Švihov got its name from its own place, where the winds blew in the long valley. The first written mention of the village of Švihova is from 1245, when a feudal fortress stood near the church of St. Jiljí. At the end of the 13th century, the Rýzmberk family became the owners of the Švihov manor and founded a small town. The importance of the city increased only after the construction of the water castle, with which the city has been connected ever since and forms one whole. Půta Švihovský from Rýzmberk, one of the most powerful and richest nobles of the kingdom, who endowed the city with many privileges, contributed to the development of the city. Under the Kavki from Říčany, the city received the privilege of holding markets and fairs. At the end of the 16th century, when the town was acquired by the Černín family from Chudenice, the importance of Švihova also declined. The city also suffered during the Thirty Years' War, when the Swedish army overran it twice and looted and burned the city. The ancient character of the town was wiped out by fires in the 18th and 19th centuries. The city experienced another disaster in 2002, when it was hit by a devastating flood. Now Švihov will welcome you with a very pleasant environment with many monuments and tourist attractions.

Right in the center of the city stands the water castle Švihov, which is an ancient witness of the city's history. This monumental castle with an ingenious fortification system was built at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries with the assistance of the prominent builder Benedikt Rejt and is one of the last water castles in the Czech Republic. The castle was built on an artificial island, the surroundings of which could be flooded from the surrounding ponds when attacked by the enemy. During a tour of the castle, you will find out how the nobility lived during the Renaissance, and you will see beautiful period furniture. And if you are not afraid, you can also visit the castle at night. Every year in August, there are night tours accompanied by a story from the past. Very famous fairy tales such as Three Nuts for Cinderella, Three Lives or The Jester and the Queen were also filmed at the castle.

Another important monument is the Gothic church of St. Wenceslas rebuilt in the Baroque style. The church in which he lives is also a historical rarity. It is the hospital church of St. John the Evangelist from the 14th century painted with Gothic paintings that have survived to this day. The church of St. Jiljí, which is a remnant of the original manor house in Švihov. It was founded at a time when the Romanesque style reigned in Bohemia. Now Romanesque and Gothic elements are very clearly visible on the building, you can also find signs of the Baroque here. From the second half of the 16th century, Švihov was a center for Jews from a wide area. There was a magnificent synagogue from 1783, a registry office and a Jewish school. As a remnant of these times, two Jewish cemeteries have been preserved in Švihov. The old Jewish cemetery was established in 1644 and consists of around 140 tombstones, some of which are valuable works of art. Behind the viaduct, approx. 150 m from the old cemetery, lies the new Jewish cemetery, which was founded in 1878 and contains 35 tombstones.

The beauty of Švihov and its surroundings will bring you closer to the educational trail, which will take you to places of dark antiquity, the rich history of the Middle Ages and rare cultural and natural monuments. The educational trail has 20 stops and is divided into an inner (city) and outer circuit (Stará Úhlava, Kokšín Castle, Kamýcká skála, Tuhošť Castle...). The city has a rich cultural life, in the summer it hosts, for example, the Švih Music Summer, Conquest of the Castle, the České Hrady festival, Pouťové Heligonky and many others. The administrative district of Švihova also includes the municipalities of Bezděkov, Jíno, Kaliště, Kamýk, Kokšín, Lhovice, Stropčice, Těšnice, Třebýcinka and Vosí.

Source: Běleč microregion, published by Mikroregion Běleč, 2013.