The churches of peace in Jawor and Świdnica
Jawor and Świdnica are two small towns in Lower Silesia with rich history and numerous monuments. In 2001, both towns were included in the UNESCO World Heritage. It al happened thanks to the so-called „Churches of Peace”.
The 16th and 17th century were a time of bloody wars between the catholics and the protestants.
In 1555, a new rule was established – „cuius regio eius religio”. (Whose country, their religion). From that moment on, The princes could force their subjects to follow their beliefs. Because of that fact, hundreds of people were forced to change their homes, or take their religion with them and go underground. The difficult situation became even worse because of the 30-year war, during which the area of modern Germany was plundered by the Swedish army. The invadors were often supported by the local protestants, who were unsatisfied with the reign of the emperors. That’s why after the Swedish army left, the emperor began to oppress the followers of the reformation. Some of the believers of the new religion left the country, but others decided to stay. They submitted two petitions in order to get permission for constructing temples. Another person, who intervened to the Emperor was queen Krystyna of Sweden. Some electors supported the demands of the protestants.
At last, the emperor gave permission to build three churches, which were called „the churches of peace”, because of the recent conclusion of the war activity.