Świdnica

Świdnica – how is this possible?

Świdnica is a city with countless attractions that surpass its size and a pleasant and low-key atmosphere that allows anyone to catch a break from the urban fast paced life. Świdnica, located only 40 km from Wrocław, stands out in comparison to other similar cities, thanks to its rich cultural offer, beautiful architecture, vibrant market square and close proximity to picturesque hiking trails. It is a perfect place to spend free time, as well as a fantastic pit stop in any journey.

Tourists from all over the world, who travel around the Lower Silesian region, always visit the 17th century Church of Peace, which is not only the parish of the evangelical church of the Augsburg confession but also, thanks to the hard work of Bożena Pytel and bishop Waldemar Pytel, a cultural centre. In 2001 it was added to UNESCO list of Heritage Sites. It is a space that hosts meetings, discussions and unforgettable Bach Festival concerts. Visitors should also have a look at the Gothic Cathedral of St. Stanislaus and St. Wenceslaus, which has the tallest tower in Lower Silesia (101 m). Even more impressive viewpoint is the City Hall Tower, rebuild in 2012 after collapsing in 1967. From the tower’s terrace stretches a great panoramic view of the whole city. It is also a great viewing spot of the historic market square, beautifully lit, decorated with Baroque sculptures and surrounded by picturesque townhouses. More sophisticated travellers will also appreciate little streets leading up to the square and notice elements of classic craftsmanship and architecture that reflect the changing history of Świdnica’s national affiliation as a city.

The highly praised market square is also a meeting place for the residents of Świdnica and tourists, with its numerous cafes and restaurants but also a space for cultural events that bring the whole area alive. In the summer the square is taken over by the Festival of Open Theatre – one of the oldest and most popular theatre initiatives in the region. Every first Sunday of the month the square and surrounding streets turn into a huge Flea Market, a staple event for all antique lovers. It is impossible to leave it empty-handed. Practically every weekend, during the warmer months of the year, the square welcomes a wide range of events – from bee-keeping fair to open air film screenings. The exhibition in the Museum of Old Trade also attracts many visitors and reminds about the history of trade in the city. Photography lovers are welcome to visit the Photography Gallery, run by the Culture Centre of Świdnica.

The city hosts events from the all of the most important fields of art. Street theatre is represented in the Open Theatre Festival, photography is celebrated during the legendary „Photography Days” and the famous Fotomaraton, jazz music resonates through the streets during Świdnica Jazz Nights and electronic music is the hero of „Posłuchane”, alternative cinema can be experienced during Spektrum Film Festival, literature and poetry have „Cztery Żywioły Słowa” and „preTEXT” festivals, not to forget about the Bach Music Festival.

Wychwalany tutaj świdnicki zespół rynkowy to miejsce spotkań świdniczan i turystów, gromadzących się w licznych kawiarniach i restauracjach, ale też arena wielu wydarzeń ożywiających przestrzeń. Latem na trzy dni Rynek zostaje przejęty przez Festiwal Teatru Otwartego – jedną z najstarszych i najpopularniejszych inicjatyw tego typu w regionie. W każdą pierwszą niedzielę miesiąca starówka i sąsiednie ulice zostają oddane we władanie bogatej i kultowej Giełdy Staroci, z której nie sposób wyjść z pustymi rękami. W zasadzie każdy weekend cieplejszej części roku to jakieś inicjatywy ulokowane w Rynku, od targów pszczelarzy po plenerowe pokazy filmowe. Stałą ekspozycją przyciąga Muzeum Dawnego Kupiectwa, przypominające o handlowych korzeniach miasta, a miłośników fotografii zaprasza Galeria Fotografii, prowadzona przez Świdnicki Ośrodek Kultury.

You can’t help but wonder how does it all of this fit in a city of 60 000 residents. How is it possible? The best way to answer this question is by visiting the city and experiencing it yourself. There is plenty of occasions for it.