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Bundesland: Brandenburg  
Landkreis: Uckermark  


Schwedt / Oder

pl: Świecie nad Odrą, Świecie Odrzańskie, Świeć dsb: Swjecje
ru: Шведт (Одер) sr: Швет (Одра) be: Швэт (Одэр, Одра)

2307 Schwedt Schwedt is situated at an elevation of 6 m in the Uckermark district, between the rivers Oder and Havel. The Hohensaaten-Friedrichsthaler Wasserstraße (canal) runs between the town and the Oder river. With its population of about 37,000 Schwedt is the district's largest community.

The oldest traces of human settlements in this area date from the Bronze Age, about 1000 BC. in the 6th/7th century Slavic tribes settled here. Around 1230 the castle and the settlement came in possession of the margraves of Brandenburg. The earliest written mention of Schwedt dates from 1265. From 1223 until 1234, and again from 1354 until 1468 Schwedt was in possession of the Pomeranian Dukes. The margraves of Brandenburg finally obtained the town in 1468. The 16th century was a first flourishing period for Schwedt. The privileges as a town were confirmed in 1513 and 1587. As the town was located at the crossroads of important trading routes from Stettin (Szczecin) and Prenzlau to Berlin and Frankfurt / Oder, Schwedt suffered heavily during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648): the town was looted 32 times within a period of 20 years, and it was destroyed almost completely in 1637 by Swedish troops. After the war, the towm came in possession of Dorothea, second wife of Elector Friedrich Wilhelm ('the Great Elector'. Further estates were purchased so that Schwedt at that time comprised three towns, three castles, 33 villages and 24 fortifications. In 1686 Huguenots were invited to settle here. The Huguenots started the cultivation of tabac. At the end of the 18th century, Schwedt was the largest tabac-cultivating area in Germany. In 1689 Schwedt became the residence of the eldest son of Dorothea who founded the line of the Margraves of Brandenburg-Schwedt, a collateral line of the Hohenzollern which, however, became extinct in 1788. Although the margraves were not sovereign, they embellished and furthered the town which became a veritable residence town. In 1788 Schwedt fell back to the Prussian Crown.

In April 1945, shortly before the end of World War II, Schwedt was almost completely destroyed. As the river Oder became the new border between Germany and Poland, Schwedt suddenly became a border town.

The church Sankt Katharinen [background] was built in the 13th century. After a fire, the church was rebuilt and enlarged in 1887. In 1945 the church was heavily damaged. The church burned out, although most parts of the vaulting survived. Only the lower parts of the tower (height 30–35 m) survived, whereas the upper, wooden structure which had had a height of further 30 metres was destroyed and was not reconstructed after the war.