Stargard Szczeciński [ˈstarɡart ʂt͡ʂɛˈt͡ɕiɲskʲi] ( listen) (German: Stargard in Pommern; Kashubian: Stôrgard) is a city in northwestern Poland, with a population of 71,017 (2005). Situated on the Ina River it is the capital of Stargard County and since 1999 has been in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship; prior to that it was in the Szczecin Voivodeship (1975–1998). Stargard is a major railroad junction, where the southwards connection from Szczecin splits into two directions - one towards Poznań and the other towards Gdańsk. There is also another minor line to Pyrzyce from the town.
Stargard, which was first mentioned in around 1140, received Magdeburg city rights in 1243 from Barnim I, Duke of Pomerania.
In 1363 the city joined the Hanseatic League and was then strongly fortified. During the 15th century the Pomeranian dukes chose it as their residence.
During the Thirty Years' War the city burnt down and in the 1648 Peace of Westphalia it was incorporated, together with the rest of Further Pomerania, into Brandenburg-Prussia. In 1701 Stargard became part of the Kingdom of Prussia and in 1818, after the Napoleonic Wars, Stargard became part of the new district Saatzig within the Province of Pomerania.
As a result of the unification of Germany in 1871 the city became part of the German Empire. On 1 April 1901 it became an independent city, separate from the Saatzig District.
During World War II the large prisoner-of-war camp Stalag II-D was located near Stargard. There were Kashubians and later thousands of Canadians captured at Dieppe imprisoned there, one of whom was Gerald MacIntosh Johnston, a Canadian actor, who was killed trying to escape.
In 1945 the city was placed under Polish administration, according to the postwar Potsdam Agreement, and since then has remained part of Poland. The German population was expelled and replaced by Poles, mainly from the eastern Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.
In 2004 a north-western part of the town was made into an industrial park - Stargardzki Park Przemysłowy.
Landmarks and monuments 
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "heavy bombing during World War II devastated many of its fine historical sites and destroyed 75 percent of the city; St. Mary’s Church (13th–15th century) and the 16th-century town hall have been rebuilt". The newly restored buildings are on the European Route of Brick Gothic.
- St. Mary's Church (15th century) - one of the biggest brick churches in Europe;
- St. John's Church (15th century) with high tower (99 m);
- mediaeval fortifications - ramparts, walls, gates (Brama Młyńska "The Mill Gate" from 15th century) and towers (13th - 16th centuries) - i.e. Red Sea Tower (Polish: Baszta Morze Czerwone) from 1513;
- renaissance townhall from 15th - 16th centuries;
- gothic tenement-houses;
- granary (16th century);
- expiatory cross (1542);
- column of victory (1945).
Until 1998 southeast of Stargard Szczeciński, there was a facility for mediumwave broadcasting at 15°7'E and 53°18'N used for foreign broadcasting on 1503 kHz with 300 kW. The two antenna towers of the facility are meanwhile dismantled.
Before World War II the population of Stargard in Pommern was predominantly composed of Protestants.
Number of inhabitants in years
||incl. 201 Jews
||incl. 204 Jews
||incl. 199 Catholics and 180 Jews.
||incl. 149 Catholics und 172 Jews.
||incl. 104 Catholics and 229 Jews.
||incl. 231 Catholics and 260 Jews.
||incl. 276 Catholics, 378 Jews and two Mennonites.
||incl. 267 Catholics, 436 Jews and seven German Catholics.
||together with the military, incl. 1,387 Catholics und 410 Jews.
||after expulsion of Germans and war losses
Notable residents 
- Karl August Ferdinand von Borcke (1776–1830), Prussian general
- Carl Wilhelm Schmidt (died 1864), missionary
- Adolf Wallenberg (1862–1949), neurologist
- Oscar Levy (1867–1946), writer
- Werner von Blomberg (1878–1946), general
- Georg Joachimsthal (1863–1914), orthopedist
- Hans-Joachim von Merkatz (July 7, 1905 – February 25, 1982), West German Federal Minister of Justice 1956–1957
- Claus Biederstaedt (born 1928), actor
- Arkadiusz Bąk (born 1974), footballer
- Ewa Kasprzyk (born 1957), actress
- Dominika Pawłowska (born 1983), singer
- Mariusz Rogowski, footballer
- Karolina Szarubka, singer
- Anna Kuczmejno, animator
International relations 
Twin towns — sister cities 
Stargard Szczeciński is twinned with:
External links (in Polish) 
Coordinates: 53°20′N 15°03′E / 53.333°N 15.050°E