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Klaipėda Reformed Evangelical Church

Koordinatės: 55.708127, 21.137001
Objekto adresas: Tiltų Street 19, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Savivaldybė: Klaipeda

The Reformed Evangelical Church is one of the branches of Protestant denomination – the followers of John Calvin, acknowledging only two out of seven Roman Catholic sacraments – baptism and communion. Reformed Evangelicals established their community in the early 16th c. Switzerland and later spread across the USA, Holland, Scotland, Hungary and Germany. The first communities of Reformed Evangelicals in Lithuania Minor were established in the mid. 16th c., while Reformed Evangelical faith started to spread in the 17h c. together with immigrant merchants and craftsmen from Scotland, Holland and France. The Reformed Evangelicals were acknowledged as a Christian community that is equal to all others only in 1645 during the reign of the Duke Friedrich Wilhelm. At first the community consisted of only several families. Officially, the first Reformed Evangelical mass was hosted in 1667. The community had acquired a building for that purpose in 1669, but it burned down during a fire in 1678. For some time after the fire the mass was hosted at the castle church until the community bought a plot of land in front of the Prussian Lithuanian Church of St Jacob. The Reformed Evangelical church on the modern-day Tiltų Street was built in 1683 and it was the first church in Prussia, designed especially for this denomination. It was a small building with a turret. The first minister invited to work in Klaipėda by the Reformed Evangelical community was Johann Vendelin de Rodem from Königsberg. In 1668-1670 he was succeeded by Petr Figulus Jablonský from Bohemia (Czechia). This minister worked in Klaipėda and also served Reformed parishes in Liepaja and Tilsit. His son Ernst Daniel Jablonský studied at the universities of Frankfurt an der Oder and Oxford, became a preacher at the Prussian Royal Palace, as well as the founder and President of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Other of the ministers that worked at Klaipėda Reformed Evangelical Church included Adam Samuel Hartmann, PhD at Oxford University, and Conrad Mel, member of the Academy of Sciences and the first Reformed Evangelical professor at the University of Königsberg. In 1725 the minister and later bishop Diederich Balleer initiated the establishment of a community cemetery and school near the church, in Grįžgatvis Street neighbourhood. The irregular rectangle of the cemetery was defined with hedges. In 1851 the cemetery was eliminated and the plot was used for a school, which was later transferred to the Jewish community.
During the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) the church was damaged by Russian artillery projectiles, so for a while the mass was hosted at the Church of St John, as well as the hall of the girls' school. In the mid. 18th c. the parish consisted of 500-600 members. The most famous preacher of the time was Christoph Ludwig Cochius. A new church was built of small Dutch bricks instead of the old church1779-1782. It had a curb roof and was characteristic to the Baroque style of Klaipėda. In 1835 the church was decorated with an organ, produced by Scherweit Company in Königsberg.
In 1854 the church burned down during the Great Fire. The King Friedrich Wilhelm IV ordered a church reconstruction project from the architect F. A. Stüler. Klaipėda Reformed Evangelical Church was rebuilt using the remaining parts of the old masonry in 1859-1861. The author gave the building features of Italian Romantic style, which made it slightly similar to the churches in Verona and Modena. The façade of the neo-Romanic church featured an arrangement of plastered and natural brick planes, a blind arcade and a rose window. The magnificent square belfry (campanile) stood nearby the church. It consisted of three parts: a massive base, the middle part, divided by vertical lesenes and an octagonal pyramid roof. The belfries of St John's and Reformed Evangelical churches acted as navigational landmarks and their drawings sometimes featured in navigation charts. The belfry had 3 bells – the school bell, the fire alarm bell and the bell for the mass. The fire alarm bells of St John's and Reformed Evangelical churches sounded the same. There also was a clock. The interior of the church was simple and modest. The God's Table (the altar) was in the apsis, decorated with stained-glass windows, featuring Christ Blessing. Up until 1935 the church used to be lighted using gas and later electric lanterns. The church was damaged during the World War II and demolished during the Soviet era. The community of Reformed Evangelicals was not allowed to be restored until the restoration of independence.
As of 2001 the community of Reformed Evangelicals of Klaipėda gathers at the ecumenical Gospel Chapel of Klaipėda University (H. Manto Street 84). The community is led by the pastor Tomas Sakas.
Today (2017) the location at the address of Tiltų Street 19 features an ordinary residential building with commercial premises on the ground floor.

Submitted: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I.Simonaitytės biblioteka | http://www.klavb.lt/lt/

The object available in the following routes
 
  • Description:

    Memel. Friedrich Wilhelm-Strasse [Grafika] : [atvirukas]. - [s.l.] : [s.n.], [19??]. - 1 atvirukas

    Source: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka, AdM archyvas

    Publisher: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Contributor: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Type / format: Atvirukas / jpg

    Memel. Friedrich Wilhelm-Strasse (dešinėje Reformatų bažnyčios bokštas)
  • Description:

    Memel, Friedrich-Wilhelmstr. [Grafika] : [atvirukas]. - Memel : Gebr. Gronau, [19??]. - 1 atvirukas

    Source: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka, AdM archyvas

    Publisher: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Contributor: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Type / format: Atvirukas / jpg

    Memel, Friedrich-Wilhelmstr.
  • Description:

    Memel : Friedrich Wilhelmstrasse [Grafika] : [atvirukas]. - Memel : Verlag Johannes Schenke, [19??]. - 1 atvirukas

    Source: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka, AdM archyvas

    Publisher: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Contributor: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Type / format: Atvirukas / jpg

    Memel : Friedrich Wilhelmstrasse (dešinėje Reformatų bažnyčia)
  • Description:

    Pastatas buvusios bažnyčios vietoje (Tiltų g. 19) : [skaitmeninė nuotrauka] / Ingrida Valotkienė. - Klaipėda, 2017. - 1 vaizdas

    Source: Ingridos Valotkienės asmeninis archyvas

    Publisher: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Contributor: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Type / format: Skaitmeninė nuotrauka / jpg

    Rights: CC BY-NC-ND

    Pastatas buvusios bažnyčios vietoje (Tiltų g. 19)