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 Beata Moskal-Słaniewska (SLD)
Area
 • Total 21.76 km2 (8.40 sq mi)
Elevation 250 m (820 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 59,002
 • Density 2,700/km2 (7,000/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: ['ɕfʲidʲˈɲit͡sa]; German: Schweidnitz; Czech: Svídnice) is a city in south-western Poland in the region of Silesia. It has a population of 59,002 inhabitants according to 2014 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

Świdnica/Schweidnitz became a town in 1250, although no founding document has survived that would confirm this fact. In the beginning, the town belonged to the Duchy of Breslau (now Wrocław). By 1290, the town had city walls and six gates, crafts and trade were blossoming, and in 1291-1392 it was the capital of the Duchy of Schweidnitz.

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 Polish Piast duke was Bolko II of Świdnica, and after his death in 1368 the duchy was held by his wife until 1392; after her death it was incorporated into Bohemia by Wenceslaus IV, king of Bohemia and later Holy Roman Emperor. In 1493, the town is recorded by Hartmann Schedel in his Nuremberg Chronicle as Schwednitz[2]

In 1526, all of Silesia, including Świdnica, 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. Świdnica was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the First Silesian War (1740-42). It was subsequently turned into a fortress by Frederick II of Prussia's army.

It was captured again by Austria in late 1762, during the Third Silesian War, or Seven Years' War, but remained Prussian after the end of the 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, like most of Silesia, became part of Poland under border changes promulgated at the Potsdam Conference, and was officially renamed Świdnica. Those members of the German population who had not fled or been killed during the war were subsequently expelled to Germany and replaced with Poles, many of whom had themselves been expelled 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]

  1. ^ Press release, Siedem nowych gmin w Aglomeracji Wałbrzyskiej. Swidnica24.pl. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  2. ^ See Die Schedelsche Weltchronik on German Wikisource.
  3. ^ Офіційний сайт міста Івано-Франківська. mvk.if.ua (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Partnerská města: Jičín". 

External links[edit]

Media related to Świdnica at Wikimedia Commons