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I have already visited Szydłów several times but without sightseeing. I decided to catch up and visit this city to see why it is gaining popularity among tourists visiting the Świętokrzyskie Province.
How to get to Szydłów?
The city of Szydłów is located 50 kilometres from Kielce and 14 kilometres from Staszów. There are several parking lots for tourists here, so you don’t have to worry about where to leave your car (unless there is a big tourist event going on).
A trip to Szydłów can be combined with a visit to Kurozwęki, Staszów, Raków or Chmielnik.
History of Szydłów
The first records of Szydłów come from the end of the 12th century. It was granted city rights by King Władysław Łokietek in 1329. Over the years, the city had its share in trade, and local craftsmen were also involved in the production of cloth, but other guilds were also active here.
In 1565, the city was hit by a fire that destroyed a large part of the buildings. At the end of the 16th century, there was a large Jewish community in Szydłów, and later Polish brothers (Arians) also settled there.
In the following years, Szydłów lost its importance. It happened, among others by various conflicts that had a strong impact on the number of inhabitants, but also by fires and plagues. Finally, in 1869, Szydłów lost its municipal rights, which it did not regain until 2019.
Originally, Szydłów had three city gates – Water, Opatowska and Kraków. Only the last one has survived to this day! It was restored and reconstructed in 1946, and then again in 2001. The gate had oak doors and a drawbridge. It is possible to climb to its top, but the stairs are quite steep. Inside the city walls (by entering the city gate, on the left), we can enter the city walls.
Synagogue in Szydłów
The synagogue in Szydłów is considered to be the oldest surviving synagogue in the Świętokrzyskie region. You can visit its interior, which houses a small exhibition. The shared room is impressive, and you can read more about this building in the text – an article about the synagogue in Szydłów.
St. Władysław church
This church, located inside the city walls, is certainly noteworthy. It comes from the fourteenth century and is built of brick. It was funded by King Casimir the Great, probably as part of penance.
The church burned down in 1630, but was quickly rebuilt. The belfry next to the building was probably built from a defensive tower in the 18th century. Once again the church went down during the First World War, when its roof burnt down.
All Saints church
Although it stands outside the city walls, it is the oldest building in Szydłów. We didn’t go inside, we only managed to look through the open door, but what we saw made an impression on us! It probably comes from the 13th century, and inside it is worth paying attention to the rich polychrome.
Holy Spirit church
This place was not far from the parking lot where we left our car. You need to buy a ticket to get inside, but you can also see the object from the outside and the cemetery. Church and hospital The Holy Spirit was founded in the 17th century. The second function of this facility (hospital) was intended for the poor and the elderly. There is a still functioning cemetery right next to the building.
It was most likely built during the reign of Casimir the Great. Both the mentioned ruler and Władysław Jagiełło visited Szydłów many times. At the end of the 15th century, it lost the rank of a royal residence, and its defensive value lost its importance. Subsequent raids and fires did not improve his condition. For some time, it was planned to sell the castle walls as a building material, but fortunately no buyer was found.
The site was originally about 60 x 60 meters and was part of the city’s fortifications. It consisted of two castle houses and a tower. Currently, it houses the Museum of Royal Castles, the Torture Hall, but you can also see the royal chamber with furnaces that heat it.
Every year, the Plum Festival is organized in Szydłów. This is an event that brings a huge number of tourists to the city! It is not quite an event that suits my taste, but you can take a look.
Szydłów is sometimes called the plum capital of Poland due to the large number of orchards where these fruits are grown.
Tickets to attractions and their availability
If you are planning a comprehensive tour of Szydłów, it is good to get a collective admission ticket to all facilities, which costs PLN 20 for normal and PLN 15 for reduced tickets.
The ticket includes the following places: Castle Square (Castle and Royal Castle Museum), Synagogue, Church of All Saints and Hospital of the Holy Spirit.
Tourist attractions of Szydłów are available:
May to September:
10:00 – 17:00 (monday – friday)
10:00 – 18:00 (saturday – sunday)
October to April:
8:00 – 16:00 (monday – friday)
10:00 – 16:00 (saturday – sunday)
Worth to visit?
Szydłów is a place with a rich history! If you are planning a visit in the area, be sure to check it out here, because the city has an interesting atmosphere. It also has enormous potential that is gradually being used more and more!