Hungary. 5,000 Forint 2011. The Deák tér Lutheran Church of Budapest. Silver Proof
In honor of the 200th anniversary of the consecration of the Deák tér Lutheran Church of Budapest, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is issuing a silver collector coin. This coin is the fourth in the series of commemorative coins celebrating Hungarian ecclesiastical architecture (Esztergom Cathedral, Reformed Church in Debrecen, and the Budapest Synagogue in Dohány Street), and was designed by Emma Sz. Egyed. The front of the coin depicts the altar which was completed for the consecration in 1811, with the reverse showing the façade of the church.
Insula Lutherana – “a Lutheran island” is the name of the ensemble of buildings in the heart of Pest, consisting of a Lutheran elementary and secondary school, a church, and a residence for the pastors and cantors. The Lutheran Church of Pest was formed in 1787, a few years after publication of the Edict of Tolerance by Emperor Joseph II. The congregation purchased a plot of land outside the city walls, at the “Kohlmarkt”, now the Deák tér (square), and began construction of a church there in 1791. János Krausz, a native of Késmárk, was commissioned with the planning, and in 1794 a parish chapel was built, with a prayer room on the ground floor. Krausz prepared plans for the church as well, but died in 1798 before construction started. In 1799, Mihály Pollack was commissioned to continue the work. The cornerstone was laid on October 31, 1799, and the roof was completed in 1805. Pollack’s plans called for a single nave church, with a Doric-style portico and a central tower. To save costs, a small roof tower was built instead of the central tower, the colonnade of the portico was not erected and the roof was constructed as a wooden barrel vault. The organ was ordered from the master organ builder József Herodek. The richly decorated altar was designed by Mihály Pollack, with the marble work carried out by János Maurer. The altar picture – an artistic rendering of Raphael’s Transfiguration of Christ – was painted by Ferenc Lochbihler. The pulpit and red marble baptismal font were made by Lőrinc Dunaiszky. The church was consecrated on Pentecost in 1811. Following renovation after the great flood of 1838 and final completion of the church after Pollack’s death, the congregation commissioned József Hild, who built the Doric columns on the main façade with the tympanum in 1856. The church’s tower was removed in 1875 for structural reasons, and the barrel vault ceiling was replaced with a cassette ceiling. Lajos Kossuth baptised his sons Ferenc and Lajos Tivadar at this church.