The elegant Lutheran cathedral in Salzburg is a testimony of endurance after a turbulent time. It was built in 1867, by the local protestant community after the shock of the religious cleansing a century before. In 1731, the followers of Martin Luther’s Reform movement were forced to leave the city and their possessions by the local catholic bishop. Their books were burnt and many of them were robbed and died on their way. This protestant community then spread all around Europe, from Germany and Netherlands to Hungary and Romania (Banat region).
The rebirth of the Evangelical community in Salzburg and the reconciliation with the catholic majority was marked by the construction of the Evangelical Church of Jesus Christ. It is a Gothic church of red brick and stone, with an austere interior, that resonates with the protestant doctrine, that preaches the return to the word of the Gospel.
The stained glass windows are the only spots of color in the white interior, dominated by the cross placed in the altar.
The term Gothic was first contemptuously used, noting the “barbaric” influences of the masses in art. Its distinctive mark is the vault, the pointed arch used for structural purpose as well as for decorative purpose. The Gothic churches soon gained in height, underlying the aspiration towards the Heaven. With their pointed spires, the Gothic cathedrals were usually the tallest buildings in a city, before the advent of modern skyscrapers.
Leaving the turmoil of history aside, the Evangelical Church of Salzbourg now rests peacefully on the banks of river Salzach, in the quiet city of Mozart.