Szczecinek (Polish pronunciation: [ʂt͡ʂɛˈt͡ɕinɛk] Shche-tsee-nek; German until 1945: Neustettin) is a historic city in Middle Pomerania, northwestern Poland, with a population of more than 40,000 (2011). Formerly in the Koszalin Voivodeship (1950–1998), it has been the capital of Szczecinek County in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999. It is an important railroad junction, located along the main Poznań - Kołobrzeg line, which crosses less important lines to Chojnice and Słupsk. The town's total area is 48.63 square kilometres (18.78 square miles).

Panorama of the town
Panorama of the town
Flag of Szczecinek
Coat of arms of Szczecinek
Szczecinek is located in Poland
Szczecinek is located in West Pomeranian Voivodeship
Coordinates: 53°43′N 16°41′E / 53.717°N 16.683°E / 53.717; 16.683Coordinates: 53°43′N 16°41′E / 53.717°N 16.683°E / 53.717; 16.683
Country Poland
VoivodeshipWest Pomeranian
CountySzczecinek County
GminaSzczecinek (urban gmina)
City rights1310
 • MayorDaniel Rak
 • Total48.63 km2 (18.78 sq mi)
 • Total40,211
 • Density830/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal codes
78-400, 78-401, 78-402, 78-403, 78-404, 78-410
Area code+48 94
Car platesZSZ
National roadsDK11-PL.svg DK20-PL.svg
Voivodeship roadsDW172-PL.svg

The turbulent history of Szczecinek reaches back to the High Middle Ages, when the area was ruled by Pomeranian dukes and princes. The majority of the city's architecture survived World War II and, subsequently, its entire Old Town was proclaimed a national heritage monument of Poland.


Szczecinek lies in eastern part of West Pomeranian Voivodeship. Historically, it was included within Western Pomerania. In 2010, the city boundaries were expanded as the town merged with the following villages in Gmina Szczecinek: Gałowo, Marcelin, Godzimierz, Turowo, Parsęcko, Buczek and Żółtnica.

History and etymologyEdit

Szczecinek Castle, former seat of local Pomeranian Dukes
Town Hall at the marketplace
Early 20th-century view of the St. Mary church

In the Middle Ages a Slavic stronghold existed in present-day Szczecinek.[1] It was part of the early Polish state in the 10th century, and as a result of the 12th-century fragmentation of Poland, it became part of the separate Duchy of Pomerania.

In 1310, the castle at the site of a former stronghold, and town were founded under Lübeck law by Duke Wartislaw IV of Pomerania and modelled after Szczecin (German: Stettin) which is situated about 150 kilometres (93 miles) to the west. The initial name was "Neustettin" (Polish: Nowy Szczecin, German: Neustettin, Latin: Stetin Nova). It was also known as "Klein Stettin" (Polish: Mały Szczecin, German: Klein Stettin). In 1707 the town was known in Polish as Nowoszczecin, while the Mały Szczecin name gradually developed into the modern name Szczecinek.[2]

The town was fortified to face the Brandenburgers, with a wall and palisades. In 1356 it was hit by the plague. Thankful for their survival, the Dukes Bogislaw V, Barnim IV and Wartislaw V founded the Augustine monastery Marientron, on the Marientron [pl] hill on the southern bank of the Trzesiecko [pl] Lake. It was plundered by Brandenburgers in 1470. From 1368 to 1390 it was the seat of an eponymous duchy under its only historic ruler Wartislaw V. Afterwards, it was ruled by Pomeranian duchies: Darłowo (Rügenwalde) (until 1418), Słupsk (until 1474, fief of Poland) and the united Duchy of Pomerania (until 1618).

On 15 September 1423, the "great day of Neustettin", the Pomeranian dukes, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order and Nordic king Eric VII of Denmark, Norway and Sweden met to discuss defense against the union of Brandenburg and Poland. During the Thirteen Years' War, local dukes changed alliances several times. As a result, in 1455 several surrounding villages were looted by Teutonic Knights and in 1461 the town was sacked, looted and burned by Polish troops and Tatars because King Casimir IV Jagiellon wanted to take revenge on Eric II of Pomerania who supported the Teutonic Knights.[3]

In 1601 a Polish school was established, and in 1640 a gymnasium was founded, which as today's I Liceum Ogólnokształcące is one of the oldest high schools in Pomerania.[4] During the Thirty Years' War it was captured and plundered by the Swedes and Austrians. After the war, from 1653, the town was part of Brandenburg, from 1701 of Prussia and from 1871 to 1945 of Germany. During the Seven Years' War, in 1759 it was plundered by the Russians. In 1807, during the Napoleonic Wars and Polish national liberation fights, the town was captured by Poles led by Tomasz Łubieński.[3]

In 1881 Abraham Springer, great-grandfather of TV presenter Jerry Springer and a prominent member of the town's Jewish community launched an unsuccessful attempt to sue agitator Dr Ernst Henrici, claiming that an inflammatory anti-semitic speech in the town led directly to the burning down of the synagogue on 18 February of that year.[citation needed]

In 1914 the Regional Museum was established. In 1923 the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit was built, then called the "Polish Church", as it was co-financed by local Poles.[5]

After the Nazis took power in Germany in the 1930s, new military barracks were built, and the invasion of Poland was carried out from the town at the beginning of World War II in 1939.[3] During the war, three forced labour camps were established and operated by the Germans in the town, and its prisoners were mostly Poles and Russians.[6] In September 1944, the Germans made the first arrests of local members of the Polish underground organization "Odra", ultimately crushing it in the following weeks. In February 1945, the town was captured by the Red Army,[3] and the local agricultural machinery factory, which used forced labour during the war, was plundered by occupying Russian forces.[6] The town then passed to Poland, although with a Soviet-installed communist regime, which remained in power until the Fall of Communism in the 1980s. The town's German population was expelled in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, and it was repopulated with Poles, expellees from former eastern Poland annexed by the Soviet Union and settlers from central Poland.[3] The plundered agricultural machinery factory was relaunched by Poles in July 1945.[6] The Polish anti-communist resistance ("cursed soldiers") was active in the town, and many of its members were arrested and sentenced to prison by the communists.[7] The last "cursed soldier" of Szczecinek, Maria Sosnowska, died in 2018.[7]

In 2009 the town limits were expanded by including the neighbouring villages of Świątki and Trzesieka as new districts.

Bohaterów Warszawy - promenade dedicated to the war heroes of Warsaw
Józef Piłsudski monument by local sculptor Wiesław Adamski
Music school


  • Duchess Elizabeth Secondary School
  • Vocational School of Economics in Szczecinek
  • Vocational Technical School in Szczecinek
  • Vocational School of Agriculture in Świątki
  • Private Secondary School
  • Social Secondary School
  • Społeczna Wyższa Szkoła Przedsiębiorczości i Zarządzania in Łódź, branch in Szczecinek
  • Koszalin University of Technology, branch in Szczecinek

Major corporationsEdit

  • Grupa Kronospan Szczecinek
  • KPPD Szczecinek SA
  • Schneider Electric Poland

Historical populationEdit

  • 1940: 19,900 inhabitants (mostly Germans)
  • 1945: 11,800 inhabitants (8,300 Poles and 3,500 Germans)
  • 1950: 15,100 inhabitants (mostly Poles)
  • 1960: 22,800 inhabitants
  • 1970: 28,700 inhabitants
  • 1975: 32,900 inhabitants
  • 1980: 35,700 inhabitants
  • 1990: 41,400 inhabitants
  • 1995: 42,300 inhabitants
  • 2000: 38,928 inhabitants
  • 2017: 40,292 inhabitants


The officially protected traditional food of Szczecinek (as designated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland) is krówka szczecinecka, a local type of krówka (traditional Polish candy).[8]

Notable residentsEdit

Lothar Bücher

International relationsEdit

Szczecinek is twinned with:


  1. ^ Czesław Piskorski, Pomorze Zachodnie, mały przewodnik, Wydawnictwo Sport i Turystyka, Warszawa, 1980, p. 261 (in Polish)
  2. ^ Rymut, Kazimierz (1980). Nazwy miast Polski. ISBN 9788304007048.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Historia i zabytki". Oficjalna strona Urzędu Miasta Szczecinek (in Polish). Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  4. ^ "K.Berezowski: Plan lekcji z 1705 roku! Szkoła liczyła 11 uczniów..." (in Polish). 24 April 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Historia parafii". Parafia Ducha Świętego w Szczecinku (in Polish). Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Stary Szczecinek: Zakłady Polam". Temat Szczecinecki (in Polish). 23 January 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Zmarła Maria Sosnowska, ostatni szczecinecki Żołnierz Wyklęty". Temat Szczecinecki (in Polish). 5 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Krówka szczecinecka". Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi - Portal (in Polish). Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Bucher, Lothar" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 04 (11th ed.). 1911.
  10. ^[self-published source]

External linksEdit