Szczecin is the capital city of West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. It is the country’s seventh-largest city and the largest seaport in Poland on the Baltic Sea. The approximate total population of the city is 400,000. Szczecin is situated in the north-west of Poland, 140 km from Berlin, 500 km from Warsaw and 100 km from well-known seaside resorts: Świnoujście and Międzyzdroje. The West Pomeranian Province is one of the most attractive tourist areas in Poland.
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Szczecin is located on the Oder, south of the Szczecin Lagoon and the Bay of Pomerania. The city’s recorded history began in the 8th century as a Slavic Pomeranian stronghold, built at the site of the Ducal castle. In the 12th century, when Szczecin had become one of Pomerania’s main urban centres, it lost its independence to Piast Poland, the Duchy of Saxony, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark, and became completely German-speaking by the 14th century. At the same time, the House of Griffins established themselves as local rulers and the population was Christianized. After the Treaty of Stettin in 1630, the town came under the control of the Swedish Empire and became in 1648 the Capital of Swedish Pomerania until 1720, when it was acquired by the Kingdom of Prussia and then the German Empire. Following World War II Stettin became part of Poland in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, resulting in the almost complete expulsion of the pre-war population. Szczecin is the administrative and industrial centre of West Pomeranian Voivodeship and is the site of the University of Szczecin, Pomeranian Medical University, Maritime University, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin Art Academy.