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Discovering the English Seaside: Brighton

Before it was discovered by English royalty Brighton used to be a little fishermen’s town. It all changed in the 19th century when the railway was built and the people of Britain were getting accustomed to the concept of vacation. That’s when Brighton pier was built with a length of over 500 Meter and people began to take sunbaths at the beachfront. New hotels were built for the masses and also the royal family needed a new home. So the famous John Nash built the Crystal Palace, heavily inspired by Indian architecture. Today the town is visited by Britons but even more by foreign language students, who spent part of their vacations in the former fishermen’s town. The palace is a museum now, presumably Brighton got to crowded for the Royals.

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Discovering Wrocław

The city of Wrocław is the historical capital town of the region of Silesia. A prosperous land in the center of Europe close to Bohemia. The town changed its affiliation several times. Founded by a Czech duke in the 10th century it later became part of the first Polish state and a political center of the Kingdom. In April 1241, during the First Mongol invasion of Poland the city was abandoned by the inhabitants and burned down for strategic reasons. Later it was repopulated by German settlers and became part of the German region of Silesia. After the 2nd World War and the westward shift of the borders Wrocław again became Polish. The city always was open to different ethnicities and languages though. It is one of the most visited places in Poland and welcoming to tourists from around the world.

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The Church of Peace

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.

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