Swedish royals make historic visit in Poland

King Carl XVI Gustaf on Friday became the first Swedish monarch to visit the Lutheran Church of Peace in Swidnica, southern Poland, a UNESCO world heritage site his ancestors built in the mid-17th century.

Swedish royals make historic visit in Poland

“Never before has a Swedish monarch visited this church which perhaps would

have never been created without the Swedish monarchy,” parish pastor Waldemar Pytel told AFP.

“The visit to Swidnica was included in the royal visit to Poland at the personal

request of the royal couple who wanted at last to see the church built in large part with funds from the Swedish monarchy more than three centuries ago,” Pytel added of the royal visit during which Queen Silvia accompanied the king.

The construction of the Lutheran evangelical church in Swidnica along with two other protestant church was permitted in Roman Catholic areas after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years’ War in what was then the Holy Roman Empire.

The church itself was intended to symbolise the end of the war and religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants.

The house of worship in Swidnica, which has the capacity to hold 7,500 people, is also regarded as the world’s largest wooden church, Pytel said.

The Swedish royals ended their three-day visit to Poland Friday.

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