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 Szczecin – the historic capital of the West Pomerania region is situated at the beginning of the estuary of the Oder River (Odra), some 65 km from the Baltic Sea. Many centuries ago this region was the ducal territory of the aristocratic Griffin dynasty and the scene of stormy history which saw the numerous incorporations of Szczecin into other countries, Sweden, Prussia and Poland. For centuries this was a land of cross roads, from Western to Eastern Europe and from Scandinavia to Southern Europe. Today Szczecin is not only the capital city of the West Pomeranian Province but is also the major city of the whole Pomerania Euroregion. It has become the centre of trade and industry, education and culture and a place with a developing tourist industry. Although the old image of the city has greatly changed it still enchants visitors with its charming places of interest and secession architecture which in itself is an invitation to explore and see more of the city.

Szczecin - Wały ChrobregoSzczecinSzczecin Shipyard
 Follow the red line

As you walk through the city you may notice a broken red line running along the pavement, the meaning of which is a mystery to many people. In fact this is a special way of marking the tourist route that can lead you to the most important sights in Szczecin. During a walk that may last a few hours you can visit the Old Market and see its most spectacular sights. The route starts near the main railway station (Dworzec Główny PKP) and leads us around forty two landmarks. Many people visiting the city will without doubt appreciate the help of this special route map, which is 'printed' in Polish, English and German. A must-see tourist destination is the Dukes of Pomerania Castle (Zamek Książąt Pomorskich), which was once the centre of the aristocratic Pomeranian Griffin dynasty. It was extensively damaged during Allied air raids in 1944 and rebuilt after the war in the Renaissance style. The castle has five wings, two courtyards and four prominent towers soaring above the panorama of the city centre. It is worthwhile stopping in the largest courtyard, below the astronomic clock that has been 'counting' time since 1693. Aficionados of older architecture styles will be delighted to see the unique City Gates dating from the 18th century and whose richly ornamented facades resemble triumphal arches. Another place worth visiting is St. Jacob's Cathedral. It dates back to the 12th century and has been rebuilt several times. Its interiors are truly impressive. There are Gothic triptychs, Baroque tombs, a baptismal font and numerous epitaphs. Below the altar is the reliquary with the relics of St. Otton. On the eastern wall is the largest stained glass window in Pomorze Zachodnie (87 sq m), depicting the Mother of the Church with the Infant, the Holy Spirit and other figures who had some part in the history of the church in the Szczecin region. In front of the Cathedral you cannot overlook the Bell called, 'The Great Bell' ('Wielki') dating from 1682. The house on the corner of Farna Street (ul. Farna) and Mariacki Square (pl. Mariackiego) is of particular interest because it is here that on 2nd May 1729 Sophie Augusta Frederica von Anhalt-Zerbst, the future Tsarina of Russia, Catherine II, was born.

 

Poland

Szczecin: Location

Poland GPS latitude/longitude: 53.42854 , 14.55281

 

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