Louny (Laun)

Louny (Laun)

The town of Louny is situated in the peaceful countryside of northwest Bohemia at an altitude of only 185 metres above sea level. The Bohemian Central Highlands is within sight and the Ohře River, which flows through the town, will soon finish its long journey in the waters of the Elbe near Litoměřice.

The rich history of the town which was and remains under all circumstances always Czech, is closely linked with the fate of the Czech Land. In 1253 Louny became an important royal town on the way to Saxony; at the time of the Hussite Wars, Louny along with Žatec and Slaný were a firm support of the Hussites. The town also has a significant Waldensian period history. Late-Gothic Church of Saint Nicholas from the years 1519–1530, admirable work of Benedikt Rejt, was originally Hussite. Also, during the Estates revolt in 1618, the Louny people joined the Protestant Estates. After the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620 the town had to capitulate to Albrecht of Wallenstein, and endure the poverty and burden of the Thirty Years’ War, so even after the Proclamation of the Toleration Patent of in 1781, the town remained Catholic.

In the meantime, until that time secret Protestants from the interior started to wake up quickly and they declared their support for the Reformed or the Lutheran Church (at that time they did not have any other choice). Krabčice in the Elbe region excelled among the newly established congregations. Thanks to the untiring work of a minister Václav Šubrt in so-called northern diaspora a preaching station in Louny was established in 1870. One of the first mission workers there in those years was Jan Karafiát.

In 1922 the preaching station became a congregation which was still in charge of the scattered groups of the Protestants from Děčín to Kadaň. It was an extremely dedicated and hard work; after the establishing of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) these remote places gradually were transformed into separate congregations.

From the beginning Louny Protestants were trying to get dignified worship place. They met in different ways, occasionally also in unused Romanesque Church of Saint Peter. They however did not give up a hope for their own new church. Finally, their dream came true: in 1932 a modern church in the functionalist style designed by Louny native, Prague architect Pavel Bareš, was inaugurated. The building was later gradually supplemented by the rectory building, other congregation rooms and finally a tower was added. The tower however does not have bells until now. In the front a spacious worship place is enriched with an organ which was saved in the 50s from an abolished church of the German Evangelical Church in Teplice. Louny church which is a protected site, survived along with its faithful members all the blows brought about by a war and later by the communist regime.

Today, not only the members of a small but live congregation but also the town representatives respect their church.