Bolków – Świny
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Bolków – Świny

Świny Castle stands on a hill in Świny town, on the road between Bolków and Jawor. The history of the fortress is associated with a legend about an incident from 716, when the Bohemian knight Biwoj saved Princess Libusza from a boar attack. This wouldn’t have been anything unusual if not for the fact that Biwoj killed the boar with his bare hands. In return, he was given princess Kassa for a wife and received the Świnka Coat of arms. The legend has it that the adventure with the boar occurred in the exact same place where the castle is situated.

The first mention of the castle can be found in the chronicle of the Bohemian canon Cosmas from 1108. The building is referred to as “Zvini in Polonia” there. The stronghold was one of several castles protecting the Bohemian-Polish border. At the end of the 13th century the castle was handed over to the Świnka family. Intime the family returned to their German-sounding name and in later chronicles they appear as the Schweininchen family. For several centuries the castle and its fortifications were gradually changed. In the middle of the 14th century a four-storey residential tower was erected; the family of Bolko from Świdnica and Jawor forbade their feudal subjects to build defensive walls and therefore it was necessary to raise buildings of defensive character. Unlike many other castles in the area, Świny Castle wasn’t destroyed during the Hussite Wars. In the middle of the 15th century, Gunczel Schweinichen build some dwelling houses. At the turn of the 16th and the 17th century further expansions of the fortifications and the castle were made. The Thirty Years’ War interrupted the construction works.

Over the following 500 years the castle was ruled by many venerable family members of the Świnka family, among them were Burgman, who lived to a grand old age of 110 years and his son, Hans, a well-known diarist and courtier of dukes of Legnica, who lived to 96. The legend has it that the latter was famous for memorizing both the Catechism of Martin Luter and the New Testament. Some say that his spouse, who was a staunch Protestant, used to quiz him every day before bedtime and reward correct answers with a glass of wine.

Though it hasn’t been confirmed with certainty, the most important family member from a historical point of view, was probably the archbishop of Gniezno, Jacob Świnka. In the 14th century he limited the influence of the Church on the Polish land and contributed to the reunification of the Kingdom of Poland.

Not until 1769 did the Schweinichen family sell the castle to the Prussian Minister of State, Heinrich von Churchwand.

The present appearance of the castle is mainly the result of a fire and a hurricane which affected the building in the 19th century. During the Second World War the fortress was taken away from the owners in order to create a Hitlerjugend centre. Finally it was used as a depot for aircraft parts from the underground factory in Bolków. In 1991 the castle became private property.

What is worth seeing in the Świny Castle are particularly the ruins of the tower, the stone bridge leading to the castle gate and the church in the administrative bailey with one of the most interesting interior designs in Lower Silesia, dating back to the turn of the 16th and the 17th century. An additional attraction is the well-preserved tombstone of Gunczel von Scheinichen, one of the owners of the castle. It is one of the oldest tombstones in Silesia that is so well-preserved.

The ruins can be visited all year round. To see the inside of the tower one needs to ask the keyholder, residing at Świny 34, to open it. The telephone number is 75 31 62 133.

Contact:

There is no contact available (a ruin).

How to get there:

The site is located about 82 km from Wrocław; it takes about an hour and 15 minutes. Take the A4 highway in the direction of Zgorzelec, after 27 km take an exit to country road no 5. Go past Strzegom, Dobromierz and Bolków, then take road no. 2 in the direction of Jawor. The next town is Świny.

Visiting:

The castle is open May - October from 12.00 to 6.00 p.m. The entrance is free of charge.

Fixed and regular events:

None.

Car parking:

There is no car park available.

Gallery

Places to eat:

Karczma „Podgórzanka”

ul. Kamiennogórska 3, 59-420 Kaczorów

tel. 75 741-21 14, 608-043-638

www.podgorzanka.com.pl

e-mail: 608043638@eranet.pl

Restauracja „Nad Potokiem”

ul. Jeleniogórska 17. 59-420 Kaczorów

tel. 75 741-21-78

www.nadpotokiem.com

e-mail: nadpotokiem@op.pl

Zajazd Przy Kominku”

Nowe Rochowice 22, 59-420 Bolków

tel. 75 74-13-299, 604-973-622

www.przykominku.pnet.pl

e-mail: zajazd@przykominku.pnet.pl

Accommodation:

Camping Pod Lasem

Świny 17, 59-420 Bolków

tel. 75 741-43-78, 508-677-106

www.campingpodlasem.pl

e-mail: info@campingpodlasem.pl

Hotel Bolków

ul. Sienkiewicza 17, 59-420 Bolków

tel. 75 741-39-95

www.hotel-bolkow.pl

e-mail: a contact form is available on the website.

Chata Morgana Agroturystyka

Jastrowiec 15, 59-420 Bolków

tel. 75 745-02-00, 605-339-675

www.chatamorgana.ig.pl

e-mail: chatamorgana@ig.pl

Hotel Panorama

ul. Adama Mickiewicza 6, 59-420 Bolków

tel. 75 741-34-44, 606-33- 938

www.panoramashs.superturystyka.pl

A contact form is available on the website.

Zajazd Przy Kominku”

Nowe Rochowice 22, 59-420 Bolków

tel. 75 74-13-299, 604-973-622

www.przykominku.pnet.pl

e-mail: zajazd@przykominku.pnet.pl

Tourist Information Office:

Gminne Centrum Informacji Turystycznej

Rynek 3, 59-400 Jawor

tel./fax 76 870-33-71

www.gcit.jawor.pl

e-mail: poczta@gcit.jawor.pl