The first entry in our new guest book is written by one of the directors of the city's high schools: „Not a single youth should miss it!” This exhuberant opinion is voicing exactly how we feel at the reopening of the museum. It is not by chance that the College has been called „the school of the country”. Mattie, the Goose-boy, Nicholas Toldi and Mihály Nyilas came into being within our walls.
The oeuvres of our former students such as Albert Szenci Molnár, 16th century translator of the Psalms, or Kölcsey, author of our national anthem, or Csokonai, János Arany, Endre Ady, Móricz, Lőrinc Szabó, all distinguished authors of our Hungarian literary tradition, does not belong solely to those who are of Debrecen. The College used to be the cradle of Hungarian natural sciences; it is the preserver of the meteorite from Kaba, and the spot where bishop Melius and Mihály Fazekas botanized, where Cartesian professors doubted systematically, the legendary István Hatvani performed his experiments, and György Maróthi was in charge of teaching arithmetics.
Frescoes embellish our staircase that leads to our national memorial place and a cultural repository: the Oratory and the halls of the Bibliotheca. The College has become a national memorial place as the Oratory had not only physically received the fleeing Government in january 1849, but by the adherence of its students it embraced the ideas of the political reform of the century. This is how Debrecen could become the „city of freedom”.
Professionals maintain that one of the most beautiful exhibitions of ecclesiastical art can be found within our walls. Visitors can admire all kinds of colours and shapes of flowers ornating the presumed „little white” Reformed churches. They can also ponder over the recurring feasts and non-recurring events of our lives as they are represented in church ceremonies and their explanations.
The Museum of the Reformed College of Debrecen welcomes its former and new visitors with a renewed set of exhibitions that exploit modern technologies as well in exposing the old values.
Botond Gáborjáni Szabó PhD