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Świdnica (Polish: [ɕfidˈɲitsa] (About this soundlisten); 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]

Market Square in the Old Town
Market Square in the Old Town
Coat of arms of Świdnica
Coat of arms
Świdnica is located in Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Świdnica is located in Poland
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
CountyŚwidnica County
GminaŚwidnica (urban gmina)
City rights1267
 • MayorBeata Moskal-Słaniewska (SLD)
 • Total21.76 km2 (8.40 sq mi)
250 m (820 ft)
 • Total59,002
 • Density2,700/km2 (7,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
58-100 and 58-105
Area code(s)+48 74
Car platesDSW


The city's name was first recorded as Svidnica in 1070, when it was part of Piast-ruled Poland. Świdnica became a town in 1250, although no founding document has survived that would confirm this fact. The town belonged at the time to the Duchy of Wrocław, a province of Poland. By 1290, Świdnica had city walls and six gates, crafts and trade were blossoming. The city was famous for its beer production. In various cities of the region (Wrocław, Oleśnica, Brzeg) and Europe (Kraków, Toruń, Prague, Pisa) there were so-called "Świdnica Cellars" – restaurants serving beer from Świdnica.[2] Wrocław's Piwnica Świdnicka exists to this day as the oldest restaurant in Europe.

In 1291-1392 Świdnica was the capital of the Piast-ruled Duchy of Świdnica and Jawor. 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 the Kingdom of Bohemia by Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia. From about 1469 to 1490 it was under the rule of the Kingdom of Hungary and after that it was part of Jagiellonian-ruled Bohemia. In 1493, the town is recorded by Hartmann Schedel in his Nuremberg Chronicle as Schwednitz.[3]

In 1526, all of Silesia, including Świdnica (as Schweidnitz), came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy as part of the surrounding Duchy of Schweidnitz. The Thirty Years' War (1618–48) ravaged the Duchy. Schweidnitz was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the First Silesian War (1740–42). The town was turned into a fortress.

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. In addition, the World War I flying ace Lothar von Richthofen was buried here, until the city became owned by Poland after World War II in which the graveyard was leveled.

After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the town, like most of Silesia, became again part of Poland under border changes promulgated at the Potsdam Conference. Those members of the German population who had not already fled or had been killed during the war were subsequently expelled to the remainder of Germany and the town was repopulated with Poles, many of whom had themselves been expelled from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.

Points of interestEdit

The Gothic Cathedral of St. Stanislaus and St. Wenceslaus from the 14th century has the highest tower in Silesia, standing 103 meters tall; it hosts an image of "Our Lady Health of the Sick".

The Evangelical Church of Peace, a UNESCO Heritage site, was built from 1656–57.

Świdnica city hall

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.

Old Town of Świdnica
Saint Joseph's church


Wałbrzych constituencyEdit

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
  • Wojciech Murdzek, PiS


City Park

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".


International relationsEdit

Notable residentsEdit

Dom pod bykami (House under the bulls)



  1. ^ Press release, Siedem nowych gmin w Aglomeracji Wałbrzyskiej. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  2. ^ Janusz Czerwiński, Ryszard Chanas, Dolny Śląsk – przewodnik, Sport i Turystyka, Warszawa, 1977, p. 178–186 (in Polish)
  3. ^ See Die Schedelsche Weltchronik on German Wikisource.
  4. ^ Офіційний сайт міста Івано-Франківська. (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Partnerská města: Jičín".

External linksEdit

  Media related to Świdnica at Wikimedia Commons