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The Evangelic Church

evanghelica-smallThe Evangelic Lutheran Church is situated in the Ionel I.C. Brătianu Square, not far from the
Fountain of the Cardinal Points. 

For the dating of the edifice some sources indicate 1831 (probably the year of the first project), but most sources indicate 1837 to 1839.

Architectural style

Classicist style. The façade’s Doric pilasters on two levels, the triangular fronton and the Ionic tower pilasters are significant. The tower’s roof, in a Neo-Baroque-style, was probably raised in 1902.

architect Anton Schmidt

Uniqueness aspects

The building of evangelical churches in Timişoara was possible only after Emperor Joseph II issued the Patent of Religious Tolerance in October 13, 1781.

The evangelical community today is composed of Germans, Hungarians, Romanians and Slovaks; the religious service is celebrated in all four languages. The Lutheran Community is currently small in Timişoara: about 400 people.

The first Protestants arrived in the Banat were Germans (especially from Baden-Württemberg), at the end of the eighteenth century and early eighteenth century. Their number was not large, for the golden era of colonization in the Banat plain had passed, the good land being already occupied by Catholic settlers from previous waves. Later in the nineteenth century Hungarian or Slovak evangelicals arrived in the Banat, and in urban centers such as Timişoara some Romanians have also become evangelical following mixed marriages.

Other information

The edifice is built on a land that until 1831 had no buildings. Only in that year was the plot parceled and sold for building. The church is flanked by buildings built after that year:

- north of the church – the building on 2 Coşbuc St. 33, with three levels, typical for the nineteenth century (not 2 levels, as were most homes in the eighteenth century). The façade corresponds to the Classicist style with some Baroque reminiscences (the decoration above the 1st floor windows).

- south of the church – 2 Ionel I.C. Brătianu St., Classicist building with Doric pillars that set out the entrance portal. In the wall on the first floor, on the façade’s half to the right, a projectile is preserved from those fired from the Fabric district on the fortress by the artillery of the besiegers in 1849. In the Classicist style building on 1 Palanca St., on the façade facing Chinezu St., on the right edge of the ground floor façade there is also a projectile embedded in masonry since 1849.

- south of the church – 1 Ionel I.C. Brătianu St., there is the building called “the House with the Iron Axis” , because of the metal element, mounted as a “house mark” on the corner of Ionel I.C. Brătianu St. and Ţepeş Vodă Square.

Legends

The folklore in Timişoara states that “the iron axis” is the axle from the war chariot with which Prince Eugen of Savoy would have entered the fortress. In reality, the axis comes from a heavy artillery piece (large caliber canon), from the beginning of the nineteenth century.

In 1716, war chariots were not used, as in antiquity. We know that Prince Eugen entered the city on horseback.

Of all Timişoara’s monuments, the evangelical church is probably the most directly related to the personality of Emperor Joseph II (although it was built long after his death). It was the typical model of the “enlightened monarch”; he regarded himself as “the first clerk of the empire”. As an upholder of strengthening the state’s power by centralization, he consistently sought to reduce the influence of the Catholic Church, supported by his mother (Maria Theresa was a fervent Catholic), which had acquired great wealth and uncontrollable power in the state. In religious matters, the young Prince’s model was Friedrich II of Prussia, who practiced an almost complete religious tolerance.

Critics today accuse the authoritarian manner in which he imposed his reforms, according to the principle of “Everything for the people. Nothing by the people.” Therefore, despite his Progressivism, he was never a popular monarch; to this the church, attacked in its rights, also contributed a lot – he closed many monasteries throughout the empire, both Catholic and Orthodox.

He made the acquaintance of Timişoara when he was still relatively young (he was only a co-regent), his mother sending him in 1768 to examine “on site” whether the German settlers’ in the Banat complaints were justified. Noting that corruption behind the administration offices in Timişoara, he drew up a severe report to his return to Vienna; soon enough, the colonization administration is replaced. After another four years, the problems do not cease, and this time the entire high administration of Banat loses the offices held!

 

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For information about the other programmes financed by the European Union in Romania, as well as for detailed information regarding the membership of Romania in the European Union, please visit the website of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania.
The accuracy and the coherence of this website is the sole responsibility of the Municipality of Timisoara and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.
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