Szczecinek (Polish pronunciation: [ʂt͡ʂɛˈt͡ɕinɛk]; German: Neustettin; Kashubian: Nowé Sztetëno) is a historical 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 - Kolobrzeg line, which crosses less important lines to Chojnice and Słupsk. The city boundaries were expanded in 2009 to include the surrounding villages of Świątki and Trzesieka, a total area of 48.63 square kilometres (18.78 square miles).

Panorama of the town


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 53°43′N 16°41′E
Country Poland
VoivodeshipWest Pomeranian
CountySzczecinek County
GminaSzczecinek (urban gmina)
City rights1310
  MayorDaniel Rak
  Total48.63 km2 (18.78 sq mi)
  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(s)+48 94
Car platesZSZ

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 etymology

In 1310, the castle 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.[1]

The town was fortified to face the Brandenburgers, with a wall and palisades. In 1356 Neustettin was hit by the plague. Thankful for their survival, the Dukes Bogislaw V, Barnim IV and Wartislaw V founded the Augustine monastery Marienthron, on the Mönchsberg on the southern bank of Lake Streizigsee. Under the Duke Wartislaw VII Neustettin, from 1376 to 1395 it was the seat of his Duchy. Afterwards, it was ruled by Pomeranian Duchy: Rügenwalde (-1418), Wolgast (-1474) and Stettin (until 1618).

On 15 September 1423, the "great day of Neustettin", the Pomeranian dukes, the Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order and Nordic king Eric VII of Denmark met to discuss defense against the union of Brandenburg and Poland. In 1461 Neustettin was sacked, looted and burned by Polish troops and Tatars because King Casimir IV wanted to take revenge on Eric II of Pomerania-Wolgast who supported the Teutonic Knights.

At the end of the Thirty Years War, Neustettin became part of Brandenburg, and in 1701 under the crown of Prussia.

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.[2]

In 1945, the Red Army occupied the town and put it under Polish administration. The town, having been settled by German-speakers for centuries was voided of its native population, for the town to be resettled with Polish citizens new to the region.


  • Wyższa Szkoła Kupiecka in Łódź, branch in Szczecinek
  • 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 corporations

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

Historical population

  • 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

Notable residents

International relations

Szczecinek is twinned with:


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