The congregation of the Brethren Church (originally Unity of Czech Brethren) in Liberec was established in 1945 as a result of the after-war settlement in Czechoslovakia caused by the displacement of German inhabitants living in the border regions. Under the border settlement plan, the Local Council in Prague iniciated the move of three families from Písek to Liberec. And it was this small community that the present congregation originated from. Today, it has 263 members, including the stations in Jilemnice, Nové Město pod Smrkem and Jablonec nad Nisou. The congregation station in Nové Město pod Smrkem was established in 1945 when people living in exile in Polish Zelow returned. It was a place where the Czech Protestants were moving to after the Battle of the White Mountain.
Spiritual activities are developing also in Chrastava, Frýdland, Smržovka a Semily.
Getting much larger in the 1970s and 1980s, the congregation tried to build a new house of prayer with propriate facilities. However, at the time of socialism (except a short period after 1968), it was banned to build new solitary sacral buildings, especially in urban areas. After a lot of difficulties, the Liberec congregation of the Brethren Church bought a villa in the middle of 1989 with the possibility to build a chapel and facilities which the congregation needed. The original house to which a building was annexed in 1980 became the first building on the Keilův Hill where lots of residental villas were put up in the following years. Constructed in the late Neo-Renaissance style on a piece of steep land, it has three floors and a terrace constructed at the same height as the attic and tower.
The architectural design was drawn up by the architect engineer Pavel Vaněček. It was the solid character of the original building with its outstanding tower that inspired the design of the chapel and its facilities. The tower with its
4 x 4 m groundplan became a composition principle of the whole building complex. It is a sort of “talk“ of three towers. The low little tower leads to the hall, the Lord’s table, pulpit and crucifix are situated in the middle tower while using the symbol of light, and the third tower is designed as a multipurpose meditation place. The space and interior conception of the chapel results from mass of the building object. It is maily conceived as diagonal, the central space with the Lord’s table, pulpit and crucifix being situated under the tower from which it is directly lighted. Its stair-step design also makes it a place to be used by the choir or music groups.
The entrance to the hall with its side dressing room, sanitary and the main door to the chapel is through the low tower. Space of the chapel can be enlarged due to a next-door small hall separated by a movable wall. The levelling staircase gets you to the level of the presbytery and small hall. The non-barrier entrance to the presbytery and other “upper“ rooms is also through the outside ramp around the building. Next to the presbytery designed as variable space (a room for mothers and children, with a big parallel window to the chapel), there is a kitchen where food and drinks can be served, a children’s clubroom for Sunday school, an archive and a library. The new congregation premises are connected with the original building by a corridor between both stair feet.
The electric organ with “church“ sound is supposed to be replaced by a costly classical one in future. When the choir sings, physical acoustics are used, but with spoken word electro-acoustics are preferred to make voice intelligibile and clear, and to let the elderly and hard of hearing use the remote control system of earphones.
The Lord’s table created by the sculptor Jiří Seifert is made of solid oak with natural mat surface. The pulpit is carved out of solid oak, too, and has a processed, smooth surface. And the same sort of wood was used to make a crucifix with a structural surface. The built-in pews with their sides from Italian terazzo have upholstered seats and backs. On the electric organ placed on the diagonal opposite the Lord’s table, there is a tapestry with the old Christian motif of two fish and five pieces of bread, created by the artist Zdena Šafka.
The orientation design was made by the artist Jaroslava Antošová, and the architect Pavel Vaněček. In the small entry tower, on the heads of its columns, there are signs with Christian symbols written on the corners from two sides. The Reformation symbol – the chalice, symbol of the Brethren Church, cryptogram, A, Ω and the Testament tables. Over the entrance to the hall, there are sacramental symbols of baptism and Lord’s Supper.