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Siófok, Lutheran church and Clergy house

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Siófok, Lutheran church and Clergy house

The holiday resort by the lake Balaton hosts a number of tourists from Northern Europe every summer, most of them Lutherans. In part, the new church is intended to serve their needs as prior to its construction only a house of prayer existed in the city. Imre Makovecz designed his first Lutheran church to date on assignment from pastor Márton Józsa. As construction took place during the communist era, it was a journey full of struggles.
Nearly the entire duty of organization was left to the elderly pastor. Construction was aided significantly by Siófok’s twin town of Oulu, Finland, and by the Lutheran Church of Finland; they provided all timber materials and equipment needed for the projects. Details of the internal wooden structures recall sights of medieval wooden churches in Norway. Visitors first see the church building’s anthropomorphic mass with eyed wings, growing out from the ground. The massive roof structure dominates the space, with its strong arches forming an ark – a familiar Christian symbol. The parsonage adjacent to the church also houses a round-shaped congregation room with a wooden cupola. The sculpture depicting the Resurrected Christ above the altar was made by sculptor László Péterffy.
Construction began with the pastor putting together a makeshift table, binding two birch branches into a cross and pinning it up behind it, then putting flowers on the table in a jar.
From the first to the last day of construction, each day began with everyone singing psalms and saying prayers. The table and the cross are still there in the congregation room under the wings. The church at Siófok is inseparable from the person of Márton Józsa. His prayer, presence, courage and undeterred faith fuelled the drama of construction that renders real meaning to a building beyond style, material and form.



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