The European Tolerance Center Fresach in Carinthia is a symbolic place steeped in Austria’s course of history. Fresach was one of 13 locations in Carinthia, in which a Protestant congregation could constitute after the Toleration Act of Emperor Joseph II. in October 1781. In the midst of historic buildings – House of Prayer Church, and Pastor Karner House first built in wood – in the southern Fresach will be discussed the basic principles for the peaceful coexistence of future generations.

Fresach was from the 17th to the 18th century, a center of the secret Protestantism. This was a challenge. Not everyone was in agreement. Soon after the founding of the parish, the building was violently robbed of bells, tower and porch. In 1784 it burned down completely, the reasons for this were never released.

Undaunted, In 1785 the Protestants started to rebuild a new house of prayer in stone. This valuable monument of the tolerance time is unchanged to this day, just as Pastor Karner’s House. They are surrounded by ancient stone walls and mature trees. In addition, a new Protestant parish church built in 1951, the first after the Second World War in Carinthia and entirely financed from own resources stands there.

With the Exhibition in 2011 “Remain Credible – 500 Years of Protestant adventure” continued the community Fresach a climax with the history of persecution and oppression, and completed the public space with its own museum. The monolithic building, an exhibition and events center, and the park next door with its steles is dedicated to remembering and commemorating but is also dedicated to the living presence of the churches in Carinthia.

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