The tradition of sacral buildings in the Alps is far-reaching. The oldest churches in the region date from the 7th and 8th century, but the heyday for building activities was the 18th century. A time in the history of the region when grandiose architecture with rich decoration was built to combat the rivalling religious ideology of protestantism coming from the north. While protestant churches tended to be more plain and unpretentious, Catholicism went in the other direction. Churches became palaces for God, becoming ever more impressive with marvellous wall paintings and detailed glass windows. Another important element of Baroque sacral architecture were organs larger than life, richly decorated and with an impressive sound range. Some impressions from the region.
Györ is a Hungarian city with a population of 130.000 inhabitants situated in the west of the country. Most of the architecture dates back to the Habsburg times and reflects the very popular style of Baroque in the region (18th century mostly).
The Palace of Rundāle is situated in southern Latvia. Far apart from any larger settlement it is a beautiful baroque building surrounded by nature. Rundāle was erected in 1768 and planned by the renown Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who mainly worked for the Russian Zars before and was also responsible for the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. In Soviet times the palace was used as a school, today it is refurbished and houses a museum. Part of the historic site is also a beautiful English garden on the rear of the building.