Świdnica

Świdnica
Old town

Coat of arms
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 and 58-105
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 southwestern 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 197598 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

The city's name was first recorded as Svidnica in 1070. Świdnica became a town in 1250, although no founding document has survived that would confirm this fact. The town belonged to the Duchy of Wrocław, a province of Poland. 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 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, King of Bohemia. 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. 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

The Gothic Church of Ss. Stanislav and Vaclav 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.

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

Wałbrzych constituency

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

Education

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

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Świdnica is twinned with:

Notable residents

Notes

    References

    Media related to Świdnica at Wikimedia Commons

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