About the partner
The village of Vizsoly is located in the north-east of Hungary in the county of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén. The village was probably established at the end of the 12th century near the river Hornád on the important medieval trade route which ran from the Balkans to the Baltic Sea.
In the Middle Ages the region was an autonomous and the location of several judicial institutions. The most important events in the history of the village include the granting of city privileges in 1454 and market law in 1477. As the Reformation spread throughout the Kingdom of Hungary in the later 16th century, the church community in Vizsoly became a reformed Calvinist congregation. The effects of the Ottoman invasion had a negative impact on the development of the village of Vizsoly, but the village briefly became a centre of Protestant printing during the years 1590-1599. Nowadays, Vizsoly is a predominantly agricultural village.
The village emerged as an important cultural and religious centre in Hungary in the second half of the 20th century as the Vizsoly Bible became more widely known. In the year 2015, the Vizsoly Bible was included on the honorary list of the most important cultural historical heritage of Hungary – the Hungaricums.
In recent years, the Congregation has established an educational and religious centre in the village called “Reformatus Betlehem”. The heart of the centre is the original Romanesque church in which an original Vizsoly Bible is displayed, which also features rare Gothic frescoes and a decorated baroque pulpit. Other parts of the complex include the “Mantskovit Bálint Könyvesház” printing house and bookstore which includes a visitors’ reception area and a café. This part of the complex also houses the “Vizsolyi Biblia és a Mantskovit Nyomtatástörténeti Múzeum”, an interactive museum of the history of the printing press which focused not only on the Vizsoly printing house but also on the history of printing in the Kingdom of Hungary. The “Vincellér-ház” Museum of Wine explores the everyday working lives of the local community in the period in which the local printing house was active. The “Reformatus Betlehem” visitor centre welcomes thousands of visitors annually and many schools include visits to the centre into their educational curriculum.
In the year 2019, the Congregation signed a Partnership Agreement with the State Scientific Library in Košice to develop a cross-border project as part of the European Small Project Fund of the Interreg V-A Slovakia – Hungary Cooperation Programme. The main goals of the project are to support the cross-border exchange of experience in the preservation and promotion of a unique work of written cultural heritage, the Vizsoly Bible from the 16th century, and ensure the conservation and increase interest in the cultural-historical heritage among citizens in the village of Vizsoly and in the city of Košice by raising awareness of the religious, economic and social roots and the multi-ethnic and multicultural cooperation involved in the creation, translation and printing of the Vizsoly Bible.