• ©imago/epd
  • ©dpa
  • ©Tourist-Information Konstanz GmbH
  • Market square in Wittenberg
    Market square in Wittenberg ©picture alliance / ZB
  • ©imago/VIADATA
  • ©Lutz Edelhoff/Theater Erfurt
  • ©DZT/Wartburg-Stiftung (Bildarchiv Monheim GmbH)
  • ©imago/Daniel Schwarcz

Uncover the history of the Reformation

Eight Luther Routes crisscross Germany, opening up a wealth of new perspectives on the reformer's life and work. Barrier-free travel, an excellent tourism infrastructure and convenient transport links to all destinations will make your visit to the Luther sites – and to Germany as a whole – an experience to remember.

Martin Luther and the Reformation changed Germany – and their impact can still be felt today in the locations where the events of that time played out. A great legacy is waiting to be discovered. Our first route takes us straight to the two most important places in Luther’s life: Eisleben and Wittenberg.

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2017 is fast approaching: a major exhibition will be one of the many events celebrating this important anniversary in German history. The exhibition will be shown in Berlin, Wittenberg and Wartburg in Eisenach, so there will be three opportunities to see it. You can discover all three on our second route.

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The Reformation left behind many traces – and sometimes they can be found in the places you would least expect. It is not only Wittenberg and the other official Luther towns that bear witness to this time but also Eisenach and Erfurt and many smaller locations in the Thuringia region. Artistic and architectural highlights enhance the route and create a sense of great authenticity.

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Martin Luther came up against hostile opposition from all sides. Bishops and other church dignitaries were not alone in fighting against his reforms; secular leaders also saw his mission as an outrageous act of defiance. Our fourth route highlights some of the most important sites where Luther fought his battles – and was ultimately able to win through.

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The Reformation is, of course, inextricably linked with key Luther towns such as Eisleben and Wittenberg. Yet the success of the Reformation would be inconceivable without the many journeys Luther made to other parts of Germany. Luther was always willing to face his opponents. This scenic route from Frankfurt to Berlin retraces some of his journeys and promises many wonderful discoveries along the way.

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It was a long journey from Martin Luther’s 95 theses to the widespread acceptance of the Reformation by the people and rulers. Luther managed time and time again to win over towns and regions for himself and his ideas. This usually called for long and arduous journeys. This route takes in many of the places he visited, including some in present-day Hessen, before finally returning to the well-known Luther sites in Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony.

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Frankfurt and Leipzig, both waypoints on this route, were among the most important cities in the Holy Roman Empire. Yet time and time again, Luther sought out smaller towns and even villages to give powerful expression to his ideas. Alongside the ‘classic’ Luther sites, this route also includes lots of ‘insider tips’ – places with vital importance for our understanding of the Reformation.

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The Reformation didn’t happen overnight. Ideas on the Reformation existed long before Luther. The emergence of European humanism created a breeding ground in which new and often radical ideas developed. That's why it is well worth looking beyond Germany’s borders to France or Switzerland, for example. Cities such as Strasbourg and Zurich were once centres for book printing – and they played their part in the proliferation of Luther’s ideas.

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