Name / Description

Baltic Sea





Size (sq. miles)


Part of / Flows

North Sea/Atlantic



Additional Notes

Arm of the Atlantic Ocean, bet. 54�N and 66�N, including the Kattegat strait, its NW extension. The �resund, Store Baelt, and Lille Baelt connect the Baltic Sea with the Kattegat and Skagerrak straits, which lead to the North Sea; the Kiel Canal, across the Jutland peninsula, is a more direct connection with the North Sea. The Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland, and the Gulf of Riga are the chief arms of the Baltic Sea.

Most of the Baltic is shallow, and its tides are less pronounced than those of the North Sea. The salinity of the sea is reduced by the many rivers that enter it (the Oder, Vistula, Dvina, Torn�lven, Ume�lv, Angerman�lven, and Dal�lven), and parts of the sea freeze over in winter.

The Baltic was frequented from ancient times, especially because of the amber found along the coast. In the late Middle Ages commerce on the Baltic was dominated by the Hanseatic League. Copenhagen, Szczecin, Gdansk, Riga, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm are the chief ports. The Baltic Sea is connected with the White Sea by the White Sea�Baltic Canal, and with the Volga R. by the Volga-Baltic Waterway.

Related Images

Opens to the west into North Sea.

Related Water Bodies

North Sea

Related Source

Seafarers, Merchants and Pirates in the Middle Ages (2006)