Even today, some 500 years after the Reformation and the beginning of the modern era, the atmosphere of those times can still be felt in Eisleben and Lutherstadt Wittenberg. This is where you'll find unique Luther memorial sites such as the house where the Church reformer was born, the house where he died, the monastery where he lived and the church to which he nailed his 95 theses.
In 1996 these original sites of the Reformation were elevated to UNESCO World Heritage status on the grounds of their universal significance. Eisleben was where Martin Luther was born on 10 November 1483 and where he died on 18 February 1546 while travelling. There is plenty to see in the town's old quarter: the historical market square, for example, with its splendid town houses. Then there's the Luther statue and the historical town hall. Specific Luther sites include the house in which he was born, the church of St. Peter and St. Paul where he was baptised, St. Andrew's Church with its original Luther pulpit, St. Anne's Church with the only stone-carved biblical scenes in Europe and the Luther Museum in the house where he died. The house of his birth, which the town turned into a memorial site as early as 1693, is Germany's first ever museum and one of the oldest in the world. The house in which he died, a late-Gothic patrician town house dating from around 1500, has also been turned into a museum and memorial.
Luthers grave, however, is in Wittenberg. Here too, a stroll through the beautiful old town takes in memorials to Luther. These include the Castle Church, where in 1517 he nailed his 95 theses to the door, the burial sites of Luther and his friend and fellow protestor Philipp Melanchthon, the courtyards of the painter Cranach, the Town Church with its striking Cranach altar and the houses where Luther and Melanchthon used to live. From 1511 and for the duration of his time in Wittenberg – including after he married in 1525 – Luther lived in the Augustineum, both as a monk and later a professor. The monastery was where he lectured to students from all over Europe and where he wrote the works that were to change the world. Luther's House opened its doors to the public in 1883 and is now the largest museum of Reformation history anywhere in the world.
Public guided tour: at Easter and from May to October: tours throughout the day; November to April: on request
Opening times for Luther's House and Melanchthon's House: April to October: 9am to 6pm daily; November to March: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm
English-language services at the Church of St. Mary (Stadtkirche): Sunday and religious holidays 10am; midday worship Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 12 noon to 12.15pm.
Also from May to October: Saturday 5pm to 6pm in the Castle Church or the Church of St. Mary (alternating weekly)
Luther's Wedding – The Wittenberg Festival (13 to 15 June 2014)
Further information: www.lutherstadt-wittenberg.de
Opening times for house in which Martin Luther was born and house in which he died:
April to October: 10am to 6pm daily; November to March: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm
Eisleben Wiesenmarkt fair (19 to 22 September 2014)
Luther memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg is part of the 'Visionaries and pioneering thinkers' UNESCO route. Other stops on the route are:
UNESCO World Heritage sites:
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