Szczecin , also known as Stettin, its German name, and alternate English name (known in Latin as Stetinum); is maritime port city in Pomerania and the capital of West Pomerania in Poland. The city has population of 406,427, metro area 777,000 (2009 census).
The place now known as Szczecin was first mentioned in written history in 1st century when West-Roman historian Tacitus located East Germanic tribe of Rugians somewhere in the area; the Rugians left in 5th Century during the Great Migration. Sometime in the 8th century Western Slavic tribe of Pomeranians built their stronghold here. In 10th century the town was mentioned as "one of major in Pomerania" in Abraham ben Jacob's chronicle. In approximately 1080 its area was incorporated into Poland, but within eight years, the town was controlled by the Dukedom of Pomerania, and five years later, Denmark. In 12th century when its competitor, Wolin (also known as Veneta in medieval chronicles) declined Szczecin began to prosper from trade and became one of the major Baltic sea harbours. Its name was first recorded in 1133 as "Stetin". In 1181 Pomeranian dukes joined Holy Roman Empire. In 1243 Szczecin got city rights before it became member of the Hanseatic League in 1278. Until early 17th century the city was the capital of Pomeranian Dukedom, then in 1630 when local dukes died out it became part of Sweden, then Kingdom of Prussia, then for a brief period, due to Napoleon's conquests, the Empire of France. Beginning in the 18th century, the city constituted as a part of Germany and served as the "port of Berlin". During World War II the city was hit hard by Allied bombers - city centre, Old Town and industrial areas were totally ruined. After the Soviet forces invaded Nazi Germany in 1945, according to Potsdam Conference agreements Poland annexed all lands up to the Oder river, expelling the native German population and ultimately extending the border to include Stettin. Poland thus gained control of the city.