Permanent exhibition - Room 1

The Age of the Pre-Reformation

            The doctri­nes of John Hus, who had been burned at stake in 1415, gained popularity in the churches of Northern Hungary. A 16th century document of the movement can be seen in one of the show-cases. The first Hungarian Bible-translations came to light due to the Hussite movement. Our church has preserved some chalices and patens of Gothic style from the Pre-Reformation period. A chalice with Czech inscription deserves attention .The latter is owned by a small congregation, Csönge, Western Hungary. The portraits of the two great leaders of the Reformation Luther made by Cranach and Melanchthon made by Dürer, can be seen on enlarged photo-copies right above the show-cases. The early edition of some of their works and some original manuscripts can be seen below. Some of them are of outstanding value: e.g. Luther's Psalm-explanation from 1518 and his Testa­ment dated from 6, January, 1542.

            The quick career of the Reformation was promoted by two important factors. One of them was the patronage of influential landlords of high public rank. Not less important factor was the activity of the reformers. In the first phase of the Reformation the reformers were of German-speaking background, later they came out of the lower nobility. Several valuable documents illustrate their faith-evoking, teaching and literary activity from Transylvania, Western Hungary and Northern Hungary, e.g. the New Testament, the first book printed in the Hungarian language in Hungary. It was translated from Humanist Scholar by János Sylvester in Sárvár, Gáspár Heltai¢s Bible translation, Péter Bornemisza¢s (1535-1585) collection of sermons, works of Calvin, hymnals.  The textile art of the century was famous all over the country; rare pieces are exhibited as e.g. the embroidered Lord's Supper-table-cloth of Nemescsó (1650) and the pulpit-cover of Turkish needlework from Meszlen. The Lord's Supper Flagon made for István Pilarik is very important from the point of view of Lutheran iconography. The persecution of the Protestants in the Habsburg-controlled territories, in the western and northern segments of the country was in the "tragic decade" (1671-1681) at its peak.


Lutheran Museum,
1052 Budapest, Deák tér 4.
Tel.: +36/20 824-3864