In the 13th Century, St. Andrew Church, built by Dósa family stood in the place of today’s Reformed Great Church. In the 16th century the St. Andrew Church was destroyed in a fire and rebuilt in gothic style. Unfortunately, it was also completely destroyed in the Great Fire of Debrecen of 1802, and a new church had to be built for the Reformed believers in the city. According to the plans of architect Mihály Péchy, the construction work of today’s church known as The Reformed Great Church of Debrecen began in 1805 and was completed in 1827.
The Reformed Great Church of Debrecen is the largest Reformed church in Hungary and is the most iconic building of the city and is a sight of great importance for the Hungarian Reformed Church. Built-in the neoclassical style, the church can seat nearly two thousand people.
The Reformed Great Church of Debrecen is not only an ecclesiastical but also an important historical and cultural site where Lajos Kossuth read the Declaration of Independence on April 14, 1849. In 1991, II. Pope John Paul also served in the Reformed Great Church of Debrecen before wreathing a galley sculpture in the Memorial Garden.
The first worship was held in the Reformed Great Church two hundred years ago, on November 24, 1819.
The Reformed Great Church is preparing a series of festive programs to celebrate the 200th anniversary.
November 21, 2019 (Thursday), 6 PM – More than 200 Voices
The Reformed Great Church will feature a Jubilee Organ Concert with Gergő Csorba and Dániel Sárosi organist. (Free entry)
November 22, 2019 (Friday), 10 AM – More than 200 Verbs
The Reformed Great Church organizes a flash mob where 200 young people will read 200 verses in front of the church.
November 24, 2019 (Sunday), 10 AM – More than 200 Years
The Reformed Great Church hosts a festive Thanksgiving Worship to give thanks for the past 200 years.
To celebrate the 200th anniversary, a 24-bell chime is planned to be installed on the main facade, in the middle window below the Tympanum.
If you are visiting the Reformed Great Church, you should also go up to the loft where you can see the domes of the church and the original wooden roof. A real curiosity is the Eastern Tower, which houses the exhibition “From Jerusalem to Debrecen” providing an insight into the 2000-year history of Christianity and the Hungarian Reformation.
Photo credit: Visit Debrecen