Church of Peace

Top choice in Lower Silesia

This magnificent building, the largest baroque timber church in Europe, was erected between 1656 and 1657 in just 10 months. The builders were not trying to set any records; the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 allowed the Protestants of Silesia to build three churches as long as they took less than a year, had no belfry and used only clay, sand and wood for materials. The churches at Świdnica and Jawor remain; the one at Głogów burned down in 1758.

The Świdnica church is a shingled structure laid out in the form of a cross and contains not a single nail. The interior is a beautiful, peaceful place to sit in contemplation for a few minutes; the timber structure seems to possess an intimate inclusiveness that big stone churches sometimes lack. The baroque decoration, with paintings covering the walls and coffered ceiling, has been preserved intact. Along the walls, two storeys of galleries and several small balconies were installed, allowing some 3500 seated worshippers and 4000 standees. The church was added to Unesco’s World Heritage List in 2001.

The church is 400m northeast of the Rynek; enter via the arched gateway off ul Kościelna.