The Castle Riding Stables
The historical accounts on the beginnings of the ducal stable and riding hall on the Castle Hill are scarce. However, there is a detailed passage about the residents of the town of Szczecin from 1124 by a biographer who accompanied Otto of Bamberg on a Christianisation mission in Pomerania: “...they had a steed of great size, fat, black, and most vicious. It was idle through all seasons and was considered such a holy creature that no one was worthy to sit upon it. One of the four temple priests was its attentive guardian...” The steed belonged to Triglav, the major deity of the Slavs. It must have had a stable worthy of gods in the town of Szczecin.
The riding hall was probably erected in the early 17th Century and was one of the most important utility buildings of the castle’s environs. It was not of long use to the Dukes, whose time ended when the last of them died childless in 1637. Under the Swedish occupation, the hall was administered by a governor, and later, in the Prussian times, it belonged to the Royal Garrison Command, the Prussian Military Fund, from 1912 to the Military Fund of the Reich, and finally became the property of Szczecin’s authorities in 1929. Until the outbreak of WW2 it was the seat of the castle’s and St Mary’s church community with a nursery school. Rebuilt from War damage, which was extensive, it served administrative functions at first. In the 1970s it was handed over to the Pedagogical Academy. Currently it houses the Department of German Studies of the University of Szczecin.
It has a masonry lower part and a timber-frame upper floor. Next to the current entrance, which features a decorative portal moved from the castle halls, there was the main entrance gate with a full arch for the horses. The upper part features the relics of a crane for transporting fodder to the attic.