Lutheran church, Somlószőlős

The Lutheran faith spread in the village in the 1530-ies. During the times of the Turkish thraldom there were a lot of people with different faith from Catholic in settlements belonging to the fortress of Nagyvázsony (under the captaincy of Zichy), and even imperial orders were not able to change this situation. These areas had for a longer period a border fortress status, then later double taxing status.

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King Leopold II gave the soldiers of the fortress of Nagyvázsony (and all people belonging here) freedom of religion, more precisely, he tolerated different confessions, even Queen Maria Theresia was not able to radically change this condition, then later King Joseph II issued the Patent of Tolerance, which even granted license for them.

Thus, the principle of cuius regio, eius religio (whose realm, his religion), could not be validated in Somlószőllős. The catholic clergy house was reorganised by the Zichy family in 1724, and the ancient church was taken back from the Lutherans.

Following the order of the king, the Zichy family gave a flat, swampy ground to the Lutherans for free. They thanked for this gift and with painstaking work depleted the area. First they built a sanctuary made of fence. According to local tradition, when inspection from the episcope arrived to check whether people of non-Catholic belief lived in the village, they simply disassembled the church and hid it in the forests. This building burned down in 1779. After 1781 the Patent of Tolerance by King Joseph II allowed to build the only Lutheran church of the region, in baroque style, painted white.

The nef and the oratory are in the courtyard of the parish, whereas the tower added is standing on the street. When entering through the bottom of the tower an inner space surrounded by a gallery from three sides shows up. In the middle there is the late Baroque altar and pulpit, the organ built in 1966 is on the side of the tower. Two bells in the tower call the believers. Next to the church there is the congregation house, which is also home of the pastor of the Evangelical parish of Somlószőllős.

In front of this house there is a bronze bust of the son of the pastor who built the church, Döbrentei Gábor, who was a writer, a neologist and first secretary of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. On the other side of the church you will find the old elementary school of the village. This building used to be the Evangelical school. There was a period in the life of the village, when two pastors and two teachers served the community.

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The Lutheran faith spread in the village in the 1530-ies. During the times of the Turkish thraldom there were a lot of people with different faith from Catholic […]