Jawor and Swidnica are small towns of Lower Silesia situated in neighborhood of Wroclaw. They are located 35 kilometers from each other. Both have exceptionally rich history reaching back to the Middle Ages and Swidnica even was the capital of independent principality in the 14th century.
In 2001 Jawor and Swidnica became world-famous. Their two Churches of Peace were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. They were built in the 17th century and their history is strongly associated with the Peace of Westphalia, the treaty ending the Thirty Years’ War. By its virtue the Lutherans were allowed to build three Evangelical churches in Silesia. There were however a lot of restrictions which they had to follow. Churches had to be built outside the city walls and without steeples. They could only use low quality materials such as wood, clay, sand and straw. Even nails were forbidden and the construction time was limited to one year. In spite of all these inconveniences, three churches were erected: in Swidnica, Jawor and Glogow (that one burned in 1758).
There is an interesting story connected with the church in Swidnica. To get funds for its building Christian Czepko (the inhabitant of Swidnica) took part in the unusual journey across Europe. In one year he covered over 3600 kilometers and he finished his mission at the Royal Court in Sweden. Unfortunately nobody knows how much money he managed to collect. The church in Swidnica can accommodate 7500 faithful. It is also famous for its monumental organ. Since 2000 Bach Festival has been organized here.
With all Baroque decorations, golden ornaments and paintings, both churches resemble theaters rather than churches inside. Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica are unique worldwide and you will not find such building anywhere else.