Świdnik is a town situated under the Dukla Pass. It is an important center of Ruthenian culture, and the area is known for its military memorabilia after the Dukla operation that took place in 1944.
The city was founded only after World War II from the merger of two villages that had previously been here. From the Middle Ages, they were a stop on the merchant route leading through the Dukla Pass towards Krosno. Until World War II, the majority of their inhabitants were Ruthenians. Today there are about 15% of them, but their traditions are present in the local culture. There is an open-air museum in the city that presents the construction of Ruthenians from the southern side of the Carpathians.
One of the most important events in the history of the area around Świdnik was the Dukla operation carried out in 1944 by the Red Army, supported by the Czechoslovak Corps established in the USSR. It was supposed to help the Slovak uprising that broke out in the vicinity of Banska Bystrzyca. Heavy fights for the Dukla Pass were fought for over 2 months. A memento of them is a museum in Świdnik with an exhibition of military equipment, a cemetery of Soviet soldiers and cannons and tanks set up along the road in the pass to Świdnik. There is also the Death Valley in the vicinity of the city, where a fragment of the battlefield has been recreated.
The newest attraction of Świdnik is the Aquarutenia water park which uses local thermal springs. It consists of an open area and swimming pools in the building with recreational infrastructure and slides.