The Protestant Church of Peace (Friedenskirche) is situated in the palace grounds of Sanssouci Park in Potsdam. The church was built according to the wishes and with the close involvement of the artistically gifted King Frederick William IV and designed by the court architect, Ludwig Persius. After Persius' death in 1845, the architect Friedrich August Stüler was charged with continuing his work. Building included work by Ferdinand von Arnim and Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse also. The church is located in the area covered by the UNESCO World Heritage Site Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.
The cornerstone of the churchhouse was laid on April 14, 1845. The building was dedicated on September 24, 1848, though construction continued until 1854. The structure resembles a High Medieval Italian monastery. The Kaiser Friedrich Mausoleum was added to the north side between 1888 and 1890. The plans were drawn up by Julius Carl Raschdorff, who also designed the Berlin Cathedral from 1893 to 1905, in the style of the Baroque-influenced Italian High Renaissance. The 17th century Chapel of the Holy Tomb in Innichen, South Tyrol, Italy, serves as an archetype for the Mausoleum, which in turn was based on the chapel on Jerusalem's Calvary Hill. The mausoleum is a domed structure with an oval outline and an attached rectangular altar room. The inside contains a surrounding gallery and the domed roof, supported by two black columns, one on top of the other, which run around the edge. A golden mosaic on the inside of the roof shows alternating angels and palm trees.References:
The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague and has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires.
In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. Later it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.
After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the era of harsh recatholicisation (part of the Counter-Reformation). Consequently, the sculptures of 'heretic king' George of Poděbrady and the chalice were removed in 1626 and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, with a giant halo made from by melting down the chalice. In 1679 the church was struck by lightning, and the subsequent fire heavily damaged the old vault, which was later replaced by a lower baroque vault.
Renovation works carried out in 1876–1895 were later reversed during extensive exterior renovation works in the years 1973–1995. Interior renovation is still in progress.
The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.
The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649. The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.