The Vilm formed about 10,000 years ago from Ice Age moraines. There is evidence that the island was inhabited as early as the Stone Age. For the Slavs, Vilm was a sacred place. 3000 years ago, Vilm separated from the island of Rügen. The island was first mentioned in a document in 1249. However, 150 years earlier, the island must have been known to the Vikings. The naval battle of Svoldr, mentioned in Norse lore, may have taken place in the sea area of the island of Vilm, according to recent research.
Three hermits from the Rügische princely house lived on the island in 1336. They had built a courtyard and a chapel here. On September 22, 1494, the altar of a newly built chapel was consecrated. Until the beginning of the 16th century, the island forest was used for wood production, but the last major logging took place in 1527 and since 1812 the use of wood has been completely stopped, thus saving the „jungle“. A lodging house was built in 1886, since bathing tourism from Putbus on the island of Rügen was very active. Due to the large number of visitors, the nature of the island was badly damaged and therefore on December 2, 1936 it was placed under protection.
After the Second World War, the island experienced increased visitor traffic again. Up to 400 people visited the island on weekdays and over 1000 people on weekends. In 1959, Vilm was closed to the public and used as a vacation home for the GDR Council of Ministers. The eleven buildings that still exist today date from this period in the style of a fishing settlement.
From 1990, Vilm was again allowed to the public to a limited extent: up to 30 visitors per day can enter the island with an authorized guide. Since October 6, 1990, there has been the International Nature Conservation Academy on Vilm, which today holds conferences and seminars on the island as a branch of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. Since autumn 1990, the island has belonged to the Southeast Rügen Biosphere Reserve. (Wikipedia)