Insula Lutherana


            “Lutheran Island”, this was the name of the building in the heart of Pest, which was the site first of the Lutheran school, later of the secondary school, as well of the vicarage and the cantor’s home. The tradition goes on: since 100 years a vital music life with Lutheran background is flourishing among the walls of the church, here opened the doors 30 years ago the Lutheran Museum and a few years before the new millennium started the bookshop and the nursery. 

Insula Lutherana today


About the building

            The Lutheran Congregation in Pest would be established shortly after the issuing the Edict of Tolerance in 1787 with the help of some aristocratic patrons. The Edict authorized the construction of a church and the hiring of a pastor in any settlement with at least 100 Lutheran families.

            According to the Royal Decree the Lutherans got firstly the liberty of worship, which was allowed only in private houses. Aristocratic person had to bear the expenses of the house-letting, of the pastors and cantors.

            After land-buying (1792) the building works began with the pastor’s apartment, prayer room and primary school. The first service was held on the 20th Mai 1794. In this part of the building got place the Lutheran Museum.     

            The first architect of the church was János Krausz. After his death in 1799 the work was continued by his younger colleague, Mihály Pollack (architect of the National Museum). The building was erected on his designs. The foundation-stone was lad on the Reformation Day of the year 1799 and the Church was consecrated in 1811.

            During the great flood of 1838 many people found refuge in the Lutheran church which stood above the water level. Many of the refugees came from the neighbouring Jewish district. After the flood, the Jewish congregation presented a silver chalice to the Lutherans in gratitude for the fraternal assistance with German and Jewish engraving. The small relief upon the chalice represents the church with its former spire, which would be demolished in 1875 because of static reasons. 


The Lutheran Church

         After Pollack’s death József Hild finished the building. He gave a little bit closer facade and he connected the two buildings.


The school

            The first task of the Lutherans in Pest was to organise the education, as it was usual in the new Lutheran Congregations of Hungary. The first school year was 1798, the teaching started in 1 class for 20 pupils.

            The development of the school has run up after the building up of the Church. Prof. Univ. Lajos Schedius, the first supervisor of the Deák tér Lutherans elaborated in 1809 how to graduate the congregational school into a secondary-school.  Until 1823 a complete secondary-school would be instituted and it was the second one in the city of Pest.

            The extension of the Insula Lutherana made possiblethe enlargement of the school, too.  In 1850 already 444 students attended theschool.

            As a consequence of the hard state decrees after thewar of independence in 1848/49 the development of the school stopped for a while. The Hungarian minister of the congregation put the question again on the agenda. Besides the financial support of the congregationmembers the amount of a legacy made possible to hire new teachers in 1860.

            It went through to buy the ground-plot next to Insula Lutherana, here would be finished the building of the secondary-school in 1864, which is today to seen.


The secondary-school in 1896

            The secondary-school moved from the Insula Lutherana on the Városligeti Avenue, but it remains furthermore the institution of the congregation. The old building worked first as primary school, later as higher elementary school for girls. At the end until 1952 it was secondary-school for girls. In that year the Lutheran Church “offered” the school for secularization. Since 1992 is the building again part of the Insula Lutherana as an 8 class secondary-school.

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