Beginnings of the duke's seat in Szczecin

Beginnings of the duke’s seat in Szczecin (12th-13th centuries)

The earliest seat of the rulers of the Duchy of Pomerania was Uznam (today Usedom in Germany), then Kamień (now Kamień Pomorski), Wolin, and from the mid-15th century it was Szczecin which remained the capital of the Griffin country until its fall in the middle of the 16th century. During their reign in the Duchy of Pomerania the Griffins erected a number of castles and residences in which they resided permanently or periodically. The most important and the most impressive of them is the Ducal Castle in Szczecin.

The Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecin is located on the natural elevation of the area, on the left bank of the Oder where it flows into Lake Dąbie (the Castle Hill, today in the Stare Miasto district). Many years before the first Christianisation mission of Bishop Otto of Bamberg in Pomerania (1124), the hill was a Slavic stronghold which then became the early town of Szczecin. With time, a wooden manor house of Duke Wartislaw I was erected within its boundaries. After the capital of the Duchy was transferred in 1235 from Usedom to Szczecin by Duke Barnim I, called the Good, the manor house was extended and the stronghold was fortified. Little is known what the oldest seat of the duke looked like, since no trace remains.