Budapest, the onetime Lutheran Church of the Slovak Lutheran Congregation on the Rákóczi street

János Krähling, 2004

Contributions to the Architectural Heritage of Slovak Lutherans in Historic Hungary – the Tradition of Baroque Centrality

Slovaks and Hungarians have lived together for over a thousand years in Central Europe. Because of the shared course of their history, the two nations were assimilated to each other in several interrelations, as be recognized in aspects of the language, the lifestyle and even of the architectural heritage. At the same time this study points to the phenomenon that the smaller, scattered Slovak communities isolated from the contiguous Slovak-language area in Hungarian territory preserved their separateness not only in language and culture but also in architecture, which additionally manifests their ties to the nation living to the north. Among the Lutheran churches of Hungary, there is a special category of heritage: buildings of central disposition on a floor plan resembling a Greek cross or a modification of the shape. Demographic research has revealed that all of them were built in vicinities with a Slovak-speaking community – or at least a Slovak minority – in the historical background. This issue is of scholarly interest and worth discussing not only for its ethnic aspects, but more significantly because works dealing with the Protestant church architecture of historic Hungary that do take Slovak territory into consideration rarely mention and analyse the centrally planned Lutheran examples, yet on the other hand, the great synopses of European Protestant church architecture hardly ever discuss Hungary, Slovakia and the Central European region. Another aspect of the subject’s relevance is the continuity of the spatial typology, which can be recognized from the Baroque period up to the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century. The present study is the completion of a comprehensive research project which highlights different aspects of the presence of the building-type in this Central European area….

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