Dating back to 1364, the castle underwent multiple renovations and expansions over the centuries. It sustained significant damage as a result of bombing in 1944, but it was later rebuilt. The castle is now the seat of various cultural institutions.
To get to the castle, you need to choose trams or buses that will take us to "Wyszyńskiego" stop. Then you turn into Księcia Mściwoja II which will turn into Panieńska, after less than 100 meters you turn left into Kuśnierska – you are at the castle.
The Renaissance Pomeranian Dukes' Castle was erected on the castle hill and in the past, it was the seat of the Gryfit family. Even in the first half of the 12th century, there was a Slavic stronghold on the hill. In 1124, duke Warcisław I erected the first brick building, i.e., the duke's house, in the northern part of the hill. When in 1235 prince Barnim I decided to move the capital of the West Pomeranian Duchy from Usedom to Szczecin, it was decided to expand the building, but the house of Warcisław I was most likely demolished and new buildings were built in its place.
However, the origins of today's castle should be traced back to 1346, when Barnim III started constructing the so-called Stone house. The chapel of St. Otto and the so-called large house with a prison tower. The decision to build is the result of a dispute between the prince and the townspeople who chased away Barnim III's carpenters earlier. In August 1346, the bishop of Kamień Johann I and the Pomeranian prince Bogusław V decided that Barnim III could have his castle on the same rights as his ancestors, and that the inhabitants of Szczecin were to build a new house and a chapel. The new manor house was in the place of the present northern wing, and to the west of the building there was the church of St. Otto, where the first Gryfit burial crypt was. In 1428, the house was enlarged - then the southern wing was built. At the end of the fifteenth century, the so-called Big House was constructed, where Prince Bogusław X was to live together with his wife, the daughter of Kazimierz Jagiellończyk - Anna née Jagiellon. In 1491, the wedding reception of this princely couple was held within the walls of the new house. 40 years later, in 1530, a fire broke out that greatly damaged the Big House.
After the fire, a decision was made to rebuild the castle. The works lasted 7 years - during the time, the stone house was converted into a two-story building in the Renaissance style, with a gable roof and a clock tower. The eastern wing was also added. In 1573 - 1582, at the request of prince Jan Fryderyk, another reconstruction of the building was made. During the modernization, the stone house and the chapel were demolished. The courtyard was closed by the addition of the northern and western wings, and the eastern wing was also raised. The works were completed in 1583. In the 17th century, during the times of Philip II and Francis I, a fifth wing, the so-called Mint, was added thanks to which a small courtyard was created. Bogusław XIV died in 1637 - the prince did not have male heirs, so after his death the castle was taken over by the Swedes, who appeared in Pomerania in 1630. In 1705, the Queen of Poland, Katarzyna Leszczyńska, moved to the castle in Szczecin, and six years later King Stanisław Leszczyński also appeared there. In 1720, after the end of the Northern War, Szczecin was taken over by Prussia, and the castle became the seat of the garrison commander. During the Prussian period, the building was rebuilt many times to adapt it to the needs of the garrison located there. During the works, many decorations were removed, cloisters were demolished, and staircases and corridors were built up. The garrison was in the castle until 1902, after being abandoned, the building fell into disrepair. Renovation works to be restored with the sarcophagi of Pomeranian dukes. In 1948, archaeological work began in the courtyard. From 1958 to 1980, the castle was rebuilt. In 1973, the south wing and the clock tower were rebuilt, and in 1979 the clock mechanism was restored. During the works, the building was restored to its Renaissance appearance, but not much of the original equipment has survived. However, there are gothic vaults in the basement and frescoes in the clock tower. Under the northern wing are the remains of the chapel of St. Otto, the crypt discovered after the war is open to the public, and the prince's ashes were deposited in the cathedral of St. James. Currently, the castle is the seat of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship Board, the cultural center "Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes", the "Castle" cinema, which was established in 1963 and which was modernized in 2006, the Krypta Theater and the Piwnica przy Krypcie cabaret operate there. The castle also houses the Castle Opera (currently under renovation), which was moved to the castle in 1978 from the militia club at Potulicka. There are also two restaurants within the castle walls - "Zamkowa" and "Na Kuncu Korytarza". In addition, you will also find a Cultural and Tourist Information Center at the castle.
In April 2005, "Modernization and restoration of the Pomeranian Dukes' Castle" was launched. During the task, the roof and part of the façade were renovated, the open-air stage and the central heating installation in the western, Mint, and southern wings were modernized. The works were completed in September 2006, their total cost was PLN 5.3 million, including PLN 3.5 million from European Union funds.
The remaining elevations were renovated in 2006-2007, the cost of the works was PLN 2.3 million. A year later, in 2008, the roofing, lighting and sound system for the "Under the Cloister" stage were made, and, after receiving funding from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the castle was illuminated. In 2008, the Registry Office, located in the southern wing of the castle, was renovated. The wedding hall was repainted, some furniture was renovated, and the room was adapted to the needs of the disabled. Also in the same year, the rooms of Prince Barnim and Duchess Mirosława were renovated, with Gdansk furniture from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Currently, the eastern wing is available to visitors in the castle, which houses the castle museum and the gothic gallery, ticket prices are 4 zlotys for discounted, 5 zlotys for normal, 5 zlotys for normal group and 2 zlotys for school groups. In June 2012, the Hall of Witches was opened at the Pomeranian Dukes' Castle, where we will learn the history of Sydonia von Borck and the Lubinus Cabinet, we will find the Great Map of the Pomeranian Duchy with a family tree of Pomeranian dukes, made by Eilhardus Lubinus in 1610-1618.
The building was entered on the provincial list of monuments in April 1955.