The most important events of the history of Debrecen and the Hungarian Reformation originally took place in the old Great Church (also known as the Gothic St. Andrew church) that was built in 1297-1311. Márton Sánta Kálmáncsehi and Péter Juhász Melius, the city’s reformators served as pastors in the old church building. The synod that adopted the Second Helvetian Confession also convened there on 24 February 1567. The city – that had gone through significant economic changes – was considered the Reformed centre of the whole Transtibiscan territory that time.
Destroyed by a fire in 1563, the church remained in ruins for decades; the city managed to reconstruct the whole building only with the support of Gábor Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania, in 1626–1628. The old church building burned down again in 1802. The present Great Church was built on the same site between 1805 and 1824 in neoclassical style according to the plans of Mihály Péchy. The imposing size of the church can be described by exact numbers: the nave between the two towers is 15 meters wide and 55 meters long, while the side-aisle is 14 meters wide and 38 meters long. The hall seats approximately 3000 people. This makes it Hungary’s biggest Reformed church, the most emblematic building of not only Debrecen but the whole Hungarian Reformed community. In 2013, it became an official Site of the Hungarian National Memory, due to the fact that Governor Lajos Kossuth announced the Declaration of Independence that proclaimed the dethronement of the Habsburgs within its walls on 14 April 1849.
Today the memory of the early modern period is evoked by the spectacular glass pyramid standing on the site of the former Red Tower, under which the entrance leads to an underground architectural exhibition. The tower that used to stand there was originally built for the purpose of holding the 500 kg “Rákóczi Bell”. We definitely recommend our guests to visit the church and its various exhibitions located in the nave and the two towers.
1 Nov – 30 March Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
1 Apr – 30 Jun Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1 Jul – 31 Aug Mon - Fri 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sun 12 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1 Sept – 30 Oct Mon – Fri: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.