Szczecin

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Szczecin

(shchĕ`tsēn), Ger. Stettin, city (1994 est. pop. 414,900), capital of Zachodniopomorskie prov., NW Poland, historical capital of the Prussian province of PomeraniaPomerania
, region of N central Europe, extending along the Baltic Sea from a line W of Stralsund, Germany, to the Vistula River in Poland. From 1919 to 1939, Pomerania was divided among Germany, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig (Gdańsk).
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, on the Oder near its influx into the Zalew Szczeciński (Ger. Stettiner Haff). Poland's largest port complex, Szczecin is also an industrial center with shipyards, ironworks, and industries producing foodstuffs, fertilizers, and synthetic chemicals. Świnoujście (Ger. Swinemünde) is its outer port. A fortress and the largest Pomeranian town as early as the 12th cent., it was until 1637 the residence of the dukes of Pomerania and was an important member (from the 13th cent.) of the Hanseatic LeagueHanseatic League
, mercantile league of medieval German towns. It was amorphous in character; its origin cannot be dated exactly. Originally a Hansa was a company of merchants trading with foreign lands.
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. At the Peace of Westphalia (1648) it passed to Sweden, but at the end of the Northern War, Sweden ceded it (1720) to Prussia. Szczecin had a French garrison (1806–13) during the Napoleonic Wars. The construction (1914) of a canal to Berlin greatly enhanced the city as a commercial port, and its present harbor installations are very extensive. During World War II the city suffered heavy damage from repeated bombings. Although four fifths of Szczecin, including the old section, are on the left (western) bank of the Oder, the Potsdam agreement of 1945 transferring Pomerania E of the Oder to Polish administration was interpreted to include the city in the transfer. The German population was expelled and replaced by Poles.

Szczecin

 

a city and port in Poland. Situated on the lower course of the Odra River, 65 km from the Baltic Sea. Administrative center of Szczecin Województwo. Population, 376,000 (1976). Szczecin is the “gate to the sea” of the Upper Silesian coal field, with which the city is connected by an electrified railroad and by river. Coal, general cargo, and imported iron ore and grains are transshipped at the port. Szczecin is Poland’s principal port for international transit; its freight turnover in 1975 amounted to 16 million tons. More than one-half of the country’s merchant marine and a considerable portion of its fishing fleet are registered in the city.

Szczecin is a center for shipbuilding, metallurgy, and the production of construction cranes, cable, and automotive parts. It also produces viscose fiber, superphosphate, paper, and cement. Other branches of industry are food processing, woodworking, the manufacture of clothing, and ferrous metallurgy. The city has polytechnical, medical, and agricultural institutes, as well as a higher maritime school.

Szczecin, which was mentioned for the first time in the ninth century, was once a settlement of the Pomeranians and had a temple to the Slavic god Triglav. In the late tenth century it became part of the old Polish state, and later it was the administrative and trade center of the principality of Western Pomerania. In 1121 it was again united with the Old Polish lands. In the late 12th century it became part of the Holy Roman Empire. By the late 13th century the city was known under its German name, Stettin, and had become a member of the Hanseatic League. In 1648 it was taken by Sweden, and in 1720, by Prussia. Despite prolonged germanization, Szczecin developed as a Polish city. After its liberation by Soviet troops on Apr. 26,1945, it again became part of Poland.

Modernized in the late 19th century, Szczecin is now a system of star-shaped public squares connected by streets and boulevards. Remains of the city fortifications (13th–14th centuries) have been preserved, as well as a baroque gate (18th century). Other structures of interest include the Gothic city hall (13th century), the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (second half of the 15th century), and the Renaissance castle (begun 14th century, rebuilt 15th-early 17th centuries), as well as numerous houses and palaces in the Gothic, baroque, and classical styles.

Szczecin

a port in NW Poland, on the River Oder: the busiest Polish port and leading coal exporter; shipbuilding. Pop.: 435 000 (2005 est.)