[Square & Compasses]

Copied below is the Hungary Section from Volume Two of "Freemasonry Universal - A new Guide to the Masonic World", published January 2000. Full details http://www.netlink.com.au/~kent/

Regards to all,

Kent Henderson, PGSwdB

kent@netlink.com.au or khenderson@internet.lodge.org.uk
Global Masonic Publications: http://www.netlink.com.au/~kent/
European Concept Lodges Home Pages: http://central.austasia.net/masonic/
Aust. & NZ Masonic Research Council: http://www.freeyellow.com/members6/anzmrc/


The Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary
(Magyarorsz=E1gi Szimb=F3likus Nagyp=E1holy)
Founded: 1989. Descent: Germany, Austria.
Address: Masonic Centre, L=F6v=F6lde t=E9r 2, H - 1071 Budapest.
Postal Address: P. O. Box 395, H - 1446 Budapest, Hungary.
Telephone & FAX: (36 1) 322 7339.
Lodges: 7. Membership: 170.


As part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the history of Freemasonry in this area parallels that of all Central Europe. The first Hungarian Lodge is claimed for Brasso, Transylvania, in 1749, although little is known of it. There were certainly military-type lodges working in Hungary by the 1770's, notably to the twin cities of Buda and Pest, and a lodge is documented in Pozsony in 1775. Hungarian lodges were united with those of Austria in 1781 under a Provincial Grand Lodge, which functioned until 1786. The Hungarian Emperor started to suppress Masonry about 1780, and in 1795 lodges were dissolved by Imperial Edict.

Hungary became a separate kingdom in 1867, enabling Freemasonry to re-establish. Seven lodges were erected under the Grand Lodge Zur Sonne of Bayreuth, Germany, and in 1870 they formed a National Grand Lodge (often called The Grand Lodge of St. John). A Grand Orient was erected separately in 1872 by several lodges chartered by the Grand Orient of France. These two bodies united in March 1886 to create The Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary, then comprising twenty-six lodges.

By the First World War, the Grand Lodge possessed thirty-two lodges in Budapest and fifty-one in wider Hungary, with over 7000 members. The Grand Lodge was widely recognized as regular throughout the Masonic world. Sadly, the Grand Lodge was dissolved by decree in 1920, and by the end of the Second World War there were only about 300 Masons left in the country. The Grand Lodge was revived in 1946, and made very rapid progress, and by 1950 membership had recovered to 1500, although the communist takeover in 1948 saw a large increase in Masonic emigration.

On 12 June 1950, the secret police occupied and confiscated the Grand Lodge building in Budapest, and the Grand Lodge was forcibly dissolved. Thereafter, a Masonic Aid Fund for Hungary was set up under the sponsorship of the Austrian and German Grand lodges, which cared for Masons in Hungary. Hungarian Masonic refugees set up lodges in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, France, and Austria.

The perestroika of the mid-1980s enabled Hungarian Masons to travel again, and more importantly; it enabled younger Hungarian to join Freemasonry overseas, thus adding considerable strength to Masonic membership in the country. Upon the legalization of Freemasonry in September 1989 following the fall of the communist regime, plans were made to resuscitate the Grand Lodge. Four lodges were chartered just over the border in Austria, and these were transferred to Budapest on 27 December 1989, and the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary reconsecrated under the sponsorship of the Grand Lodge of Austria. Fraternal recognition has followed from many Grand Lodges, and this process continues. The United Grand Lodge of England recognized the revived Grand Lodge in September 1990. The Grand Lodge celebrated 250 years of masonry in Hungary in 1999.

Notes for Visitors

Hungarian Lodges use a form of the Schroeder Ritual, and with two exceptions, work in the Hungarian language. All lodges work from September to mid June, recessing in July and August. Lodge De=ABk presently meets weekly (except immediately before and after Christmas), while other lodges meet formally twice per month. The two most recent lodges in Hungary are Lodge Liszt, consecrated on 15 May 1999 to work in German, and St. Stephen's Lodge, consecrated on 18 June 1999, to work in English, using the English Oxford Ritual. As with Austria, Hungarian lodges are named, but are not numbered.

All lodges usually open at 6.00 pm, except Lodge Egyenl=F4s=E9g and Lodge Galilei which normally commence at 5.30 pm. Dress is a dark lounge suit, and visitors are encouraged to bring and wear their own regalia. A light meal, with wine, often follows a meeting, with the repast lasting about one to one and a half hours.

List of Lodges

Listed below are the common meeting days of the Hungarian lodges. However, these should be taken as a guide only, as meeting days can vary. For example, a lodge meeting fortnightly, depending on the calendar, may convene three times in a month. Lodges in Budapest meet at the Masonic Centre, L=F6v=F6lde t=E9r 2, H - 1071 BudapeSt. Lodge =C1rp=E1d currently meets at 42 Temesvari Court, Szeged (on the Hungary - Serbia border).

Education sessions and masonic lectures comprise most meetings, with degree ceremonies in Hungarian-speaking lodges being held no more than once per month, if that frequently. St. Stephen's lodge regularly holds a degree ceremony monthly (usually at its first meeting of the month), and normally holds a Lodge of Instruction two or three times per month.

The Grand Lodge of Hungary does publish a calendar of lodge work at intervals, which sets out the meeting dates and work of each lodge. Visitors to Budapest can readily obtain a copy from the Grand Secretary.

  • Lodge De=E1k Ferenc -- Meets at Budapest, every Thursday
  • Lodge Egyenl=F4s=E9g -- Meets at Budapest, 1st and 3rd Mondays
  • Lodge Galilei -- Meets at Budapest, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays
  • Lodge Sas -- Meets at Budapest, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays
  • Lodge =C1rp=E1d a Testv=E9ris=E9ghez -- Meets at Szeged, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays
  • Lodge Liszt -- Meets at Budapest, 2nd Mondays, and 3rd or 4th Saturdays (German-speaking)
  • St. Stephen's Lodge -- Meets at Budapest, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays (English-speaking)

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