STETTIN, a seaport of Germany, capital of the Prussian province of Pomerania, on the Oder, 17 m. above its entrance into the Stettiner Haff, 30 m. from the Baltic, 84 m. N.E. of Berlin by rail, and at the junction of lines to Stargard-Danzig and Kustrin-Breslau. Pop. (1885), 99,475', (1890), 116,228; (1900) including the incorporated suburbs 210,680; (1905) 224,078. The main part of the town occupies a hilly site on the left bank of the river, and is connected by four bridges, including a massive railway swing-bridge, with the suburbs of Lastadie (" lading place " from lastadium, " burden,") and Silberwiese, on an island formed by the Parnitz and the Dunzig, which here diverge from the Oder to the Dammsche-See. Until 1874 Stettin was closely girdled by very extensive and strong fortifications, which prevented the expansion of the town, but the steady growth of its commerce and manufactures encouraged the foundation of numerous industrial suburbs beyond the 1 The tabula Iliaca, a stucco bas-relief found in the ruins of an ancient temple on the site of the ancient Bovillae and so called because it represents the chief events of the Trojan War, is a sort of commentary upon this (see O. Jahn and A. Michaelis, Griechische Bilderchroniken, 1873; and M. F. Paulcke, De tabula iliaca quaestiones Stesichoreae, 1897, an exhaustive treatise).
line of defence and these now combine with Stettin to form one industrial and commercial centre. Since the removal of the fortifications their site has been built upon. Apart from its commerce Stettin is comparatively an uninteresting city, although its appearance, owing to its numerous promenades and open spaces, is very pleasant. Among its nine Evangelical churches that of St Peter, founded in 1124 and restored in 1816- 1817, has the distinction of being the oldest Christian church in Pomerania. Both this and the church of St James, dating from the 14th century, are remarkable for their size. Three of the Evangelical churches are fine new buildings, and there are also churches belonging to the Roman Catholics and other religious bodies. The old palace, now used as public offices, is a large but unattractive edifice, scarcely justifying the boast of an old writer that it did not yield in magnificence even to the palaces of Italy. Among the modern buildings are the theatre, the barracks, the bourse, a large hospital, the new town-hall, superseding a building of the 13th century, and the new government buildings. Statues of Frederick the Great, of Frederick William III. and of the emperor William I. adorn two of the fine squares, the Konigsplatz and the Kaiser Wilhelmsplatz. Other squares are the Paradeplatz, and the Rathausplatz with a beautiful fountain. Two gateways, the Konigstor and the Berlinei Tor, remains of the old fortifications, are still standing. As a prosperous commerical town Stettin has numerous scientific, educational and benevolent institutions.
Stettin, regarded as the port of Berlin, is one of the principal ship-building centres of Germany and a place of much commercial and industrial activity. The foremost place in its chief industry, ship-building, is taken by the Vulcan yard, situated in the suburb of Bredow, which builds warships for the German navy. The business was begun in 1851 and now employs about 8000 hands, the works extending over 70 acres and the covered workshops over 650,000 sq. ft. In 1897 a floating dock was fitted up capable of holding vessels of 12,000 tons. Locomotives, boilers and machinery of all kinds are made in other great establishments. Other industries are the manufacture of clothing, cement, bricks, motor-cars, soap, paper, beer, sugar, spirits and cycles. Most of the mills and factories are situated in the suburbs, Grabow, Bredow and others. The sea-borne commerce of Stettin is of scarcely less importance than her industry and a larger number of vessels enter and clear here than at any other German port, except Hamburg and Bremerhaven. Swinemunde serves as its outer port. Its principal exports are grain, wood, chemicals, spirits, sugar, herrings and coal, and its imports are iron goods, chemicals, grain, petroleum and coal. A great impulse to its trade was given in 1898 by the opening of a free harbour adjoining the suburb of Lastadie on the east bank of the Oder; this embraces a total area of 150 acres and quays with a length of 14,270 ft. It has two basins, with the necessary accompaniment of cranes, storehouses, etc., and the deepening of the Oder from Stettin to the Haff to 24 ft. was practically completed by 1903. With the view of still further increasing the commercial importance of Stettin, it is proposed to construct a ship canal giving the town direct communication with Berlin. A feature in the mercantile life of Stettin is the large number of insurance companies which have their headquarters in the town.
The forest and river scenery of the neighbourhood of Stettin is picturesque, but the low level and swampy nature of the soil render the climate bleak and unhealthy.
Stettin is said to have existed as a Wendish settlement in the 9th century, but its first authentic appearance in history was in the 12th century, when it was known as Stedyn. From the beginning of the 12th century to 1637 it was the residence .of the dukes of Pomerania, one of whom, Duke Barnim I., gave it municipal rights in 1243. Already a leading centre of trade it entered the Hanseatic League in 1360. The Pomeranian dynasty became extinct in 1637, when the country was suffering from the ravages of the Thirty Years' War, and by the settlement of 1648 Stettin, the fortifications of which had been improved by Gustavus Adolphus, was ceded to Sweden. In 1678 it was taken from Sweden by Frederick William, elector of Brandenburg, but it was restored in 1679, only, however, to be ceded to Prussia in 1720 by the peace of Stockholm. It was fortified more strongly by Frederick the Great, but in 1806 it yielded to France without any resistance and was held by the French until 1813. Stettin was the birthplace of the empress Catherine II. of Russia.
See Berghaus, Geschichte der Stadt Stettin (Wurzen, 1875-1876); W. H. Meyer, Stettin in alter und neuer Zeit (Stettin, 1887); T. Schmidt, Zur Geschichte des Handels und der Schiffahrt Stettins 1786- 1846 (Stettin, 1875); and C. F. Meyer, Stettin zur Schwedenzeit (Stettin, 1886).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)