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Cathedral in Świdnica, Poland

 

Cathedral in Świdnica was built in the 14th century by the order of Prince Bolko II Świdnicki, after a fire previously located in the same place of the wooden church. Construction lasted more than 150 years. The three-storey church was built in late Gothic style. Over the facade is dominated by a high (103 m) tower, the tallest tower in Silesia. In the years 1644-1776, the church was under the care of the Jesuits who had rebuilt it. The Świdnicka Cathedral is the largest church in Lower Silesia.

The Cathedral is stunning with its size, and the baroque decor of the Gothic church astonishes. The network’s vault in the main nave is covered with frescoes made in 1739 by Johann Georg Etgens of Brno.

The majority of interior furnishing: the main altar, side altars, pulpit, most of the sculptures and prominent ornamental frames of paintings are Jan Riedel. Citizens of Świdnica owes him also the broque decor of the basilica and the introduction of French characteristics to the Polish baroque. It is extremely interesting that the only material that Riedel used was wood.

In one of the side chapels of the cathedral there is a Gothic painting of Our Lady of Świdnica, also called “Maria in sole”, that is, Mary in the sun ;the second title comes from the radiant glow that surrounds the figure of Our Lady.

The painting was painted on a wooden board between 1460 and 1470. The image-related cult must have been in the mid-sixteenth century very lively, since the Protestants, who in 1561-1629 had a parish church, dared not remove the image from the temple. Also worth noting is Pieta – is the largest sculpture of this type common in Silesia. At its base is the Latin inscription “” Origo huius 1499 imaginis est “(This work was created in 1499)

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