Holy Spirit Catholic Church - Paks

The story of the church goes back the time before the end of the communist regime. There was a need to a church where the children can learn divinity and moral phylosophy but the realization was not without problems.

  • architect: Imre MAKOVECZ
  • year of design/construction: 1988/1988-1990
  • photography:  © Iván BENDA, © László GELETA, © János GERLE

József Cserháti bishop asked Imre Makovecz to build a church, who - being the chief architect there at the time - seemed to be an assurance for him that he will get a building permit. On the first plans the building was placed on a circle shaped terrritory at the southwestern part of Paks, but the head of the nuclear power station (the most influential man/company in the town) forbid to build a church there. The next assigned territory wasa triangle plot next to the houseing estate, but they wanted a playground instead. It became obvious that the building operations of the church should be kept in secret. The new plot was pointed in the city in a dwelling-house area.

Not only the chosing of the plot was difficult, but also the permition of the submitted plans had obstacles. After many difficulties similar to this the church was built in 1990.

„This building is a spatial phrase of an ancient symbol. This sign ( S) is the basic symbol of Hungarian folk art, but also can be found in many areas of Eurasia, places once inhabited by Celts and Scythians. The structure’s floor plan consists of two, symmetrically placed S symbols, lying along theeast-west axis. The two symbols, while related to one another, are representing the dynamic balance of opposites as found in light/dark, male/female, Sun/Moon, in other words, the yin and yang. This is why the tower displays the Moon and the Sun, and also why the angel of lightness and the angel of darkness stand on either side. The Christian idea of the Androgynous Being, Jesus Christ, must be born out of these pairs of opposites. His statue therefore stands in the centre, above the altar.”  (from: János Gerle: Makovecz Imre, Serdián Bp. , 2002 160. o.)

The church with its lirical facade divided the people. Some of them were not susceptive for the innovation, but is became one of the symbol of Paks. The goal of an architect is to link the world, to connect the up and the down and the deep betweeen. As Imre Makovecz said: „ one has to be able to link the earth with the sky”

translation: Noémi SZIKSZAI


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