Spatial Formation in 16-19th Century Calvinist Church Architecture: The Calvinist Churches of Sepsiszék
One of the less-known and less researched regions of the Carpathian Basin is Sepsiszék, which as part of Háromszék County, was one of Greater Hungary’s southeastern frontier-guard areas. After the Reformation, the population of the region became almost exclusively the followers of one of the Protestant tendencies with Calvinism gathering the most members. Due to the location of the area, Sepsiszék and its vicinity – the former territory of the county - is home to Europe’s easternmost Protestant communities to this day. Thanks to the unique cultural, religious and social environment, the unique development of local church designs notably enriches the history of Protestant religious architecture.
The survey documentation of the area’s 32 Calvinist churches along with the schematic analysis of architectural history was carried out during the summer of 2015. The central question of the research was how did the assessed churches accommodate the spatial demands of the new liturgy, and what tendencies can be identified regarding the shaping of the space. The interior layout, galleries, additions to the buildings, the proportions in the floor plans and spatial ratios will be the topics through which these questions will be answered. After tracing the locally observable main characteristics of Protestant spatial formation, similarities with Hungarian and international examples will also be explored.