Luther 2017

500 years since the Reformation


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.

In 1527 Philipp founded the world's first Protestant university in Marburg. Two years later, he tried to achieve a Europe-wide agreement among leading reformers by holding the Marburg Colloquy at his castle – but without success. The conference was the most important assembly of theologians in its day.

Today Marburg Castle is home to a museum. The Prince's Hall (Fürstensaal), one of the most beautiful Gothic halls in Central Europe, is regularly used for concerts.

Luther's House in the upper part of town is lived in today but can be viewed from the outside.


Near the castle is St. Elisabeth's Church, one of Marburg's most outstanding architectural monuments. Regarded as a masterpiece of early Gothic architecture in Germany, it is the oldest church on German soil to be purely Gothic in style. The university students bring a vibrant buzz to the old quarter with its shops, bars and cafés. Nestled in the hillside beneath the castle, the town is also known for having many steps.

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