Szczecin ( /ˈʃtʃɛtʃɪn/; ; German: Stettin }), is the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. In the vicinity of the Baltic Sea, it is the country's seventh-largest city and the largest seaport in Poland. As of June 2011 the population was 407,811.

Szczecin is located on the Oder River, south of the Szczecin Lagoon and the Bay of Pomerania. The city is situated along the southwestern shore of Dąbie Lake, on both sides of the Oder and on several large islands between the western and eastern branches of the river. Szczecin borders with the town of Police.

The city's beginnings were as an 8th century Slavic Pomeranian stronghold, built at the site of today's castle. In the 12th century, when Szczecin had become one of Pomerania's main urban centres, it lost its independence to Piast Poland, Saxony, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark. At the same time, the Griffin dynasty established themselves as local rulers, the population was converted to Christianity, and German settlers arrived. The native Slavic population was assimilated and sometimes discriminated against in the following centuries. In 1237/43, the town was built anew and granted vast autonomy rights, and it joined the Hanseatic League.

After the Treaty of Stettin (1630) the town came under Swedish control. It was fortified and remained a Swedish fortress until 1720, when it was acquired by the Kingdom of Prussia and became capital of the Province of Pomerania, which after 1870 was part of the German Empire. In the late 19th century, Stettin became an industrial town, and vastly increased in size and population, serving as a major port for Berlin. During the Nazi era, opposition groups were persecuted and minorities such as the city's Jews and the few Poles living there were classified as subhumans and subjected to genocide. At the end of World War II Stettin's status was in doubt, and the Soviet occupation authorities at first appointed officials from the city's almost entirely German pre-war population. In July 1945, however, Polish authorities were permitted to take power. Stettin was renamed Szczecin and became part of the People's Republic of Poland, and from 1989 the Republic of Poland. After the flight and expulsion of the German population and Polish settlement, Szczecin became the administrative and industrial center of Polish Western Pomerania, the site of the University of Szczecin and Szczecin University of Technology, and the see of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Szczecin-Kamień. Szczecin was an important site of anti-communist unrest in the communist era.

Read more about SzczecinName and Its Etymology, Architecture and Urban Planning, Demographics, Politics, Members of European Parliament (MEPs) From Szczecin, Economy, Education and Science, Sports, Famous Residents

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