Places associated with Luther

Martin Luther and the Reformation changed Germany – and their impact can still be felt today in the locations where the events of the time played out. Come with us on a journey of discovery.

At the start of the year in 1524, more than 2,000 people flocked to Allstedt to hear Thomas Müntzer preach in the Church of St. John. Today people from all over the world come here to trace the history of this revolutionary church reformer.

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Altenburg is perhaps best known for its quaint old quarter and as the home of German playing cards, but through Georg Spalatin, one of Luther's main comrades and supporters, it also had an important role in the history of the Reformation.

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Augsburg's history dates back over 2,000 years, making it one of Germany's oldest cities. It was the venue for Imperial Diets, witnessing the Religious Peace of Augsburg, the High Peace Festival and the Augsburg Confession – all of which assured it a place in world history.

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Today Bad Frankenhausen is a peaceful, picturesque spa town with therapeutic saline springs. On 15 May 1525 however, it was the site of the decisive battle in the Peasants' Revolt.

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Bad Hersfeld in north-east Hessen is known for the festival that takes place amid the world's biggest Romanesque church ruins. Martin Luther was attracted to this romantic town and preached here during his travels through Hessen.

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Today Bad Neustadt is a spa resort whose attractions include its saline springs, a beautifully preserved old quarter and baroque art at its most exuberant. When Luther's mother was born here in the 15th century, the town was the economic centre of the Franconian hill country.

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Bretten nestles among the vineyards of the Kraichgau and is surrounded by the hills of the Odenwald and the Black Forest. This enchanting setting is no doubt one of the reasons why Philipp Melanchthon always remained firmly attached to his birthplace.

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'Exceedingly charming' is how Martin Luther described the Bavarian town of Coburg, and today's visitors can see exactly what he meant. An old quarter full of lanes, towers and churches, and not one but four castles, make this a unique combination of art, history and culture.

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Although the Lutheran Church of Our Lady is today an internationally recognised symbol of Protestant architecture as well as a famous Dresden landmark, the Reformation initially attracted very few supporters in the city.

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Eilenburg, just outside Leipzig in Saxony, was once the residence of the Wettin dynasty. Its heyday was in the Middle Ages, when its brewing industry flourished. Martin Luther visited this prosperous small country town several times between 1522 and 1545.

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Martin Luther, Johann Sebastian Bach and Saint Elisabeth of Thuringia are some of the great names associated with Eisenach, the home of Wartburg Castle, on the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest.

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Martin Luther once declared Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia , to be "in the ideal location, the perfect place for a city". He knew Erfurt well, having spent six years there as a monk.

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Gotha in present-day Thuringia is the former seat of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha. Martin Luther liked to stop here on his travels to and from Worms , Marburg and Schmalkalden .

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Grimma, an idyllic little town south-east of Leipzig on the river Mulde in Saxony , had a special significance for Luther: Katharina von Bora, who later became his wife, lived in a convent here for 14 years.

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Between 1545 and 1546 Martin Luther preached on several occasions in Halle, a former ducal town with a rich and colourful history. Luther's main adversary, Cardinal Albrecht, also lived in the city in today's Saxony-Anhalt region.

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Even back in Luther's day, student life shaped Heidelberg, Germany's oldest university town. Here, in the rooms of the university, the great Reformer presented his beliefs to the Augustinian Order in 1518, shortly after nailing his theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg.

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Jena in Thuringia was one of the places where the Luther Bible was printed, so the city played an instrumental role in spreading Luther's teachings.

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Leipzig has seen many great minds come and go through the centuries: revolutionary thinkers and intellectuals from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to Martin Luther have left their indelible mark here.

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Lutherstadt Eisleben is one of the oldest towns in the region between the Harz mountains and the river Elbe. Inextricably linked with the life of Martin Luther, the town and its Luther sites have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.

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Lutherstadt Wittenberg, a Protestant place of pilgrimage, is regarded as the cradle of the Reformation. It was here that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle church on 31 October 1517.

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Magdeburg, the central point on the Romanesque Route and today the state capital of Saxony-Anhalt , was visited by Martin Luther on several occasions. From 1497 to 1498 he studied under the Brethren of the Common Life, a religious community.

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The tranquil town of Mansfeld in the southern foothills of the Harz shaped Luther's childhood. Back then, Mansfeld was a centre of copper mining. Today, this small town is a popular place from which to explore local industrial monuments from the early days of mining.

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The Russian poet Boris Pasternak described the university town of Marburg as a medieval fairytale. For Martin Luther it was also a dream: it was the home of Landgrave Philipp the Magnanimous, one of the most important supporters of the Reformation.

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Möhra is a small community with a great history. This idyllic village, which has a population of less than a thousand, is the home of Luther's ancestors. Luther's family can be traced as far back as the 14th century in Möhra.

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Although Martin Luther never visited Mühlhausen, the town played an important role for him and the Reformation as the centre of the radical reform movement led by Thomas Müntzer.

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Located in Saale-Unstrut , a region famous for castles and winemaking, the cathedral town of Naumburg looks back on a history of almost a thousand years and has many associations with Martin Luther and the Reformation.

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For Martin Luther, Nuremberg was 'the eyes and ears of Germany'. The city on the river Pegnitz was a 'media centre', home to 21 printing houses, which helped to rapidly circulate the messages of the Reformation.

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Martin Luther and his companion Kaspar Sturm stopped in Oppenheim, a small winemaking town in Rheinhessen , on their way to and from the Diet of Worms in 1521.

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Pirna, not far from Dresden , is the birthplace of the indulgence preacher and inquisitor Johann Tetzel. Tetzel's actions caused Luther to nail his 95 theses to the door of the castle church and is thus considered a key figure in Reformation.

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The romantic medieval town of Schmalkalden in Thuringia has a important place in 16th century European history. In 1531 Protestant princes and representatives of free imperial cities met here to join forces against the Catholic emperor, Charles V.

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Sonneberg, the historical toy town in the Thuringian Forest nature reserve, is ideal for walking and cycling in glorious unspoilt surroundings. Follow in Luther's footsteps through the Thuringian Forest and discover the legend of the Luther House in Sonneberg!

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Speyer is a UNESCO World Heritage town thanks to its cathedral, the largest surviving Romanesque church in Europe. But it is also regarded as the birthplace of the Protestant faith because of the Protestation at Speyer of 1529.

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Martin Luther declared that the buildings in Torgau were more beautiful than any from ancient times. That is still true today. With five hundred Renaissance and late-Gothic buildings, Torgau in Saxony is an architectural gem of international standing.

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Weimar was a centre for German intellectual life long before Goethe and Schiller's day. Indeed, Martin Luther was much taken with the town on the river Ilm.

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There is much to delight today's visitors to Worms, from the Romanesque imperial cathedral to the multimedia exhibition at the Nibelung Museum. For Martin Luther however, this historical town on the Rhine held far less pleasant associations.

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The town of Zeitz is associated with Martin Luther's successors. Indeed, Luther's male descendants all left their mark on the town. In 1542 Luther ordained Nicolaus von Amsdorf as the first Protestant bishop at the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Zeitz.

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