Lwówek Śląski [ˈlvuvɛk ˈɕlɔ̃skʲi] (German: Löwenberg ( listen)) is a town in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship in Poland. Situated on the Bóbr River, Lwówek Śląski is about 30 km NNW of Jelenia Góra and has a population of about 10,300 inhabitants. It is the administrative seat of Lwówek Śląski County, and also of the smaller municipality called Gmina Lwówek Śląski.
A church in Lwówek Śląski
The vicinity of Lwówek Śląski, densely wooded and located on the inner side of the unsettled Silesian Przesieka, was gradually cleared and populated by German peasants in the first half of the 13th century during the Ostsiedlung. The town was founded by Duke of Poland Henry the Bearded who designated it for an administrative centre in a previously uninhabited, borderline Polish - Lusatian territory. By 1217 the settlement, founded by the Duke of Wrocław, had important privileges, such as rights to brew, mill, fish, and hunt within a mile from settlement. German colonists expanded upon the preexisting settlement and in 1217 it received town rights as the second town in Silesia; its style of governance was duplicated by other local towns, such as Bunzlau (Bolesławiec), as Löwenberg Rights or Lwówek Śląski Rights. The dukes then constructed a castle, documented for the first time in 1248. In the second half of the 13th century Löwenberg became the capital of a Silesian Piast principality, whose duke took the title of a Duke of Silesia and Lord of Löwenberg.
After the death of Duchess Agnes of Habsburg, the widow of Bolko II, the last Piast of Świdnica, the region was inherited with the Duchy of Świdnica-Jawor (Schweidnitz-Jauer) by the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1393. Löwenberg's placement on a trade route allowed it to become one of the more prosperous towns in Bohemia. It passed with the Bohemian crown to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526. During the Thirty Years' War, Löwenberg was devastated by Swedish and Imperial troops, especially between 1633-1643. By the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the town was largely destroyed and had a decimated population of only hundreds.
Löwenberg slowly recovered during its reconstruction, but began to prosper again after its acquisition by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1741 during the Silesian Wars. Troops of the First French Empire occupied Löwenberg in May 1813, and Napoleon Bonaparte stayed in the town from August 21–23 while organizing his defenses against the Prussian troops of General Gebhard von Blücher. A few days later the Prussian army defeated the Frenchmen; more than 3,000 French soldiers drowned in the flooding Bober (Bóbr) as they retreated.
Löwenberg was included within the Province of Silesia after the 1814 Prussian administrative reorganization. Like the rest of the Kingdom of Prussia, the town became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. It became part of the Prussian Province of Lower Silesia after World War I.
In the last days of World War II, Löwenberg's medieval center was 40% destroyed and numerous buildings of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque were lost. At war's end the town was placed under Polish administration as Lwówek Śląski according to the Potsdam Agreement. Its remaining German population was expelled and replaced with Poles.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of Lwówek Śląski is a vertically divided shield depicting the red-white chessboard of the Świdnica Piasts in the sinister field and a right-facing crowned red lion in the dexter field.
Town hall of Lwówek Śląski
- Nikolaus von Reusner (1545–1602), jurist
- Martin Moller (1547–1606), mystic
- Michael Wirth (1571–1618), jurist
- Georg Schultze (1599–1634), jurist
- Esaias Reusner (1636–1679), lutist and composer
- Franz Schmidt (1818–1853), preacher, representative in the Frankfurt Parliament in 1848, fled to Switzerland, then to St. Louis, MO, USA; founder of the German Lyceum there.
- Günther Klammt (1898–1971), major-general
- Eberhard Zwirner (1899–1984), physician and phonetician
- Stefan Hüfner (born 1935), physicist
- Lucjan Błaszczyk (born 1974), tennis player
- ^ Petry, Ludwig; Geschichte Schlesiens. Band 1: Von der Urzeit bis zum Jahre 1526, Stuttgart, Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 2000, p.11, ISBN 3-7995-6341-5
- ^ Hugo Weczerka, Handbuch der historischen Stätten, Schlesien, 2003, p.296, ISBN 3-520-31602-1
- ^ Westermann, p. 74
- ^ Jerzy Maroń, Legnica 1241 Historyczne Bitwy, Bellona 2008, p. 44, ISBN 83-11-11171-5
- ^ Krallert, "Die nord- und mitteldeutsche Ostsiedlung vom 12.—14. Jahrhundert"
- ^ Krallert, "Die Ausbreitung des deutschen Städtewesens bis 1400"
- Westermann Verlag; Erich Stier, Ernst Kirsten, Wilhelm Wühr, Heinz Quirin, Werner Trillmilch, Gerhard Czybulka, Hermann Pinnow, and Hans Ebeling (1963). Westermanns Atlas zur Weltgeschichte: Vorzeit / Altertum, Mittelalter, Neuzeit. Braunschweig: Georg Westermann Verlag. p. 170. (German)
- Krallert, Wolfgang (1958). Atlas zur Geschichte der deutschen Ostsiedlung. Bielefeld: Velhagen & Klasing. p. 33.
Coordinates: 51°07′N 15°35′E / 51.117°N 15.583°E