It’s safe to say that I officially have cabin fever. With the weather being so nice, I can’t help but want to explore everywhere! And so, last weekend, we ventured to the town of Świdnica, Poland – about a 45 minute drive from Wroclaw, Poland.
We were expecting this to be a ‘day trip’ but in all honesty, Świdnica is very, very small. We were actually in the car longer than we were in the town. But, it was a nice trip that was on my “to see in Poland” list and I am glad we came for a visit.
I want to start this post with the main reason we came to Świdnica: The Church of Peace, a UNESCO world heritage site. This church is one of two religious, timber-framed buildings of this scale in Europe (the other in Jawor, Poland). For no given reason, I kept calling it the Hansel and Gretel house 🙂
The most interesting thing about the church were the guidelines originally provided by the town prior to construction. This was to be a Lutheran church – not the dominate religion in Poland. The Habsburg Empire required the following in order for construction to begin:
1. Must be constructed of wood, clay or straw;
2. Construction must be complete within the year;
3. No bells/bell towers;
4. To be located outside of the main town walls.
And so an architect from Wroclaw finished the job 10 months later in 1657 – as still it stands today. Given the first and second parameters listed above, I bet the Habsburg’s were shocked at its completion…
I mean the graves were all cracked open….look below.
Most of the graves were German in this very unkept graveyard.
The real story isn’t the graveyard though – it’s the interior of this church. Ah-mazing.
Just look at this organ – the figurines at the top would spin when played.
The church can hold up to 3,500 people seated and also contains over 200 paintings inside on the walls and ceilings.
(look below at the number of instruments the angels are playing)
To wrap up our tour of the Church of Peace, let me add that the website says the church is by appointment only during the off-season, however, when I called, the lady said that an appointment was not required. Make sure you call before you go! (She was able to communicate the hours of operation in English).
Ok, now here is the ‘rest’ of the town of Świdnica
The Cathedral of St. Stanislaus and St. Vaclav:
This is a beautiful gothic church from the 14th century that boasts the highest tower in Silesia (103 meters/337 feet tall). A sermon was in progress so we weren’t able to stay inside too long, however, I did manage to snap a few photos before scooting out.
The exterior of this church was beautiful – grand doors, intricate carvings and everything I have come to love about European architecture.
We even got to meet the resident watch dog! ❤
No trip would be complete without a walk through the main town/Rynek of Świdnica. It was really a cute downtown full of boutique shops and restaurants.
Overall, I would recommend taking a trip to Swidnica – with the main reason being for the UNESCO Church of Peace.