The Lutheran Evangelical Church
Monastery / Church
The Lutheran Evangelical Church (Augustan cult) is hosted in a historic architectural monument of local interest, located in the centre of Craiova, on Calea Unirii st, no. 13. The building is located near the Jean Mihail Palace (currently the Art Museum) and opposite to the National Bank of Romania - Dolj Branch.
The current building dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, being built on the initiative of the archimandrite Sükei (Ciuche). According to an article published in the 29-30 issue for January-April 1927 of the Archives of Oltenia, entitled "About Protestantism in Wallachia", there were 61 Protestant families in Craiova, in 1838, the number of persons increasing to about 250 until July 1839. The majority of them was made up of different ethnicities of Protestants, especially English, Austrians, Prussians and Russians, settled in Craiova. Based on this statistic and according to a report issued by the "Church Affairs Department" and a request issued by the archimandrite, the prince of Wallachia - Alexandru Dimitrie Ghica Voivode approves in 1839 the construction of a protestant confession chapel in Craiova. The only condition imposed by the prince was that proselytes should not be accepted in this church.
A certain architect named Lindhorst, built the present edifice in the second half of the nineteenth century (around 1870-1872). But, in 1861, the Evangelical Community of Craiova is transferred to the Prussian Office for Cults, the Prussian state being obliged to ensure the proper functioning of the school and the parish. Moreover, it is also evident from the archimandrite's correspondence that another evangelical/reformed church existed in Craiova earlier than the present one, without any knowledge of its location.
In 1881, the Evangelical Confessional School was set up in the back of the church building. The pastor of the evangelical community, accompanied by three teachers, took care of the education of 131 students. This institution was active until 1945 when it was closed by the communist regime.
The building is considered to be the oldest Protestant worship place in Oltenia, belonging to the neo-Renaissance style. In front of the building, up to the entrance gate, there is a long, tree-lined courtyard crossed by two lateral alleys leading to the church.
Currently, the church hosts both the Evangelical-Lutheran community, comprising 34 parishioners as well as the reformed community. The religious services are provided by pastors of the Evangelical District Consistory in Sibiu on the first Sunday of the month and also on the occasion of religious holy days celebrations.