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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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A Masterpiece in Gothic Architecture: The 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.

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