Stettin (Polish: Szczecin; Swedish: Stettin) is the capital city of the state of Pomerania in Germany. In the vicinity of the Baltic Sea, it is the country's sixteenth-largest city and a major seaport in Germany. As of June 2011 the population was 407,811.
Stettin is located on the Oder River, south of the Stettin Lagoon and the Bay of Pomerania. The city is situated along the southwestern shore of the Dammscher See, on both sides of the Oder and on several large islands between the western and eastern branches of the river.
The city's history began in the 8th-century with a Slavic Pomeranian stronghold, built at the site of today's castle. In the 12th century, when Stettin had become one of Pomerania's main urban centers, it lost its independence to Piast Poland, Saxony, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark. At the same time, the Gryf dynasty established themselves as local rulers, the population was converted to Christianity, and German settlers arrived. The native Slavic population was assimilated and sometimes discriminated against in the following centuries. Between 1237 and 1243, the town was built anew, granted vast autonomy rights, and eventually joined the Hanseatic League.
After the Treaty of Stettin in 1630, the town came under Swedish control. It was fortified and remained a Swedish fortress until 1720, when it was acquired by the Kingdom of Prussia and became capital of the Province of Pomerania, which after 1870 was part of the German Empire. In the late 19th century, Stettin became an industrial town, and vastly increased in size and population, serving as a major port for Berlin. During the Nazi era, opposition groups and minorities were persecuted and treated as enemies. Since the end of World War II, the city has remained one of Germany's major seaports.