Hungary 2,000 Ft. 2020. Great Reformed Church in Debrecen. Antique Bronze
Hungary 2,000 Ft. 2020. Great Reformed Church in Debrecen. Antique Bronze

The seventh coin in an annual series of legal tender 2,000 forint coins struck with an antique bronze finish and featuring Hungarian national memorial sites, has been released by the Mint of Hungary and will be available in December. The 2020 version is dedicated to the Reformed Great Church and College in Debrecen, Hungary’s second largest city located in the country’s east near the Romanian border. Unlike most of Hungary, Debrecen’s citizens are mostly Reformed Protestants, not Catholics. The city’s location and history made it an important focal point for Protestants in eastern and central Europe. It embraced the Reformation and has been called the Calvinist Rome and the Hungarian Geneva. Churches have stood on the site of the Great Church since the 1300’s. One burnt down in 1564, another in 1802. Work on the current structure, the largest Protestant church in Hungary, began in 1805 and was completed in 1821. It has 3,000 seats. In one of its towers is the 5.6 ton Rákóczi Bell, made out of Austrian cannonballs and named after George I Rákóczi, the Prince of Transylvania. The church is of historical as well as religious importance. Lajos Kossuth read the Hungarian Declaration of Independence there on April 14, 1848 and the chair used by him then is one of the church’s most precious relics. Kossuth was also elected governor of the country there. It is also the home of the Debrecen Reformed Theological University, founded in 1538. It is located just behind the main building. The church has held the status of national monument since 2013. The 37 mm, 18.4 gram coin is designed by Zoltan Toth. The reverse shows an aerial view of the church with one of its two towers in the foreground. The religious symbol of a lamb holding a cross with a flag on the other side is a symbol of the Reformation and also a component of Debrecen’s coat of arms. This representation is from the dome arch-stone of St Andrew church.

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