The oldest mentions of Swołowo date back to the early 13th Century. It was then granted to the Joannites, who resided in the nearby Sławno and it remained the property of those "knights in habits" for nearly 200 years.
In a way characteristic of the area, and popular one thousand years ago, it was shaped in the form of an ellipse covering the stream flowing in the centre, with a pond. On the central square of the village, also oval, stands a small church, originally erected by the Joannites, and today featuring traces of its oldest Gothic style. Its its current form evokes Danish churches, or those seen in southern Sweden. The village is situated in a small valley, the centre of which overlaps with the central square, and whose slopes, as we go further away from the church, are slowly rising.
The original buildings are dominated by “checkered houses” – residential houses and outbuildings with a timber-framed structure, black beams and white fillings. Several dozen over-one-hundred-year-old buildings of this type, preserved in a better or worse condition, make Swołowo the Capital of the Checkered-House Land – the area of the characteristic architectural style.
One of Swołowo’s cottages, once belonging to a peasant named Albrecht. now houses a branch of the Museum of Central Pomerania in Słupsk, whose employees work on the consistent concept of preserving the unique form of the whole of Swołowo and its buildings, most of which is in private hands. There are plans to establish a Centre for the Cultural Animation of Pomerania in the Albrecht Cottage.
The Swołowo Village, proudly bearing the title of the “European Cultural Heritage Village”, is a place worth seeing, not only for its extraordinary historical assets, but primarily because of the amazing beauty of both the village and its immediate surroundings.