and the former castle Dwasieden on the peninsula Jasmund) and served simultaneously as local or regional centres of power. Their history is closely connected to farmer's life and serfdom, as well as the nearly complete disappearance of the island's former peasant caste and the old peasant villages.
In 1783, 15,000 of the 21,254 villagers on the island of Ruegen were serfs! Ernst Moritz Arndt wrote: "One beautiful village after the other destroyed and small cottages for tenants and farm labourers replaced the farmer's flats. 35 years ago (in 1780), nearly every manor was still accompanied by a peasant village; nowadays noble estates that still have peasants are hard to be found." Not even a decree of the Swedish king from 1806 that requested the abolishment of serfdom could initiate a change.
Due to a number of reasons, many of these historical buildings (such as the castle of Putbus, the castle Dwasieden, the castle Pansevitz) disappeared after the Second World War. Other buildings decayed partially or completely, and only their ruins can be seen today.
During the 1990s, many of the mentioned buildings were restored and given a new and beautiful look. Currently, they mainly serve the tourism industry. Text and photos R.R.