This weekend our friend Wendy came to visit us, so we had a chance to play tour guide. We ended up exploring some areas of Debrecen that I hadn’t seen before.
The Nagytemplom (Great Church) is Debrecen’s most iconic landmark. Back in October, Jesse and I climbed to the top of the clock tower, but couldn’t go inside the church because a ribbon pinning ceremony was going on.
This weekend, we finally got a peek inside. Except for the organ, the interior was dominated by crisp white curves and lines. It was simple but beautiful. Probably the exact effect that the Calvinists were hoping to achieve.
The Nagytemplom is famous because Kossuth Lajos read Hungary’s Declaration of Independence from Austria here in 1849. This was his chair. (Unfortunately, the revolution was squashed, Hungarian generals were executed, and the Hapsburgs went around smashing Hungarian castles.)
From the clock tower, we could see one of Debrecen’s other great churches, the Catholic Saint Anne’s. I took this picture in October, but never bothered to see the church up close.
The Baroque church was completed in 1746, but the towers were not added until the early 1800s. As we looked around, three elderly people kept an eye on us, and one lady was praying. Although it isn’t featured in my Lonely Planet guidebook, I think that this church is one of Debrecen’s treasures.
Showing the city to a friend helped me appreciate how much Debrecen has to offer.
Also, it’s always good to chat with a teacher stationed in a different part of Hungary. The weekend was full of laughter, too much good food, and a lesson plan exchange. Now I’m rejuvenated and ready for another week of teaching.