Seaport (pop., 2000 est.: 416,500), near the mouth of the Oder River, northwestern Poland. A Slavic fishing and commercial centre for centuries, it was annexed to Poland by Mieszko I in the 10th century. Szczecin joined the Hanseatic League in 1360. It passed to Sweden in 1648 and to Prussia in 1720 and remained under German control until it was transferred to Poland after World War II. During the war the port was completely destroyed and the city greatly depopulated. Under Polish administration the port and city were rebuilt, and Szczecin is now part of Poland's largest port complex. It is a cultural hub of western Poland, and several institutions of higher education are located there.