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Świdnica coat of arms
Świdnica (Poland)
Basic data
State : Poland
Voivodeship : Lower Silesia
Powiat : Świdnica
Area : 21.76  km²
Geographic location : 50 ° 51 ′  N , 16 ° 29 ′  E Coordinates: 50 ° 51 ′ 0 ″  N , 16 ° 29 ′ 0 ″  E
Height : 204 m npm
Residents : 57,041
(Jun. 30, 2019)
Postal code : 58-100 to 58-106
License plate : DSW
Economy and Transport
Street : E261 Kamienna Góra - Wroclaw
Rail route : Kamieniec Ząbkowicki – Jaworzyna Śląska
Next international airport : Wroclaw
Gminatype: Borough
Surface: 21.76 km²
Residents: 57,041
(Jun. 30, 2019)
Population density : 2621 inhabitants / km²
Community number  ( GUS ): 0219011
Administration (as of 2015)
City President : Beata Moskal-Słaniewska
ul.Armii Krajowej 49 58-100 Świdnica
Website : um.swidnica.pl

Świdnica ( ɕfʲiˈdɲiʦa ), German  Schweidnitz ( Czech Svídnice ), is a city in the Polish Voivodeship of Lower Silesia . From 1975 to 1998 the city belonged to the Wałbrzych Voivodeship (German Waldenburg). Świdnica is the county seat of the Powiat Świdnicki , forms its own municipality and is also the seat of the Gmina Świdnica , a rural municipality that includes the surrounding villages. Świdnica has been part of the Wałbrzych agglomeration since 2014 .

Since 1291 Schweidnitz was the residence of the Duchy of Schweidnitz . The Schweidnitzer Friedenskirche is the largest half-timbered church in Europe and has been a World Heritage Site since 2001 .

Geographical location

The city is located in Lower Silesia , around 50 kilometers southwest of Wroclaw in a fertile valley between the Zobten and the Owl Mountains on the Schweidnitzer Weistritz . Neighboring towns are Bolesławice and Wierzbna in the north, Krzyżowa and Grodziszcze in the southeast, Burkatów in the south, Waldenburg in the southwest and Świebodzice in the west. The 718 m high Zobtenberg rises to the east .

Historic old town with the Catholic parish church (center)


Schweidnitzer Ring

Schweidnitz under the Piasts

Świdnica was built as a resting place for merchants and carters on the newly built road along the Preseka . At the same time it took over the military tasks of the former Castellanei Gräditz , who u. a. the protection of the road leading through the Silesian valley to Bohemia was responsible. The founding of the city with Weichbild and mile law took place according to Neumarkt law . Schweidnitz is first documented as a town in 1243. In 1267 there was a hospital outside the wall ring , which was handed over in 1283 by Duke Heinrich IV to the Prague Cross Lords with the Red Star . The Vogt , first mentioned in 1274, carried out the low and high jurisdiction .

In 1290 Schweidnitz had its own right to mint and a mint . There is evidence of a department store on the ring for the year 1291, which also served as the town hall. The duke's castle, which was located in the northwest of the city, is recorded as a curia for 1295 and as a castrum for 1326 . Schweidnitz initially belonged to the Duchy of Breslau and from 1290/91 was next to the Fürstenstein seat of the independent Duchy of Schweidnitz .

Under the crown of Bohemia, which came to the Habsburgs in 1526

Merian engraving from 1650

Together with the duchy, after the death of Duke Bolko II in 1368, it fell to the Roman-German and Bohemian King Wenceslaus , who was a son of Duchess Anna von Schweidnitz . However, until her death in 1392 , Bolkos II's widow Agnes von Habsburg had the usufruct of the now Bohemian hereditary principality of Schweidnitz-Jauer. This was administered by provincial governors and came to the Habsburgs in 1526 together with the Crown of Bohemia .

As early as the beginning of the 14th century, the city developed into a supra-regional trading center and a center of beer brewing. Schweidnitzer beer was u. a. Delivered to Prague, Thorn and Ofen and first served in 1332 in the Breslauer Ratskeller . From 1522 the Reformation spread in Schweidnitz. With the exception of the Nikolaikirche, all churches were handed over to the Evangelicals and all monasteries were dissolved. In terms of economic importance, Schweidnitz was in second place behind Wroclaw around 1550 and, with 5000 inhabitants, was almost as big as this. In 1580, Emperor Rudolf II, in his capacity as King of Bohemia, granted the city of Schweidnitz the privilege of free election to council. There was a decline in prosperity in the Thirty Years War . 1629–1654 the city had to spend more than 370,000 thalers on boarding the billeted soldiers. In 1642 the city was conquered by the Swedes under Lennart Torstensson . Of the 1,300 houses, only 118 are said to have been intact after the war and only 200 residents are left. This lost its economic importance. As a result of the targeted re-Catholicization from 1622/24 , the members of the Dominican and Franciscan orders were able to return to Schweidnitz. In 1664 the Jesuits erected a college building next to the parish church, which was given to them in 1637.

Under the crown of Prussia

Lithograph of the parish church, 1852
Siege plan of Schweidnitz, 1758
House from the early days on the corner of ul. Pułaskiego

After the First Silesian War , Schweidnitz came to Prussia in 1741 . Subsequently, King Friedrich II had the city expanded into a fortress, which consisted of an inner wall belt and the outer fort system. Nevertheless it was conquered several times by the Austrians during the Seven Years' War . From September 29th to November 12th, 1757 they besieged the fortress Schweidnitz under General Nádasdy . Already on December 15th. J. returned the Prussians. The Prussian General von Treskow was able to accept the Austrian surrender on April 16, 1758. On the night of October 1, 1761, the Austrian general von Laudon attacked Schweidnitz. He was able to capture the commanding General Leopold von Zastrow and capture 357 guns. General von Tauentzien was commissioned with the reconquest . The siege made possible by the Prussian victory in the Battle of Burkersdorf on July 21, 1762 began a good two weeks later, on August 7. The Austrian general Franz Guasco surrendered on October 9th. J. After that, Schweidnitz finally fell to Prussia and was significantly reinforced by four detached forts . In 1793 the municipal jurisdiction was abolished and Schweidnitz was the seat of a local and regional court.

During the Fourth Coalition War on February 16, 1807, the Schweidnitz fortress surrendered to the French, who began to demolish the fortifications. Due to the secularization ordered in Prussia in 1810 , the Dominican, Franciscan and Capuchin monasteries were dissolved and the monastery property was given to secular purposes or torn down. Only the monastery and the monastery church of the Ursuline nuns, who came from Breslau to Schwednitz in 1700 and received a monastery from Count Schaffgotsch in 1712 , were spared, as they maintained a lyceum for public instruction for girls (the monastery existed until 1945).

After the reorganization of Prussia , Schweidnitz belonged to the province of Silesia from 1815 and was the seat of the district of Schweidnitz from 1816 . In 1844, Schweidnitz was connected to the Breslau – Waldenburg railway line with the branch line to Königszelt . The city was subsequently industrialized. Companies in the machine, electrical and radio industries as well as furniture and toy factories emerged. The well-known organ building company Schlag & Söhne built the organ of the old Berlin Philharmonic in 1888 . Instead of the fortifications that had already been razed in 1867, promenades and green spaces were built so that the city could expand significantly. In 1851 Gustav Glubrecht became mayor and in 1856 lord mayor of the city.

From April 1, 1899, Schweidnitz formed its own urban district , but remained the seat of the district of the same name. In 1907 Bernhard Kaewel became mayor and in 1908 lord mayor of Schweidnitz. On October 1, 1938, the urban area was enlarged by incorporating parts of the communities of Kroischwitz, Nieder-Bögendorf and Schönbrunn from the district of Schweidnitz. In 1939 39,000 inhabitants were counted.

From the post-war period to the 2010s

Restored residential and commercial buildings on the Ring (2013)

After the end of the Second World War , Schweidnitz, which had hardly been destroyed, was placed under the administration of the People's Republic of Poland by the Soviet Union in 1945 . Schweidnitz received the Polish name Świdnica. In the years 1945 to 1947, the city experienced an exchange of population through the expulsion of the locals and settlement with Poles . About a quarter of Poles were repatriates from areas east of the Curzon Line that had fallen to the Soviet Union . From 1975 to 1998 the city belonged to the Wałbrzych Voivodeship (Waldenburg), since 1999 it has been part of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship .

After the political change in 1989, the electrical industry in particular gained economic importance . There are also companies for scaffolding and climbing technology, furniture manufacturing, leather processing, printing and the textile industry . After 1990, foreign investors also set up suppliers for the automotive industry in Świdnica (car electrics, upholstery fabrics).

On March 25, 2004 Świdnica became the seat of the newly founded Diocese of Świdnica , which is subordinate to the Archdiocese of Wroclaw as a suffragan .

Population development

year Residents Remarks
1875 19,681
1880 22,202
1885 23,699
1890 24,725 15,033 Protestants, 9,392 Catholics and 253 Jews
1900 28,439 16,980 Protestants and 11,214 Catholics
1905 30,540 with the garrison (a grenadier regiment No. 10 and a field artillery regiment No. 42), of which 12,067 Catholics and 164 Jews
1910 31,329 thereof 18,981 Evangelicals and 12,078 Catholics
1925 30,758 thereof 19,422 Evangelicals, 10,588 Catholics, 84 other Christians, 130 Jews
1933 24,153 thereof 21,744 Protestants, 11,574 Catholics, three other Christians, 114 Jews
1939 35,038 thereof 21,899 Evangelicals, 11,756 Catholics, 118 other Christians, 25 Jews

coat of arms

Blazon: square, in the first and fourth black fields a gold crown, in the second in silver a red griffin, in the third in silver a black boar leaping to the left.

Until 1492 Schweidnitz had two city ​​coats of arms . The red griffin , known since 1284, was an old city ​​seal image . The black boar has been used on lay judges' seals since 1335 . It alludes to the place name. Both were considered equal. At the request of the city of Schweidnitz, King Vladislav II of Bohemia allowed on November 29, 1492 to add a crown to the coat of arms. Thereupon the Schweidnitzer united both coats of arms with the crown to the today known city coat of arms.


The Świdnica Miasto Station (Swidnica city) , the former main railway station, situated on the railway line Katowice-Legnica (Katowice - Legnica) . In the south of the city this crossed with the railway line Wrocław – Jedlina-Zdrój (Breslau - Bad Charlottenbrunn) , which is only a freight connection to the north, but to the south, like the Świdnica Kraszowice crossing station itself, is closed. There is a connecting curve from the Świdnica Przedmieście station on the route in the direction of Wrocław to the Świdnica Miasto station.


The Friedenskirche is considered the largest half-timbered church in Europe.
Parish Church Hl. Kreuz und Kreuzherrenkommend
Trinity Column
  • The Protestant Church of Peace was founded in 1656/57 as one of the three peace churches that were granted to Silesia with the Peace of Westphalia . It has been a World Heritage Site since 2001 .
  • The parish church of St. Stanislaus and Wenceslas (Kościół ŚŚ. Stanisława i Wacława) , the cathedral of the newly established diocese since 2004 , was built in 1325–1488 on the site of a previous building mentioned in 1250. After a fire in 1532, it was rebuilt until 1535. The patronage exercised the Wroclaw clear pen in the Middle Ages. From 1561 to 1629 it served as a Protestant church. Around 1660 it was given to the Jesuits, who made it Baroque around 1700. They commissioned well-known artists, u. a. Michael Willmann , Johann Jacob Eybelwieser , Johann Georg Etgens , the Jesuits Johann Riedel and Georg Leonhard Weber .
  • The parish church of the Holy Cross and the Lords of the Cross (Kościół Św. Krzyża i klasztor Krzyżowców) was built in 1718/19 on the site of the former hospital and destroyed by fire in 1633. After a renovation from 1865 in the classicism style , it was inaugurated in 1868.
  • The parish church of St. Joseph and Ursuline Monastery (Kościół Św. Józefa i klasztor Urszulanek) was built in the late Baroque style by the architect Wenzel Mattausch for the Ursulines in 1754–1772. The Rococo pulpit is a foundation of the Grüssau abbot Placidus Mundfering (1768–1787). The neighboring monastery buildings were built between 1731 and 1734 based on a design by the Schweidnitz master builder Christoph Koehler. In 1874 the entire facility was rebuilt.
  • The former parish church of St. Barbara (Dawny kościół Św. Barbary) was built in 1500/01 as a foundation by Johann von Sachkirch. After the destruction in the Thirty Years War, it was rebuilt in 1691–1699. From 1565–1628 and 1741–1818 it served as a Protestant church, then as an arsenal. In 1982 it was renovated.
  • The former Jesuit college (Dawne kolegium i konwikt Jesuitów) was built in 1664–1667 next to the parish church. The adjacent Jesuit convict was established in 1671 as a foundation by Jakob von Tamm. In 1741 it was used as a military hospital, and from 1802 as a royal educational institution.
  • The former Capuchin monastery was donated by Christoph Wenzel von Nostitz-Rokitnitz on the site of the former ducal castle in 1676 . After 1810 it served as a poor house and municipal pension office, from 1928–1939 as a museum.
  • The former Capuchin Church was built in 1782–1688 and consecrated to the Immaculate Conception . After modernization in 1818, it served as a Protestant garrison church until 1945.
  • The former Grüssau house (Dawny dwór opatów krzeszowskich) , which was also known as the “Stiftshof”, was built in 1723–1725 as a city residence for the abbots of the Grüssau monastery . It was built under Abbot Dominicus Geyer according to a design by the master builder Felix Anton Hammerschmidt in the Baroque style.
  • The Holy Trinity Column in front of the town hall oriel, the creator of which is unknown, was donated in 1693 by the Governor of Schweidnitz, Johann Joachim Michael von Sinzendorf .
  • Maria Cunitz monument

Twin cities

Świdnica lists the following eight partner cities :

city country since
Biberach an der Riss Coat of arms Biberach.svg GermanyGermany Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany 1990
Ivano-Frankivsk Ivano-Frankivsk coa.png UkraineUkraine Ukraine 2008
Kazincbarcika HUN Kazincbarcika Címer.svg HungaryHungary Észak-Magyarország, Hungary 1999
Lampertheim Coat of arms Lampertheim.svg GermanyGermany Hessen, Germany 2006, partnership with the rural municipality of Świdnica
Lübbenau / Spreewald Coat of arms Luebbenau.png GermanyGermany Brandenburg, Germany 2005
Nischyn Nizhyn gerb.png UkraineUkraine Chernihiv, Ukraine 2001
Police nad Metují Coat of arms of Police nad Metují.gif Czech RepublicCzech Republic Královéhradecký region, Czech Republic 1994
Švenčionys Herb Święcian.svg LithuaniaLithuania Vilnius, Lithuania 2002
Tendring United KingdomUnited Kingdom East of England, UK 1999
Trutnov Trutnov CoA CZ old.svg Czech RepublicCzech Republic Královéhradecký region, Czech Republic 1998



  • Dehio Handbook of Art Monuments in Poland. Silesia. Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich et al. 2005, ISBN 3-422-03109-X , pp. 925–936.
  • Johann Wilhelm Andreas Kosmann : The history of the city Schweidnitz. A reading book for middle youth. Korn, Breslau 1786 ( e-copy ).
  • Friedrich Julius Schmidt: History of the city of Schweidnitz. (2 volumes)
    • Volume 1, Schweidnitz 1846 ( e-copy ),
    • Volume 2, Schweidnitz 1848.
  • Theo Johannes Mann: History of the city of Schweidnitz - A walk through 700 years of German culture in Silesia. Reutlingen 1985.
  • Wilhelm Schirrmann: Chronicle of the city of Schweidnitz. Schweidnitz around 1908.
  • Werner Bein and Ulrich Schmilewski (eds.): Schweidnitz in the course of the times. Wuerzburg 1990.
  • Heinrich Schubert: Pictures from the history of the city of Schweidnitz. Schweidnitz 1911.
  • Hugo Weczerka (Hrsg.): Handbook of the historical places . Volume: Silesia (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 316). Kröner, Stuttgart 1977, ISBN 3-520-31601-3 , pp. 491-496.

Web links

Commons : Świdnica  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b population. Size and Structure by Territorial Division. As of June 30, 2019. Główny Urząd Statystyczny (GUS) (PDF files; 0.99 MiB), accessed December 24, 2019 .
  2. ^ Website of the city, Władze miasta ( memento of April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on March 12, 2015
  3. Siedem nowych g min w Aglomeracji Wałbrzyskiej
  4. Ludwig Petry (ed.): History of Silesia. Volume 1: From prehistoric times to 1526. 5th revised edition. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1988, ISBN 3-7995-6341-5 , pp. 369, 413.
  5. Ludwig Petry , Josef Joachim Menzel (Hrsg.): Geschichte Schlesiens. Volume 2, ISBN 3-7995-6342-3 , pp. 118f.
  6. Großer Generalstab (Ed.): 1806 - The Prussian officer corps and the investigation of the war events. Ernst Siegfried Mittler and Son, Berlin 1906.
  7. JG Knie , JML Melcher: Alphabetical-statistical-topographical overview of all villages, spots, cities and other places in the royal family. Prussia. Province of Silesia. Graß, Barth and Comp., Breslau 1830, p. 1018.
  8. ^ Territorial changes in Germany and German administered areas 1874–1945: Stadtkreis Schweidnitz
  9. ^ Krzysztof Ruchniewicz: Schweidnitz / Świdnica 1945–1947. The fate of the German and Polish people . In: Klaus Bździach (Red.): Wake up, my heart, and think. On the history of the relations between Silesia and Berlin-Brandenburg from 1740 to the present day (Przebudź się, serce moje, i pomyśl), Society for Interregional Cultural Exchange, Berlin / Instytut Śląski w Opolu, 1995, ISBN 3-87466-248-9 .
  10. a b c d e f g h i Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. schweidnitz.html. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  11. ^ Meyer's Large Conversational Lexicon . 6th edition, Volume 18. Leipzig / Vienna 1909, p. 171.
  12. twin cities. Retrieved April 5, 2020 .