Cape Arkona, or Kap Arkona, as it’s known in German, is a 45 m (~148 ft) high cape on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is formed of chalk, and located at the tip of the Wittow peninsula, near Jasmund National Park. Buildings of note include two lighthouses on the cape itself, along with a navigation tower, the Slavic temple fortress of Jaromarsburg, and two military bunker complexes. The lighthouses and bunkers are open to the public; the temple fortress is being excavated before coastal erosion destroys all traces.
The average annual temperature is 7.9°C (46.2°F), and there are 521 mm (20.5 in) of precipitation per year. Its proximity to the sea results in high humidity.
The forests in the area are mostly composed of ancient beech plantations. Orchids of many types grow here, as well as the Wild Service Tree, Black Alder, and Taxus. Birds include kingfishers, peregrine falcons, house martins and the White-tailed eagle. Fossils of sea urchins, different sponges, and oysters can also be found.
This is one of Rügen’s most popular tourist attractions – around 800,000 people visit annually. As well as its fascination from an historical point of view, there’s plenty of scope for swimming in the sea and sun bathing. The beach can be accessed by the Königstreppe (the King’s Staircase) or the Veilchenstreppe (the Violet Staircase, named for the violets that flourish here in spring).
For walkers and cyclists, there are trails running around the Wittow peninsula’s coastline with terrific views of both land and sea.
Constant erosion means the landscape is fragile and unpredictable with frequent coastal collapses, especially in rough weather.