St. Imre Church

St. Imre Church

9730 Kőszeg, Jurisics tér
Jan 1. - Dec 31.

St. Imre church is the result of the 17th century fight between the different nationalities. After 1558, the citizens of Kőszeg were divided into smaller groups depending upon their religions and nationalities. This fact influenced the life of the local government and also, the local church. The German Lutherans, after having played an important role in the City’s life, felt themselves strong enough to expel the Hungarian Protestants from St. James Church, upon the request of whom, the town started to build a new church in 1615. Walent Marx, a master builder from Kirschlag started to build the new church, but finally it was completed by another master build called Wolf Zehentmayer in 1640. He was inclined to build a similar church for the Hungarians to the former one. He built the tower higher during one of the renovations. There is no other explanation that the church, built during the time of baroque and renaissance in the beginning of the 17th century, bears gothic signs. The church, originally built for the Protestants, as taken away by Tamás Pálffy and György Széchenyi in 1673 and was given to the Catholics and served as the parish church of the city until the end of the 19th century.

Above the main entrance of the church there is the statue of St. Imre with the inscription – “St. Imre, prince of Hungary, 1722. “. On the main cornice, 10 portraits of Apostles, made in 1805, can be seen. István Dorfmeister Jr painted the main baroque altarpiece representing St. Imre’s vow in 1805. The statues of the main altar are also of Hungarian saints, St. Stephen offering his country to the Holy Virgin and St. Leslie presenting his sword and shield. The two side-altars are decorated with the paintings of István Schaller from Sopron, made in 1722. The pulpit above the baroque carved pews in made in copf style. The most respected citizens were buried into the large crypt located under the sacristy and chapel between 1671 and 1831. This sacristy and chapel were probably built from the material of the former St. Katalin grave-chapel as it was the burial place of the town until the opening of the current cemetery in 1633.

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