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2000 oaks for peace

Swidnica, witness of reconciliation

[Tripper: Paola]
ITPensiero LiberoSwidnica

We are in the heart of Europe, in a land long outraged by wars, but in Świdnica in Lower Silesia, we find an exceptional witness of reconciliation and religious freedom: its Church of Peace.
We are in 1648, the Thirty Years War has just ended with the signing of peace in Westphalia, the Habsburg Catholics grant a space to Lutheran Protestants for the construction of their church, even if it is placed outside the city walls. The construction did not have to have dominant towers or bell towers, it had to last less than a year and had to use only materials destined not to last over time.

Chiesa della Pace di Swidnica

Peace church of Swidnica (Poland)

Piazza della Pace

Peace square

Thus from 2000 oaks, from clay and straw, after only ten months from the beginning of the works, the largest half-timbered building in Europe was inaugurated, which together with the church of Jawor, has come down to us to remind us, beyond 350 years later, the force of peace.
It is no coincidence that here, on 21 September 2016, on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the Christian, Judaism, Islam and Buddhist Churches met, together with the 14th Dalai Lama, to sign the Appeal for peace.
The church is located in the center of the Peace Square, in a park with centuries-old trees where there is also the Evangelical cemetery, where shepherds, notaries and eminent citizens of Świdnica rest.
The simple design of the exterior is echoed by the lush Baroque-style interiors, rich in paintings and sculptures and two magnificent organs, also used on the occasion of the music festival dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach, which has been held every summer since 2000 The larger of the two organs is made up of nearly four thousand pipes
The church smells of wood and surprises the visitor with its various orders of superimposed galleries. Some are dedicated to the families who contributed most to the construction of the church, first the Hochberg family who donated the oaks to build it. However, all social classes, from the nobility to the peasants, contributed to the construction of the building, which since its origins seems to have the gift of embracing everyone.
The altar, also completely made of wood, dates back to the eighteenth century and consists of a bas-relief depicting the Last Supper while in the center the Baptism of Christ in Jordan is depicted. Despite being of the Protestant faith, the church is rich in Christian symbols, to underline once again its ecumenical role.
In the Piazza della Pace from 1707 the construction of a tower was allowed, which was then equipped with bells and the following year the Protestant school was also built.
If you are in Wroclaw, take a trip to Swidnica to admire its church of Peace (and not only), we are sure that you will be fascinated, like us.
Have a good trip

Il Campanile distante dalla chiesa

The bell tower away from the church

Cimitero evangelico

Evangelical cemetery


The organ with nearly 4000 pipes


The eighteenth-century altar

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