One of its typical classicist buildings, named Nagytemplom [Great Church Building] is located right in the heart of the city of Debrecen. According to a 19th-century Hungarian prose fiction writer, Móricz Zsigmond, “két tömör tornyával mint hortobágyi bika, szembenéz az idővel” [with its two solid towers, like a bull from the nearby plains called Hortobágy, it looks time straight in the eye].
The defiance conveyed by the words of the writer is completely consonant with the history of the church building, as it has burned down twice, first in 1564, then in 1802. Its bell was a present from the Transylvanian prince Rákóczi György I, who used the metal gained out of canons to cast two bells of six thousand kilograms each, one of which was given to the city of Debrecen in 1636. The bell lost its sound in 1802, when some incompetent people played water on the fire and the bell cracked.
The commission of designing the building was originally given to military engineer major Péchy Mihály but, since his plans turned out to be grander than the available resources, the task was reallocated to chamber architect Thaler József, who fancied using the old foundations. The first church service was then held in 1819.