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Stargard Collage.jpg
Flag of Stargard
Coat of arms of Stargard
Coat of arms
Motto(s): Stargard - Klejnot Pomorza
Stargard - Jewel of Pomerania
Stargard is located in Poland
Coordinates: 53°20′N 15°2′E / 53.333°N 15.033°E / 53.333; 15.033
Country  Poland
Voivodeship West Pomeranian
County Stargard
Gmina Stargard Szczeciński (urban gmina)
Established 12th century
Town rights 1243
 • Mayor Rafał Zając
 • Total 48.1 km2 (18.6 sq mi)
Elevation 20 m (70 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Total 70,534
 • Density 1,500/km2 (3,800/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 73-100
to 73-110
Area code(s) +48 91
Car plates ZST

Stargard [ˈstarɡart] (About this sound 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). Before World War II the town was in Prussia, Germany. The city's name is of Pomeranian (Kashubian) origin and stands for old (stari) town/city (gard or gôrd).[1] It's one of the biggest towns of Szczecin agglomeration. 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.

From 1945 until December 31, 2015, the town was known as Stargard Szczeciński.[2]


Town Hall

Stargard, which was first mentioned in around 1140, received Magdeburg city rights in 1243 from Barnim I, Duke of Pomerania. The name itself is a combination of two Slavic words: stari (old) and gard (town). In this connotation, the term gard is still being used by the only surviving Pomeranian language speakers, the Kashubs. However, some experts say that the name is of Scandinavian origin: starn (star) and gate (as in English).[3]

It was one of the most important towns in Duchy 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 Kashubs 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.

After World War II the region was placed under Polish administration by the Potsdam Agreement under territorial changes demanded by the Soviet Union. Most Germans fled or were expelled and were replaced with Poles expelled from the 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. Another industrial park is located in the south - Park Przemysłowy Wysokich Technologii.

On January 1, 2016, the town was renamed Stargard.[2]

Landmarks and monuments[edit]

Heavy bombing during World War II devastated most of Stargard's fine historical sites and destroyed over 75% of the city. Some of these monuments, such as St. Mary’s Church (13th–15th century) and the 16th-century town hall, have been rebuilt.[4] The newly restored buildings are on the European Route of Brick Gothic. Some of the notable surviving examples include:

  • St. Mary's Church (15th century) - one of the largest brick churches in Europe
  • St. John's Church (15th century)
  • Medieval 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 town hall from 16th century
  • Gothic tenement-houses
  • Granary (16th century)
  • Expiatory cross (1542)
  • The monument 'The 15th Meridian'
  • Column of victory (1945)


The town is home to Spojnia Stargard Szczeciński, a men's basketball team and Błękitni Stargard Szczeciński, formerly a multi-sports club, now a men's association football team, best known for reaching the Polish Cup semi-final in 2015.


Brama Młyńska, one of two European water gates still in existence
St. Mary's Church with marketplace
Number of inhabitants in years.[5][6]
Year Inhabitants
1618 12,000
1640 1,200
1688 3,600
1720 400
1740 5,529
1782 5,612
1786 6,243
1794 5,971
1812 8,900
1816 8,042
1831 9,907
1843 11,192
1852 12,473
1861 14,168
1905 26,907
1913 28,000
1929 34,600
1933 35,773
1939 39,760
1945 2,870
1950 20,684
1960 33,650
1970 44,460
1980 59,227
1990 71,000
1995 72,254

Notable residents[edit]

Margaret, singer-songwriter

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Stargard is twinned with Elmshorn (Germany), Saldus (Latvia), Slagelse (Denmark) Stralsund (Germany) and Wijchen (Netherlands).


  1. ^ Brücker, Aleksander (1927). Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego (in Polish). oboczne gard zachowały nazwy na Pomorzu (Stargard, ‘starogród’, ...) 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Kociuba, Jarosław (2012). Pomorze - Praktyczny przewodnik turystyczny po ziemiach Księstwa Pomorskiego (in Polish). Szczecin: Walkowska Wydawnictwo. p. 422. ISBN 9788361805496. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kratz (1865), p. 370
  6. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. 6th edition, vol. 18, Leipzig and Vienna 1909, p. 857.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′N 15°03′E / 53.333°N 15.050°E / 53.333; 15.050