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Szczecin History, Poland

The city of Szczecin is the capital of the Polish Voivodeship, which is West Pomerania. It is the seventh biggest city in Poland and the largest harbor in the country off the coast of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city totals to more than 400,000. To learn about this city, it pays to take a look at Szczecin History.

Szczecin History – Slavic Occupation

During the 9th century AD a stronghold was constructed on the ford of the Oder River. After the building of the stronghold, a group of fishermen, craftsmen and traders inhabited the area. Subsequently, a Western Slavic tribe had made Szczecin their main center.

In the 12th century, Szczecin became one of the most significant and influential cities located near the Baltic Sea. At that time, the city had about 5,000 residents and was ruled by the Duke of Pomerania, Wartislaw I. The territory of the duke was expanded westward and this was later called the Duchy of Pomerania. For a time, the city became the capital of the duchy.

Szczecin History – The Middle Ages

In 1278, the city became a member of the Hanseatic League and continued to be the capital of the Pomeranian-Stettin kingdom. Because of this, Szczecin enjoyed many privileges in terms of economy. It grew to be the center of Pomeranian trading. The city traded goods such as grains, herrings, and salt and was accorded with exclusive rights and trading stations in Denmark. Szczecin prospered greatly during The Medieval Era.

Szczecin History – Swedish Rule

The Pomeranian dukes made an alliance with Sweden during the course of the Thirty Years War. The city of Szczecin was strengthened by the Swedish Empire following the Treaty of Stettin. When the last Pomeranian duke died, the city was given to Sweden however it still remained a part of the Holy Roman Empire. Szczecin declined after the Swedish king became the Duke of Pomerania.

Szczecin History – 18th to 20th Century

The Kingdom of Prussia occupied the city of Szczecin in 1713 and 7 years after, Sweden gave the city to Prussia. After that Szczecin was made the capital of the province of Prussia. Because of this, the city prospered and was able to provide many job opportunities to the people. The population grew from 21,000 in 1816 to 58,000 in 1861. Szczecin’s development continued to the 19th century. It expanded its territories and demolished the old fortress. The city’s industry flourished greatly.

Following the 1st World War Szczecin’s economy declined due to the separation of its seaport and Posen’s agricultural stock areas. When World War II broke, the city became the center of weapons industry. Almost everything in the city was destroyed during the air raids carried out by the Allied forces in 1944. After the war, Szczecin was given by the Allied forces to Poland. The population became a mix of residents from all the regions of Poland.

The new citizens worked together for the progress and development of the city. They rebuilt the city from ruins and expanded the industries. Aside from this, the residents of Szczecin were also successful in promoting the cultural heritage of their beloved city.

Szczecin History is an epitome of the struggles of every city in Europe. You may try to look at Warsaw History and Berlin History and see how the continent became one of the most successful places all over the world.

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