The evangelical Church of Świdnica in southern Poland is truly something extraordinary. It was built after the Peace of Westfalen (hence called Church of Peace), which followed a long battle between Catholics and Evangelicals in the german speaking countries. The catholic emperor Ferdinand II. won, but he had to make some concessions to the evangelical communities. Some of the reformed communities were allowed to build own churches, but only outside the city walls and they had to be built almost entirely by wood and within one year. Three communities rose to the occasion and two of these churches from the early 18th century still exist, the one in Świdnica being the largest and most opulent one. Since 2001 the sacral building is a UNESCO world heritage sight.
Impressions from Northern Poland. Shot in May and July 2019.
Details of the Cathedral of Burgos, Spain. Shot in April 2019.
With 175.000 inhabitants Burgos is not a small town. Despite this fact it feels like a compact city, where all public life, typical for Europe, is condensed in the historic city centre. The city centre on the other hand lies in the shadow of a grandiose building, the medieval Gothic cathedral of Burgos.
I am fortunate enough to have a job which enables me to travel around Europe a lot. In respect to architecture and different architectural styles it is an immensely rich and interesting continent. There are two historic architectural styles in particular which are very distinct and closely linked to European history: The styles of Baroque and Gothic. While the baroque style is very opulent, colourful, and somewhat playful, being the style of the French Sun King in the 17th century and the glorious Catholic church of its time, Gothic on the other hand is very different. It is a somewhat dark style, with a lot of goblins and not much color. Everything reaches high as to touch God himself. The light is filtered and restricted through beautiful stained glass as the only source of energy being the Almighty. One of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture must be the grandiose Cathedral of Burgos, Spain, consecrated in 1260 and still as impressive as it must have been to the people living almost 800 years ago. A masterpiece.
Most of the visitors arriving in Spain visit the coasts and Madrid. Not as many people travel around the region of Castile. Being the historic heartland of the Spanish kingdom though the regions of Castile and Leon have a lot to offer. The town of Salamanca for example has the oldest university of Spain and is one of the oldest in the world (picture 1, 3). Burgos was one of the first capitals of the kingdom and is still a pretty impressive town with a grandiose cathedral (picture 2, 4). The city of Avila is pretty interesting because of its completely intact medieval city wall (last picture). All of these towns have beautiful churches and exquisite cuisine. Also the region is pretty compact, you do not travel more than two or three ours to the next larger city.