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    The Cow War: A Medieval Battle between Świdwin and Białogard

    Estimated reading time: 1 minute

    In the region of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Pomerania, a dispute over a cow erupted into a violent conflict between the townspeople of Świdwin and Białogard in the late 15th century. Poland attempted to mediate the situation, but war broke out in 1468. One of the notable episodes was a battle between the brandenburgian Świdwin and the pomorski Białogard.

    On July 15, 1469, under the leadership of wójt Karsten from Oparzno, the residents of Białogard launched an armed attack on Świdwin. The Świdwinians, led by Krzysztof Poleński, engaged in combat near the village of Długie, on the border between Pomerania and Brandenburg, in the vicinity of Łęgowski Forest (pagus Langum). According to witness accounts, “300 Białogardians perished, and another 100 were taken captive. The people of Świdwin captured the standard of Białogard and 300 wagons of loot.”

    Since 1969, on the 500th anniversary of the event, the mayors of Białogard and Świdwin have organized annual athletic competitions between the residents of both towns in June. The contests reflect medieval times, including axe-chopping a wooden bear, archery, axe-throwing, and more. The winner is awarded the coveted cow horns for a year. The festivities culminate in a feast, with Białogard supplying beef and Świdwin providing the beer. The event was initiated by Leon Zdanowicz from the Powiatowy Dom Kultury in Świdwin.

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