Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze; German: Pommern; Kashubian: Pòmòrskô) is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Poland and Germany. The western part of Pomerania belongs to the German states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg, while the eastern part belongs to the West Pomeranian and Pomeranian voivodeships of Poland. Its historical border in the west is the Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian border valley,[a] which now constitutes the border between the Mecklenburgian and Pomeranian part of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, while it is bounded by the Vistula River in the east. The easternmost sub-regions of Pomerania are alternatively known as Pomerelia and Kashubia, which are inhabited by ethnic Kashubians.
Pomerania has a relatively low population density, with its largest cities being Gdańsk and Szczecin. Outside its urban areas, it is characterized by farmland, dotted with numerous lakes, forests, and small towns. In the west of Pomerania lie several islands, the largest of which are Rugia, the largest island in Germany, Usedom/Uznam, and Wolin, the largest island in Poland. The region has a rich and complicated political and demographic history at the intersection of several cultures.
There are several universities in the region, the oldest of which, the University of Greifswald, that was founded when Greifswald belonged to Swedish Pomerania, is one of the oldest universities in the world, the second-oldest in the Baltic region after the University of Rostock, and was once the oldest university of Sweden and Prussia.