The first five Lutheran families arrived in Trieste in 1717 to be able to carry out trade in Trieste declared a free port. In 1852 Trieste had 2353 Evangelicals, Lutherans and Reformed. The first public act of the community was the opening of the Evangelical cemetery in 1754. The Lutheran cult was authorized by Maria Theresa of Austria only in 1778, therefore three years before the edict of tolerance of Emperor Joseph II. Thanks to the reforms of this enlightened ruler, the Lutheran community was granted land for the construction of a church where they could profess their worship. The area was called Piazza dei Carradori, because since the 18th century it was used as a station for carters; later it was called the square of the Evangelical Church and, finally, largo Odorico Panfili.
The building was built between 1871 and 1874 under the direction of Giovanni Berlam and Giovanni Scalmanini, but the original project is attributable to the architect Karl J.C. Zimmermann of Hamburg. The design and construction were inspired by the “Nicolai kirche” church in Hamburg, built in 1844 by the Englishman GGScott. The solemn inauguration took place on 1 November 1874. The church, in neo-Gothic style, was built in Istrian stone, with a slate roof, it has a bell tower 50 meters high and stained glass windows.
Inside there are two neoclassical funeral monuments that contrast with the Gothic lines of the exterior, sculpted around 1823 by Antonio Bosa and coming from the Church of the Rosary, the former seat of the evangelical community. One is dedicated to the stock trader Giorgio Enrico Trapp, the other to the Danish consul G. Dumreicher d’Osterreicher.
The bronze bells of the bell tower, obtained from the fusion of French cannons, were donated by the German emperor William I. The altar, the pulpit and the mechanical organ also came from Germany. The choir window, made in Munich and depicting the “Transfiguration of Christ” (inspired by the famous painting by Raphael), a gift from the Rittmeyer family, is wonderful.