Świdnica

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For the village of the same name, see Świdnica, Lubusz Voivodeship.
Świdnica
Old town
Old town
Coat of arms of Świdnica
Coat of arms
Świdnica is located in Poland
Świdnica
Świdnica
Coordinates: 50°51′N 16°29′E / 50.850°N 16.483°E / 50.850; 16.483Coordinates: 50°51′N 16°29′E / 50.850°N 16.483°E / 50.850; 16.483
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Lower Silesian
County Świdnica County
Gmina Świdnica (urban gmina)
City rights 1267
Government
 • President Wojciech Murdzek
Area
 • Total 22 km2 (8 sq mi)
Elevation 250 m (820 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Total 60,354
 • Density 2,700/km2 (7,100/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 58-100 to 58-106
Area code(s) +48 74
Car plates DSW
Website http://www.um.swidnica.pl

Świdnica (Polish pronunciation: ['ɕfidˈnit͡sa]; German: Schweidnitz; Czech: Svídnice) is a city in south-western Poland in the region of Silesia. It has a population of 60,317 inhabitants according to 2006 figures. It lies in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, being the seventh largest town in that voivodeship. From 1975–98 it was in the former Wałbrzych Voivodeship. It is now the seat of Świdnica County, and also of the smaller district of Gmina Świdnica (although it is not part of the territory of the latter, as the town forms a separate urban gmina). Świdnica became part of the Wałbrzych agglomeration on 23 January 2014.[1]

History[edit]

Cathedral of St. Stanislav and St. Vaclav

About 990 the territory on which Świdnica was later founded became part of Poland. Świdnica became a town in 1250, although no founding document has survived that would confirm this fact except for the 1267 mention of a civitas. In the beginning, the town belonged to the Duchy of Wrocław ruled by Henryk IV who granted Świdnica two important privileges conducive to its development, prawo szrotu for the liquor sales monopoly and prawo mili for the ownership of market stalls.[2] By 1290, Świdnica had city walls and six gates, crafts and trade were blossoming, and it had become the capital of the Duchy of Świdnica. City was in 1291-1392 capital of Duchy of Świdnica.

At the end of the 14th century the city was under rule of the Kingdom of Bohemia, and a long period of growth began. The last Piast duke was Bolko II of Świdnica, and after his death in 1368 land was held by his wife until 1392; after her death they were incorporated into the lands of Bohemia by Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia. In 1471, there were 47 trade guilds in operation, nearly 300 homes had the rights to brew beer, and large cattle and hops fairs were organized. The beer was distributed in many European cities, including Breslau, Prague, Heidelberg, Kraków, and Pisa.[2]

In 1526, all of Silesia, including the town, came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy. The city was in the surrounding Duchy of Schweidnitz. The Thirty Years' War (1618–48) ravaged the Duchy. The town was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the First Silesian War early in the Seven Years' War. It was subsequently turned into a fortress by Frederick II of Prussia's army.

It was captured again by Austria in late 1762, but remained Prussian after the end of the Seven Years' War. Subsequently it became part of the Prussian-led German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany and stayed within Germany until the end of World War II.

After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the town became part of Poland according to the post-war Potsdam Conference in 1945. The German population who had not fled during the war were subsequently expelled to Germany and replaced with Poles, many of whom had been expelled themselves from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.

Points of interest[edit]

The Evangelical Church of Peace, UNESCO Heritage site

The Gothic Church of Ss. Stanislav and Vaclav from the 14th century has the highest tower in Silesia, standing 103 meters tall. The Evangelical Church of Peace, a UNESCO Heritage site, was built from 1656–57. The 16th-century town hall has been renovated numerous times and combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural elements. The Baroque Church of St. Joseph and the Church of St. Christopher are from the same era. One remaining element of the former defensive works is the Chapel of St. Barbara.

Other notable destinations include the old town and the Stary Rynek square, Gola Dzierżoniowska Castle, Medieval town of Niemcza, Cistercian monastery at Henryków and the Wojsławice Arboretum.

Politics[edit]

Świdnica city hall

Wałbrzych constituency[edit]

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Wałbrzych constituency, (Wałbrzych)

  • Zbigniew Chlebowski, PO
  • Henryk Gołębiewski, SLD
  • Roman Ludwiczuk, PO (Senat)
  • Katarzyna Mrzygłocka, PO
  • Giovanni Roman, PiS
  • Mieczysław Szyszka, PiS (Senat)
  • Anna Zalewska, PiS

Education[edit]

Świdnica is home to a College of Data Communications Technology (Wyższa Szkoła Technologii Teleinformatycznych).

In 2003 Świdnica hosted a session of the Warsaw-based International Chapter of the Order of Smile, when a Child Friendship Centre was established. Świdnica was officially titled the "Capital of Children's Dreams".

Sport[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Świdnica is twinned with:

Notable residents[edit]

Świdnica main square in the old town

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Świdnica at Wikimedia Commons