Szczecin is a lively city, an important seaport and a shipbuilding centre close to the border with Germany. Although the mediaeval centre of Szczecin was severely destroyed during wartime, there are still some remaining magnificent monuments of architecture, reminiscent of the times when Szczecin, as part of Prussia, was considered the “Paris of the North”. But Szczecin is mostly about water and lush verdure: rivers, lakes, woods and parks take up half of the city area.
Szczecin, a city of about 406,000 people, ranks among the largest towns in Poland. It is also the biggest urban area in the north-western part of the country and the capital of the province. Its location in the top left corner of Poland’s map, together with its strong cultural and economic links with Germany, makes it an important commercial and transit centre.
The city of Szczecin is situated close to several large expanses of open water. The Baltic Sea is within an hour’s driving, the Szczecin Lagoon, a part of the Baltic almost cut off from the open sea with a series of islands, is even closer, while to the east the city is almost surrounded by Lake Dabie. Szczecin is on the delta of the Odra River, and several of the Odra's confluents flow through the city. The German-Polish frontier is close to Szczecin, and Berlin is only 120 km away. The closest border crossings are in Kolbaskowo, Rosowek and Lubieszyn.
Szczecin is a city where the historical and cultural achievements are shared by more than one nationality. Its beginnings go back to the 8th century, when the Castle Height was inhabited by Slavonic settlers who established a borough there. For a long time Szczecin belonged to the dukes of Western Pomerania, a branch of Piast dynasty that ruled in Poland. They built a strong autonomous state and Szczecin became a member of the Hanseatic League. The crucial milestone in its history was the locati... ( more >>)