Poland, Swidnica and Yavor – churches of the World
In our countries, the post-Belogor period is still often perceived as a dark age. But it was precisely in this “dark” time that many of our greatest artistic treasures came into being, which were created by such masters as Karel Shkreta, Jan Blazhey Santini Aichl or father and son Dintsenhofer. Neighboring Poland is also proud of the wonderful Baroque treasures that arose, in fact, as a result of the Thirty Years War. However, part of today’s Poland at that time was part of the Czech Crown Lands.
Be sure to visit two towns not too far from the Czech border, Javor and Swidnica. You probably just remembered about Anna Svidnitskaya, the third wife of Charles IV. Yes, she really comes from here. The city of Swidnica was previously the capital of the Principality of Swidnica. In addition to one very majestic attraction, which is on the UNESCO list, there are no other big tourist hits, but it is because of this monument, the Church of the World, the tour will be literally royal.
Church of Peace in Yavor
During the Thirty Years War, Silesia belonged to the Lands of the Czech Crown and suffered greatly from the Reformation. One of the conditions of the Westphalian peace that ended this war was that Emperor Ferdinand III of Habsburg would allow the evangelicals in Silesia to worship in the churches that they would build. Unlike the Czech Republic, at that time a certain religious tolerance reigned here, but with certain restrictions.
Church of Peace in Yavor – interior detail of the Church of Peace in Yavor
It was not easy to build an evangelical church. Here there were relatively strict conditions: the church should not have been made of durable material (only wood, clay, sand and straw were allowed); the church should not have towers, bells, it could not be like Catholic churches, it had to be outside the city walls, and its construction could not last more than a year. Although it says “Hurry, you mock people”, but sometimes it’s the murderous terms that determine the best results. And so it was in this case.
Church of Peace in St. – interior idnitsa
Although the building in идwidnica does not look like a church outside, the churches of the World look more like big sheds, but inside everything is in the best Baroque order. Although moderation is associated with the Protestant faith, and excessive decoration is more likely the dominant feature of the Catholic Church (against which the Protestants fenced), here the Silesian evangelics in the interior made up for everything that is not outside. The tree here resembles marble, there are beautiful altars, a monumental organ, decorated benches. There was definitely no saving.
Church of the Peace in Swidnica – interior church of the Peace in Swidnica – interior
Initially, there were three churches of the World, but, unfortunately, one of them burned down and was not restored. The remaining two in Yavor and идwidnica, despite the fragility of the material, fortunately, have survived to the present, and are constantly serving believers. The Swidnitsky church is even called the largest half-timbered church in Europe or the largest wooden baroque church in the world. It covers an area of impressive 1090 m2, and it can accommodate up to 7500 people.