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Evangelical National Archives

The first Hungarian Evangelical confessions were written in the middle of the 16th century in the German towns of Upper Hungary. The establishing of the separate church organization lasted decades, because it meant separation not only from the Catholics but from the other Protestant branches as well. On the initiative of Palatine György Thurzó, the 1601 Synod of Zsolna and the 1614 Synod of Szepesváralja established the Evangelical church organization, the Superintendencies. The Protestant church organization was regulated by the II Carolina Resolutio (1734), which recognized the existence of four-four dioceses for the two Protestant denominations. Four Evangelical Church Districts were established and these survived under the same name until 1952: Mining District (middle part of Upper Hungary, Danube–Tisza Interfluve, the southern part of the Transtibiscan Region, Southern Hungary), the Transdanubian, the Cis-Danubian (western Upper Hungary) and the Cistibiscan District (eastern Upper Hungary). In order to meet the demand for the collaboration of the four church districts, in 1758 a new institution was established: the general (national) superintendent. After the 1781 Edict of Tolerance of Emperor Joseph II, the organized ecclesiastical life could begin. The 1791 Synod of Pest reorganized the church from the point of view of church law. After the suppression of the 1848/1849 war of independence the absolutism placed the Evangelical church organization under state supervision and instead of the superintendents, administrators were appointed by the state to lead the church districts. In the decades of Dualism the emancipation of the Protestant Churches made gradual progress: the superintendents could participate in the sessions of the Upper House as bishops. The 1891/1892 synod created a new church constitution but it changed the borders of the districts to counterbalance the Slovaks. After Trianon the organizational work was started by Béla Kapi, Transdanubian Bishop and Sándor Raffay, Mining District Bishop. From 1923 the general superintendent’s office was opened at 24 Üllői Street, in the country centre. The 1934–1937 synod renewed the canon and as a result the centres of the districts became permanent: Mining District – Budapest, Transdanubian – Győr, Cistibiscan – Nyíregyháza and Cis-Danubian: Balassagyarmat.

The universal convention of the Evangelical Church in 1912 decided to create central archives in Pest (earlier the archival material of the supreme church body was preserved in the Archives of the Evangelical College of Pozsony). At first the archives were housed in the Evangelical School at Deák Square, later in the country centre of the Church at 24 Üllői Street. It had a double task: taking in and preserving the records of the universal convention and the collection of the historical sources of the Evangelical Church (both the original sources and copies). The institution was organized by Lajos Schedius (1768-1847) university professor, the first archivist. It was called “the Archives of the Hungarian Evangelical Universal Church”.

In 1952, when the Hungarian Evangelical Church was territorially reorganized, the archives collected the large amount of archival material of the former church districts and dioceses (deaneries). In effect, the institution became the central archives of the supreme church organization at that time. Between 1947 and 1969 Elemér Mályusz, history professor led the institution and he was followed by Jenő Sólyom between 1970 and 1974.


Further information:

Address: 1085 Budapest, Üllői út 24.

Telephone: +36 1 317 1826, +36 1 486 1291, +36 20 991 0064

Telefax: +36 1 317 1826, +36 1 486 1291