The rebel monk, professor and church reformer is one of Germany ’s greatest sons. It was nearly 500 years ago that Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony are home to many of the sites associated with Luther, and when the Wall came down 25 years ago, visitors were once again able to retrace his steps. The benefit to cultural tourism in Destination Germany has been inestimable.
Born in Eisleben, student in Erfurt, professor in Wittenberg, defendant at the Diet of Worms: the places associated with Luther’s life make fascinating sites to visit today, revealing insights into this strong-willed man and his impact.
The Luther Trail connects new cultural attractions along more than 1,200 km
Thirty-six authentic Reformation sites create a memorable adventure, taking in Coburg, Augsburg, Nürnberg, Heidelberg, Bretten, Speyer, Worms, Marburg and Bad Hersfeld, among others. The first in a series of national exhibitions on the Reformation opens in 2015 at Hartenfels Palace in Torgau.
Luther towns of Eisleben and Wittenberg
Lutherstadt Eisleben and Lutherstadt Wittenberg: the official names say it all. Both of these UNESCO World Heritage towns represent milestones in German history – from the house where Luther was born in Eisleben to Wittenberg’s Church of St. Mary and the Castle Church where Luther is buried. Numerous visitors come in search of the ever-present legacy of the man who spoke out against the selling of indulgences – by which people bought salvation for sums of money.
Wartburg Castle in Eisenach
Up at the Wartburg, the UNESCO World Heritage castle where Martin Luther once took refuge, Luther’s room is today open to visitors.
The Augustinian monastery in Erfurt
At the place where Martin Luther lived as a monk, you can visit an exhibition on Luther and see inside his room. The library, one of Germany ’s most important collections of ecclesiastical literature, contains around 60,000 volumes as well as Reformation writings and the publications by Luther.
Luther enjoyed a close friendship with Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder. It was at Cranach’s house in Wittenberg that Luther first met his future wife Katharina, who had taken refuge there.
Every summer in Wittenberg a three-day wedding festival celebrates Luther’s marriage to Katharina. Historical parades, Renaissance music and other performances take you on an incredible journey back to the Middle Ages. More than 2,000 guests in traditional costume accompany the bride and groom through the town. In the evening the programme also features contemporary music.
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