Reformation Inspiration Underfoot

2017. június 09., péntek

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a permanent installation has been created at Kalvin square in Budapest. 95 new paver stones have been added to the busy pedestrian area, paying tribute both to early reformers and prominent Hungarians. 

The Hungarian government is doing its part to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation though the establishment of a new committee to plan events and celebrations throughout 2017. One of their recent projects is a long-term Reformation themed installation at Kalvin square aiming to catch the attention of average Hungarians and make them aware of Hungary’s connections to the Reformation. According to the government, the Reformation shaped, “our very national identity.”

The project itself is a simple one – 95 paving stones were removed from Kalvin square (symbolic of Luther’s 95 theses) and have been replaced with new ones that contain quotations. One quote comes from a significant early reformer and another comes from a Hungarian and is connected in some way to the Reformation. “We wanted to show the incredibly rich Hungarian achievements indebted to the Reformation, and we used as guiding lights the words and sentences of poets, writers, preachers, the thoughts of clerics and laypersons alike. The two texts (universal and Hungarian, clerical and secular) together express the global and local influence of the Reformation,” said the government.

The quotes used are quite short – none of them is longer than an SMS message or a tweet – and they aim to connect with average people on the street, hurrying by on their way to work or shopping. The creators of the project say that, “We wanted to make a difference by means of small but resolute interventions in the designated area.” The 95 paver stones are spread out in four main areas of the square, dotted about underfoot, just waiting to be discovered. Kalvin square in Budapest is an important hub, hosting the main church of the Calvinist community in Budapest with universities, libraries, and museums all around.

If you would like to learn more about the government’s installation at Kalvin square, you can visit their website here

Article by Kearstin Bailey via reform500.hu

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We encourage you to read our GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time in Hungary.