Swidnica Church of Peace

Świdnica, Poland

The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica, the largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe, were built in the former Silesia in the mid-17th century, amid the religious strife that followed the Peace of Westphalia. Constrained by the physical and political conditions, the Churches of Peace bear testimony to the quest for religious freedom and are a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an idiom generally associated with the Catholic Church.

The Church of the Holy Trinity in Świdnica was built in 1656–1657 as a three-aisled basilica with a Greek cross ground plan.

The church can accommodate 7500 people. The exquisite 18th century wooden altar dominates the Baroque interior. The relief above the altar stone shows the Last Supper. Above the relief stand sculpted figures of Moses, arch-priest Aaron, Jesus, John the Baptist and the apostles Peter and Paul. The central scene between the figures shows the baptism of Christ in the river Jordan. The altar is surmounted by a book with seven seals, a lamb and a banner.

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Founded: 1656-1657
Category: Religious sites in Poland

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ewe Beaut (2 years ago)
A state of art in beautiful surroundings. 'Barok' cafe is a must visit when you're there! Their hot chocolate and baroc tea are delicious!
db ls (2 years ago)
Surprising blend of European history merging with religion in a well loved building. Welcoming locals and interesting audio guide in English.
Nikhil Shah (2 years ago)
The peace church is very beautiful from inside. The work done is marvelous. This place is a must visit if you are in the nearby areas. The ticket of 10zl to enter the church is worth it.
Harriette Smith (2 years ago)
A breathtaking 17th Century church. Built completely of wood, with no nails, it is one of three churches built under the Peace of Westphalia. The inside is a wonderful example of Baroque architecture. Still used today as a parish church, it also regularly hosts concerts. An absolute must to visit if in Silesia.
Tomasz Dembski (2 years ago)
Very interesting... the churchyard accessible even when the church itself is closed. Closing time at 6:00 pm in the summer and 3:00 pm winter-time... Old German graveyard on the grounds.
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Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

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In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.