Świdwin is located in the central part of the district of Świdwin, on the Łobez Upland, by the river Rega, next to the provincial roads No. 151, 152 and 162. Świdwin lies at a distance of 48 km from the Baltic Sea, 70 km from Koszalin and 120 from Szczecin.
The town covers the area of 22.38 km2. Świdwin occupies 2.05% of the entire district of Świdwin. The name of the town probably comes from the words 'Skwilbin' or 'Skwielbin', which means 'the disc in the swamp'. The first mention of Świdwin comes from 1280, but a gord was probably there in the twelfth century. The estate was handed over by the Duke Barnim I to the Norbertines of Trzebiatów in the thirteenth century. Then Świdwin was incorporated into the New March, as a fief of the dukes of Mecklenburg. The beginning of the town's existence is dated back to 1296. Initially, the town belonged to the Wedel family. The medieval town was walled in with two gates: the Kamienna [Stone] Gate and the Młyńska [Mill] Gate. The third gate, the Zamkowa [Castle] Gate, connected the settlement with the castle. The walls survived until the early nineteenth century. Then they were demolished. A small piece at Nad Regą Street and the Kamienna Gate have survived to this day. The town was ruled by the Teutonic Knights between 1384 and 1455. Then the event that permanently inscribed in the history of Świdwin happened. So, the battle, called 'the battle of a cow' today, between the residents of Świdwin and nearby Białogard took place in 1469. The duel was caused by a resident of Białogard who borrowed a cow from a resident of Świdwin. Unfortunately, he did not give the cow back to its owner, and then it was decided to get it back by force. The residents of Świdwin invaded Białogard. A battle, during which 300 people died, was fought. The invaders won, and an annual event called 'the battle of the cow' is held to commemorate that event, during which residents of both towns compete with each other for cow's horns in sports competitions. The winner wins the cow's horns placed on a shield and has the right to keep it at home as proof of victory throughout the year.
Knights Hospitaller were in the town between 1540 and 1808, and established their seat at the castle. The town did not escape destructions and disasters. And so in 1550 30% of the population of the town died of the plague. Then, as a result of two fires that occurred in the seventeenth century, the town was damaged. Damage was also caused by the Thirty Years' War. There was relative peace in the nineteenth century, and then expansion of the town began, trade and drapery were developing. The town did not suffer too much during World War II, but invading Soviet troops destroyed the town centre and the Old Town. War damages were being removed until the 1950s. Houses were rebuilt, Polish schools were gradually founded, Polish workplaces and institutions started to be established. Unfortunately, the medieval arrangement was not preserved during renovation works, and also new buildings were not tried to make them fit into the character of the old buildings and create the unity with them. The then buildings were built in the style typical of the poor modernism, or multi-storey blocks of flats or service buildings. A military unit was created in Świdwin in 1953. Unfortunately, the castle of Świdwin was seriously damaged in a fire. They managed to rebuild and renovate it only in 1968. As a result of the recent administrative reform in 1999, Świdwin became the seat of the district.
The town has many sights worth seeing. First of all, the castle is worth seeing, which was started to be built in the thirteenth century. The castle changed owners over the centuries. Initially, it was a prince's castle, then a knight's one, then of the Teutonic Order, later belonged to the Knights of St. John. Eventually, the castle passed into the hands of laymen. It was rebuilt after a fire in the 1960s, and currently serves as a cultural centre. The castle is a beautiful, impressive building and stands out among other urban structures. A view on the entire area through small windows is offered by the castle tower. Another historical place in town is the Kamienna Gate, dating from the fifteenth century. The Gate is a remnant of the old town walls. It is a four-storey building topped with a gable roof. The door is 10 m high. Currently it is not in use, it can be admired only from the outside. What also belongs to the precious monuments of the town is certainly the Parish Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The history did not treat the building kindly. The church was destructed several times. It is a beautiful Gothic red brick church with a nave and two side aisles. A historic rectory is at the church. Initially, the rectory was half-timbered, but it was demolished in the 1970s, and a new building was erected in its place. The historic layout was preserved, though. The building is two-bay, single-storey, topped with a gable roof. It presents nicely against its surroundings. Definitely, the municipal park is one of the many tourist attractions of the town. The park was founded in the nineteenth century, its area is 12 hectares. The park is arranged in a naturalistic style. The tree stand of the park is abundant and diverse, mostly native. There is the Bismarck tower in the park. Formerly, it was an observation point. Today, due to progressive destruction of the building, it is impossible to enter the tower, You can see it only from the outside. The park is a perfect resting place. There are numerous walking paths, benches and the Karpi [Carp] Pond. There is yet another green area in the town. It is a park called the small park, located in the town centre, at Armii Krajowej and Cmentarna Streets. Today this place is called Solidarności [Solidarity] Park. Another interesting place worth visiting in Świdwin is a Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is located at Dobra Rycerskie Street, at the exit to Drawsko. It is one of the best preserved sites of its type in the region. The cemetery is open to the public, surrounded by greenery and tall trees. Lake Bukowiec is also a sight in Świdwin. It is located outside the town, but within its administrative boundaries. The lake has an area of over 17 hectares. It is a perfect place for anglers due to pike and grayling found there. The Holiday and Recreation Centre 'Bukowiec' is located by the lake. The centre organises camps and entertainment events. It provides accommodation and the possibility of riding lessons.
The town has three elementary schools, two middle schools and three secondary schools. The Community Centre, which is located in the premises of the castle, is very active in Świdwin. The Centre has a concert hall, exhibition room and a Knights' Hall. A public library and a Tourist Information Centre are in the castle. The centre organises many cultural and entertainment events. The most interesting are: the battle for a cow, a national recitation contest named after Janek Śpiewak and Anna Kamieńska, Provincial Theatrical Review, Kaziuki - The Vilnius Fair , the National Knight Tournament and Days of Świdwin. A brass band and a choir operate at the centre. There is no hospital in Świdwin, a district hospital is located in Połczyn-Zdrój. Instead, there are numerous non-public healthcare facilities and pharmacies. The Rega flows through Świdwin, which is one of the major rivers flowing into the Baltic Sea. Świdwin also has well-developed sports facilities. You can find there a football stadium, Orlik sports fields and a water park 'Relax'. The water park is one of the major attractions in the region. It is a perfect holiday destination for families with children. The park has a full-size swimming pool, children's pool, water slide for adults and for children. A sauna, bowling alley, rehabilitation rooms, as well as a cafe, restaurant and hotel are near the pool. Świdwin is a military town. It has an aviation military unit. NATO troops station in the eastern part of the town. There are the 21st Tactical Air Base and the 1st Tactical Air Wing. The unit has its own airport. The town has a District Police Station, a Sanitary-Epidemiological Station, municipal police and fire brigade.