Wałbrzych is the second-largest city of Dolnośląskie in Poland. Although founded by Slavic settlers in 12th century, for most of its history it belonged to German-speaking lands, and was known as Waldenburg (in German) or Valdenburk. It became a part of Poland after 1945. From 1975–1998 it was the capital of Wałbrzych Voivodeship.
Wałbrzych was an important regional centre throughout its history, specializing in clothmaking, and enjoyed the most growth after itself and the surrounding areas developed large-scale coal mining. Other industries followed, including most prominently pottery. Wałbrzych suffered relatively little destruction in the Second World War and, apart from the city itself, it can boast a number of historic building and attractions in its immediate surroundings, like the magnificent Książ castle or the spa town of Szczawno-Zdrój. By today, however, the region is quite economically depressed due to the fall of its traditional industries.
Wałbrzych is also a major railway junction.
The town can be reached by road within an hour's drive from Wrocław using the DK35 road.
Wałbrzych is an expansive city over many hills and has a well-developed,street and road network.
- 1 Książ Castle (Zamek Książ), ul. Piastów Śląskich 1. Largest castle in Silesia (third in Poland), built in 13th century and remodeled several times. Cultural and exhibition centre of the region.
- Palm House (Palmiarnia), ul. Wrocławska 158.
- 2 Ruins of Old Książ Castle (Stary Książ). Faux Gothic ruins built opposite (across a valley) Książ Castle at the end of 18th century.
Wałbrzych Old Town
- Wałbrzych Market Square.
- Town Hall.
- Church of the Guardian Angels.
- 3 Centrum department store building (originally Kaufahus Schocken), ul. Słowackiego 7. One of the network of department stores owned by the Schocken family spanning the entire Germany was built in 1930 in the then Waldenburg as a striking modernist building. After the Second World War, it became one of Poland's Centrum department stores. The latter chain did not survive the recent economic changes in Poland and the building now houses various unrelated retail establishments.
- District Court (Sąd Rejonowy), Słowackiego.
- Post Office (Poczta Główna).
- District Prosecutor's Office (Prokuratura Okręgowa, built as a Reichsbank branch).
- Alberti Palace (District Museum).
- Protestant church.
- Pałac Czetryców.
- Ruins of Nowy Dwór Castle.
- Old Mine (Park Wielokulturowy Stara Kopalnia), ul. Wysockiego 28. Open air museum of 19th century mining located on the grounds of disused "Julia" mine.
- Wałbrzych Museum, ul. 1 Maja 9. Departments include ceramics, art, history and geology.
- Gross-Rosen Museum (Gross-Rosen Concentration Camp), ul. Szarych Szeregów 9, e-mail: email@example.com. The archives are located in Wałbrzych. The concentration camp is in Rogoźnica, 25km north.
- "Książ" Herd (Stado "Książ"), ul. Jeździecka 3. Horse riding.
- 1 Galeria Victoria, ul. 1 Maja 64, 58-300 Wałbrzych, ☎ . 9AM-9PM (Sundays 10AM-8PM). A very modern out-of-town shopping centre with a range of stores representing many of the retail chains popular in Germany and Poland, covering footwear, apparel, beauty, electronics and more, even including a foreign currency exchange point. Due to the city's economic situation, the apparel/footwear selection is mostly low-end. Anchored by the Intermarche supermarket and featuring a cinema and a food court. Ample parking and a free bus to Plac Grunwaldzki in the centre of Wałbrzych every 25 minutes (every hour on Sundays). Great for convenience shopping. Absolutely not the place to go for local produce or those who don't enjoy formatted retail.
- ibis Styles Wałbrzych, ul. 1 Maja 70 (Follow directions to Magnolia shopping centre.). A Holiday Inn Express built to the brand's newest standards in 2013, and then hastily rebranded to ibis Styles. Reasonable prices, breakfast and WiFi included. The hotel is within an out-of-town shopping complex and very convenient to reach by car, while pretty much impossible otherwise. 149 PLN per night.
- Castle Hotel (Hotel Zamkowy), ul. Piastów Śląskich 1.
- Dolnośląskie has a wealth of destinations to offer within an hour's drive from Wałbrzych, including:
- Wałbrzych is close to the border of Poland and Czech Republic