Jan Zieba’s Panoramic Photography: Churches of Peace

Jan Zieba’s extraordinary panoramic photography lets you explore interiors of the Churches of Peace in Poland. Granted, they were built in 1655, well before the Victorian Era, but we couldn’t resist sharing this experience.

A Few Victorian Era Connections

During the Victorian Era, the organ at the Church in Jawor was replaced by Adolf Alexander Lummert.  This occurred between 1855–1856.

As a footnote: Panoramic photography has been around since the 1840s. According to the University Libraries, Kodak introduced the #4 Kodak panoramic camera for amateur photographers in 1899.  The photos it produced were twelve inches long with a 180° field of view.  It used film that ranged from 5″ to 16″ wide and could be as long as 20 feet.  The camera and the film rotated up to  360°.

The Latest Technology In Panoramic Photography

Using  technology of Jan Zieba’s panoramic photography, you can move in all directions and zoom in to inspect minute details on the ceiling or floor. The enormity of scale must be experienced. You’re in control. You can stand anywhere in the church or even take a humming bird’s tour of the ceilings and paintings. 

The Peace Of Westphalia

The three Churches of Peace were born from the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. The treaty marked the end of thirty years of war that radically shifted the balance of power in Europe. The series of wars began in 1618 when the king of Bohemia (who later became Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II) attempted to impose Catholicism throughout his land. Protestants rebelled and eventually, most of Europe was at war.

With so many countries at war and so many individual battles being fought, the negotiations of the final peace are complex.

In summary, the end results were profound:

  • France became the leading Western power
  • the Netherlands won independence from Spain
  • Sweden gained control of the Baltic
  • German states were once again able to determine their religion

The Churches Of Westphalia

The three Churches of Peace were born from the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. The treaty included provisions for Lutherans in the Catholic areas of Silesia to build three churches outside of the city walls. The restrictions were fierce:

  • All three churches had to be completed in one year.
  • Materials were limited to wood, loam and straw.
  • They could not have steeples or church bells.

With these restrictions in mind, the exquisite interiors you experience thanks to Jan Zieba’s panoramic photography are even more amazing.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The three churches became the largest timber-framed religious structures in Europe. The church at Glogow burned in 1758. The remaining churches at Jawor and Swidnica were restored by a Polish-German Cooperation and declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2001.

The Price of Peace

The negotiations that brought us these magnificent Churches of Peace began in December of 1644. According to Encyclopedia.com, nearly 200 states were represented by thousands of diplomats and support staff. While the people in surrounding areas were starving (to the point that there were reports of cannibalism), these peace negotiators enjoyed the best of accommodations for the better part of four years.

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