Swornegacie - History

Swornegacie See

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Swornegacie (German Schwornigatz) is a village of 900 inhabitants in the municipality of 
Chojnice (German Konitz) in the administrative district of Chojnice (Powiat Chojnicki), Woiwodship Pomarania in Poland. The location is situated 19 km north of Chojnice at Piver Brda (German Brda) in Pomerania`s Lake District in the vicinity of Tucheler Heath in the Zaborski Landscape park. South of Swornegacie lies Lake Karsińskie with a surface of 648 ha (1601acres).

Variations of Swornegacie`s village name:

1354 , 1382 
1382 , 1400 
• Swornigac
• Swornigat
• Swornigacz
• Sworngatz
• Swornegacz
• Sfornegac
• Swornogac

• The village was first mentioned in a document by Pope Gregory X. on July 15th, 1272. Here, he trusted the bishops of Kulm, which lived in the Augustin monastry there, with the care foe the village. The monastry was founded by the Pomeranian Duke Mestwin II. and his wife Duches Eufrozyna.

• In 1275 the Augustinians possessed a church. Duke Mestwin became their benefactor as he donated Swornegacie together with Kake Lukomie (Charzykowski) to the order`s principal. • In 1291 the duke arrieved with a huge following and grantedthe founding right to the settlement. This was confirmed by Bishop Wloclawski and, in 1294, by Duke Przemyslaw II.
• Since the  monastry was often assaulted during the time of crusaders, the Augustinians did not find peace. For this reason Waclaw III. agreed on the Augustinians`s unition with Cistercians from Oliwa in 1303. • In order to avoid conflicts, the Cistercians, according to the wish of Highmaster Luther Duke of Brunswick, agreed to trust care for Swornegacie to the order. The settlement was adminitratively annexed by the commander of Tuchel and converted into the Folwark.
• In 1466 Pomerania returned to the Kingdom of Poland as a result of the II. Tuchalian Peace. Swornegacie was annexed by the Manor of Kosobudzki.
• The founding rights of the year 1382 allows the assumption that the settlement incorporated a parish school. Its existance is further corroborated by documents of the XVI. and XVII. century.
• The clerical visit in the year 1695 testifies the existence of the wooden parish church of Saint John the Babtist and of Saint Bartholomeo which possessed three crosses. • Most likely due to a lach of clergymen, the church was placed under the administration of Konarzyny`s parish in 1617. A certain independance developed in the year 1900.
• Since 1818 Schwornigatz was part of the Prussian administrative district Konitz and became Polish in 1920.
• Today`s stone church of Saint Barbara was built in 1916. The former wooden church from 1742 was transferred to the open-air museum of folkloric art in Wdzydze Kiszewskie in 1982.
• Between the First and the Second World War Swornegacie predominantly consisted of wooden houses with thatched roofs. The inhabitants struggled to cultivate the sandy and low-yielding soil. An additional source of revenue were fishing and forest works.
• The cultural life and the educational system were revived. Many social organistions became involved. However, the active members of the "Westbund" were prescuted by Hilter`s enraged followers during the Second World War. Many inhabitants of Swornegacie lost their life. A plate at the parish church`s wall was put up in reminiscense od their names. 
• In 1932 the stone school was opend. Until today it is in use.

• After the occupation by the Third Reich followed a Germanization of the village`s name in to Schwarnegast. The population  was removed and the entire area used for military exercises. Part of the population was dislocated deeply into the Reich, another part to surrounding villages of the administrative district Konitz. Carelessness among soldiers caused a fire whereby a part of the village was destroyed.
• Since 1945 the village lies on Polish territory apain.
• After the war the goverment of the Republic of Poland (PRL - Polska Rzeczypospolita Ludowa) intended to resettle the saved population on the "recaptured land" and started to forest the village area.
• It was decided to rebuild the village, nonetheless the wooden huts were replaced by stone houses.
• The remaining wooden huts were destroyed by a further fire in 1962.
• The settlement was connected to the electricity network in the same year.
• The opening of the culture centre, which was build honorarily, was a great event for the citizens.
• The year 1966 saw a the opening of a boarding school connected to the local school. The new boarding school building is in use since 1988.
1995 brought about the erection of a gymnasium.
• The 1990s brought along important changes. The municipality of Chojnice invested enourmeous funds in Swornegacie. The village was connected to the telephone network, water supply and the sewage system. Pavements were built and street lanterns were erected.
Swornegacie developed further and is a well-known tourist destination in Poland today.

Edited by Ryszard Kontek
Based on: Cz. Wycech
"Powiat chojnicki - ziemia, ludność, przeszłość".
Życie gospodarcze i społeczne, Chojnice 1936 rok.

Translated by Sir Andrew Edward Joseph Maria Arnolds