The city of Szczecin is a large town on Poland’s western border towards Germany. The city dates back to the 8th century when it was founded right at the river Oder not far from the Baltic coast – the location quickly made the city an important trading post and it grew into a fairly big town.
The city became a polish town in the newly formed polish state in the 10th century and a couple of centuries later they finally converted to Christianity to make the religion almost omnipresent in Europe. The following centuries the city has had a rather tumultuous history. The city has changed between many different rulers over the year. It was ruled by Poland an independent Pomerania, Denmark, The Holy Roman Empire and Sweden before the city finally became a part of the growing new country Prussia in 1720. It remained a part of Prussia up until the end of the Second World War when it was turned over to Poland.
The city had a long history as one of the most important ports in Germany – before the second world war it was the largest port on the German Baltic coast and it was in reality the harbor for berlin which used it as the point from where the city could trade internationally since the Oder-Havel Canal connected the city of Berlin with the port city of Stettin – the German name for the current city of Szczecin.
After the city was turned over to Poland it lost the German population and it was resettled with new inhabitants from territories Poland lost on the eastern border to the Soviet Union. The city population didn’t reach prewar level until the end of the 1970s.
The city is an easy drive from Berlin and is a good entry point into Poland if you arrive by car from Germany. the town has a nice restored old town which has been nicely repaired after the destruction during the second world war when the city was heavily bombed in 1944 and later there was fighting between the German and soviet army towards the end of the war.
The center of the city has been pretty well restored so you don’t immediately realize the city was 65 percent destroyed during the war. It is a nice place to go and have a look at the old town. The center is the most impressive when it comes to old houses. There are some nice spots down at the river and an old castle in the center of the city.
After you have explored the center it is nice to go out along the modern road named after Pope John Paul II which has an old sailor monument and ends at a large park with the provincial government building.