For anybody strolling around a German town, a natural point of visual gravity is the spire associated with the town’s cathedral. That’s no different in the town of Worms on the Rhine river between Mainz and Mannheim. What is different in a walk through the gardens next to the cathedral is that “Martin Luther was here” and that events here put his life in danger.
Arriving by German rail or on Rhine river cruises, visitors to the city of Worms (pronounced ‘VOHRmz’) will likely sample the crisp wine from the surrounding Rheinhessen region; learn about the 5th-century Nibelung saga; see important religious symbols including the “crown” that is St. Peter’s Cathedral, and remaining structures from the once-thriving Jewish community which along with Speyer and Mainz formed a medieval league of Jewish communities. Many will retrace Martin Luther’s steps in the city.
In April 1521, Luther was ordered to appear at the Diet (Imperial Parliament) convening in Worms. In the presence of Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Fifth, Luther held firm against charges of heresy and refused to recant. What’s amazing is that Luther survived the triumphant journey from Wittenberg to Worms and, with his subsequent status as “outlaw” from the imperial edict following the Diet, Luther survived departure from Worms because his benefactor, Friedrich III, secretly arranged for Luther to be “kidnapped” and brought to safety at the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach.
Worms is home to the world’s largest monument dedicated to the Reformation. Unveiled in mid-1868, German sculptor Ernst Rietschel created the monument with the assistance of Adolf von Donndorf, Gustav Kietz and Johannes Schilling. The entire monument is on a raised square base 12.55 metres (41.2 feet) on a side for a surface area of 157 square metres (1695 square feet). An information pillar provided by the city provides a short description of the monument in four languages.
(German) Luther-Denkmal : Weltdenkmal der Reformation 1868. Luthers Lied “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” wurde umgesetzt in Stein. Dr. Martin Luther steht über den Vorreformatoren, umgeben von Fürsten und Gelehrten sowie Personifikationen von Städten der Reformation.
(English) Luther Monument : The international memorial to the Reformation, 1868. Luther’s hymn, “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott / A mighty fortress is our God” is transformed here into stone. Dr. Martin Luther towers over the earlier reformers, surrounded by electors and friends as well as personifications of the important cities of the Reformation.
(French) Monument de Luther : Monument mondial de la Réforme, 1868. Le chant de Luther “notre Dieu est une place forte” fut materialisé en pierre. Le docteur Martin Luther domine les préreformateurs eux-même entourés de princes électeurs, d’amis ainsi que de personnalités des villes reformées.
(Latin) Monumentum reformationis : Anno MDCCCLXVIII exstructum. Martini Lutheri canticum, quod “Deus, nostra spes et fortitudo” inscriptum est, in lapidem transformatum est. Doctor Martinus Lutherus inter eos, qui iam antea de reformatione ecclesiae meditati sunt, eminet et principes, viri docti, feminae urbes reformationis repraesentantes eum circumstant.
Listed below are 12 major statues representing people and cities supporting the early-Reformation movement and subsequent evolution to Protestantism.
1. Martin Luther (Germany)
Martin Luther is at the centre of the monument for his primary role in the 16th-century movement; Luther stands on a high pedestal and holds a fist to the Bible referring to his trial at the Diet of Worms in 1521. His stare is directed to the scene of the trial at the former location of the Bishop’s Palace.
Directly below and around the Luther statue are statues of his European predecessors whose respective efforts to reform the Church helped pave the way for Luther: France’s Waldo, England’s Wycliffe, Italy’s Savonarola, and the Czech Hus. Unlike some of these gentlemen, Luther survived the “triple threat”: excommunication from the Catholic Church, exile (in Wartburg Castle), and (multiple threats of) execution.
Luther on trial
The front-facing panel under Luther’s statue depicts Luther’s 1521 trial in Worms in the presence of Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Fifth (Karl V). Construction of the monument began in 1856 (“begonnen”) and completed in 1868 (“vollendet”).
2. Peter Waldo (France)
As the earliest of Luther’s predecessors, the 12th-century French merchant known as Petrus Waldus (Peter Waldo) surrendered his wealth and founded the Waldensian (Poor Men of Lyon) movement which favoured simple living while rejecting common doctrine (i.e., paying indulgences to escape purgatory). For his troubles and continuing to preach without approval from Rome or from regional authorities, Waldo and his followers were forced to leave Lyon for the Piedmont, southern France, and northern Italy. Waldo was excommunicated by Pope Lucius III in 1184.
3. John Wycliffe (England)
University of Oxford scholar and professor John Wycliffe is best known as (one of) the first to translate the Bible into English. He openly questioned the church’s authority over earthly holdings and on civic matters. After condemnation by the Pope, local church officials, and the university, he went into seclusion and died in relative obscurity in 1384. He was posthumously declared a heretic in 1415, and the Catholic Church ordered all his writings be burned. In 1428, Pope Martin the Fifth ordered exhumation; Wycliffe’s bones were unearthed and burned, and the ashes were thrown into the nearby river.
4. Girolamo Savonarola (Italy)
Working in Florence, the Italian friar Girolamo (also Hieronymous) Savonarola fought against church corruption, authoritarian rule of the Church, unfair treatment of the poor, excess and decadence. The “bonfire of the vanities” commonly refers to the collection and public burning in Florence of fancy dress, ornaments, books, and art on 7 February 1497 during the Mardi Gras festival. After continual refusals to comply with Rome, Savonarola was excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI in 1497. For his aborted and failed attempt to convert Florence into a reformed state, the citizens turned on Savonarola in 1498; he was arrested, tortured, hung, and burned.
5. Jan Hus (Czech)
Because his writings survived, Wycliffe’s work became familiar to Czech scholars. Jan Hus (John Huss) of Prague’s Charles University became influenced by Wycliffe and subsequently began the Boheman Reformation movement. By most accounts, Hus would have had the greatest influence on Luther. And like Wycliffe, Hus denounced church immorality and practices of selling indulgences and ecclesiastical privileges, and supported the idea that the church was about the people, and not about priests, bishops, or the Pope. For refusing to stand down and continuing to espouse Wycliffe’s “heretical opinions”, Hus fell out with the University and was excommunicated by Pope Alexander V in 1410. Hus was summoned to the Council of Constance in 1414 to answer charges of heresy. Upon arrival, Hus was arrested and held for a year. After a mock trial, he was burned at the stake on 6 July 1415, which would prompt the Hussite Wars a few years later. Luther most certainly had Hus in mind when the former was summoned in 1521 to Worms to answer charges of heresy. The Czech people hold Hus in high regard for his independent stance against the long-standing stranglehold of both religion (Catholic church) and external rule (German-dominated Holy Roman Empire). Jan Hus Day is marked annually on the anniversary of his death by burning.
6. Friedrich III, Elector of Saxony
Although he remained Catholic until his death, Friedrich III (known also as Friedrich the Wise) was the Elector of Saxony and Luther’s contemporary and benefactor. Friedrich III founded the University of Wittenberg in 1502, brought Luther to Wittenberg University as theology professor in 1512, and persuaded Philipp Melanchthon to the university to teach Greek in 1518. In 1521, Friedrich III arranged to have Luther “kidnapped” and brought without harm to the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach after Luther was declared an outlaw after his trial at the Diet of Worms. It’s impossible to gauge what further effect and role Luther and his colleagues would have played in the early Reformation had Friedrich III not intervened.
7. Augsburg (Peace)
Following Luther’s debate with Cajetan in 1518 and declaration of the Augsburg Confessions in 1530, the city of Augsburg was again an important site where a peace treaty in 1555 between Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the Schmalkaldic League was signed (see Philip I below). The treaty ended the struggle between Catholics and Protestants, and made Protestantism official within the Holy Roman Empire. Local rulers were allowed to choose Lutheranism or Catholicism as the faith of practice for their respective states.
8. Johannes Reuchlin
As a proponent of humanism and an academic expert in Greek and Hebrew languages, German scholar Johannes Reuchlin was the great-uncle of Philipp Melanchthon, providing great influence on the latter’s education and future calling. A common practice of the time, Reuchlin converted his surname into the Greek “Capnion”, a practice which his great-nephew would also follow. Reuchlin also recommended Melanchthon to the University of Wittenberg to become professor of Greek and Hebrew in 1518. Reuchlin quietly supported the printing and distribution of books in Hebrew at a time when his opponents wanted Jews to convert (by force) to the Reformation.
9. Speyer (Protests)
At the Diet assembled in Speyer in 1529, six princes and 14 Imperial Free Cities lodged an official protest against the ban on Martin Luther declared by the Diet of Worms after Luther’s trial in 1521. The Reformation delegates refused to agree to demands to return to Catholic principles, and eventually submitted a “Letter of Protestation”. Followers of the Lutheran movement became known as “Protestants”, and the movement itself would be called “Protestantism.”
10. Philipp Melanchthon
Considered the “Second Reformer” after Martin Luther, German Philipp Melanchthon studied Greek and Hebrew; he changed his surname from the German “Schwartzerdt” (‘black earth’) to the Greek version “Melanchthon.” He became professor in Greek and Hebrew in 1518 at Wittenberg University after recommendation from his great-uncle Johannes Reuchlin. He turned his interests to theology and began lecturing on the subject after securing a degree in theology from the university in 1519. A major figure in helping Luther to translate the Old Testament into German, Melanchthon was also an important player in drafting the Augsburg Confessions in 1530. He would be known as “Praeceptor Germaniae” or “Germany’s teacher” for his lifelong dedication to reorganize standards of education for the general public.
11. (Mourning) Magdeburg
Magdeburg was one of the first cities in medieval Germany to convert from Catholicism to Protestantism. At the city’s request in 1524, Luther gave two sermons which inspired most of the city’s churches to convert to the new Lutheran movement within weeks. As a loyal supporter of Protestantism, Magdeburg was sacked and destroyed by Catholic troops during the Thirty Years’ War. The mourning statue acknowledges the city’s destruction in 1631.
12. Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse
Philip I was an important supporter of the early Reformation, and would become leader of The Schmalkaldic League. Formed in 1531, the League’s primary role was to protect lands practicing Reformed church services. His support for the Reformation was for reasons both religious and political. Philip I supported reforms at the 1526 Diet of Speyer, and was a leading “Protestant” at the 1529 Diet of Speyer. At the Diet of Augsburg the following year, Philip I represented the Protestants and supported the creation and reading of the “Augsburg Confessions” drafted by Philipp Melanchthon.
With regional trains, Worms is about 30 minutes from Mannheim and about 80 minutes from Frankfurt am Main (via Mainz or Mannheim). With a short 5-minute walk from Worms Hauptbahnhof (city’s main train station), the Lutherdenkmal memorial is located on a strip of green along the former city wall, and is open to the public free of charge.
2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (i.e., 95 Theses at Wittenberg’s Castle Church), but many events will occur during the “Luther Decade”, including in 2021 the 500th anniversary of Luther’s trial in Worms. Worms is one of almost 100 cities within an intra-European community project and collaboration called the European Cities of the Reformation.
• City of Worms, in English: summary, in English
• City of Worms, in German: summary and detailed description
• About Worms on Luther 2017, in English.
• About Worms on Germany Tourism, in English.
• About Worms on Romantic Cities in English and in German.
• Statues – Hither and Thither (by René & Peter van der Krogt), in English.
• Regional Geschichte, in German.
Thanks to Tourist Information Worms for arrangements in the city and regional transport beyond, to Bettina Mauer for a guided tour of the city, and to Romantic Germany for their support in various cities along the Rhine river. I made the photos above on 21 and 22 November 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-8zw.
Above: Facing west from Kirchplatz, the Stadtkirche (City Church) and Schlosskirche (Castle Church) at upper-left and lower-right, respectively, are Wittenberg’s major landmarks.
If you’re thinking about or you’re already present in Wittenberg, two words have already provided the marquee reasons why you’re here at this blogsite and there in the town: Martin Luther.
The biggest reason why people will step foot in Wittenberg is to see and learn about how the Protestant and Reformation movement began and took hold, who the major players were, and what their roles were in the movement. For most, they’ll want to visit the four sites which form the basis for the town’s status as UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS; see below). In addition to these four, there are other highlights for the curious and interested visitor, and all of them are easy to reach in the compact Old Town.
- Bugenhagenhaus (Bugenhagen House)
- Cranach-Haus, Cranach-Hof (Cranach House and Court)
- I.G. Schneider Modehaus
- Luther-Eiche (Luther Oak)
- Lutherdenkmal (Luther Monument)
- Lutherhaus (Luther House) – UNESCO WHS
- Melanchthondenkmal (Melanchthon Monument)
- Melanchthonhaus (Melanchthon House) – UNESCO WHS
- Markt, Rathaus (Market Square, Town Hall)
- Schlosskirche (Castle Church) – UNESCO WHS
- Stadtbäche (town streams)
- Stadtkirche St. Marien (St. Mary’s Town Church) – UNESCO WHS
1. Bugenhagenhaus (Bugenhagen House)
Considered the “Third Reformer” after Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, John Bugenhagen was from 1523 the priest at Wittenberg’s Town Church (where he is buried), lecturer of theology at Wittenberg University, and Martin Luther’s personal adviser. He also became responsible for supporting the Reformation in northern Germany and Scandinavia. He was also known as Doctor Pomeranus for his roots in Pomerania (present-day northern Germany). Bugenhagen led the wedding service for Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora on 13 June 1525. At the northeast corner of the town’s Kirchplatz (Church Square) stands the Bugenhagen House with a sculpture of Bugenhagen nearby. Above the main door of the house a sign reads:
“Hier wohnte, wirkte, und starb Dr. Johannes Bugenhagen, Gen. Sup. des Kurkreises, geb. zu Wollin in Pommern, D. 24. Juny 1485, gest. in Wittenberg D. 20 April 1558. Hebr. 13, 7.” (Dr. John Bugenhagen lived, worked, and died in this house. He was born in Wollin in Pomerania on 1485 June 24, appointed and served as the superintendent general of the Electorate of Saxony, and he died on 1558 April 20.)
2. Cranach-Haus, Cranach-Hof (Cranach House and Court)
Lucas Cranach the Elder and Lucas Cranach the Younger were both renowned painters in medieval Germany. The Cranach family housed Katharina von Bora after she left the nunnery; the Cranachs became close friends to the Luther family. The Cranachs would also become painters and artists for the Reformation. Cranach Senior was also an astute businessman as he purchased a variety of properties in town. Of his many holdings, two are now owned by the town: Cranach the Elder’s first property at Markt 4 (Cranach House) which he purchased in 1512, and the town’s prominent property at Schlossstrasse 1 which would be his home, painting studio, printing workshop, and pharmacy.
In the courtyard at Schlossstrasse 1, two plaques read:
“Lucas Cranach d. Ältere (1472-1553), Maler und Unternehmer; 1537-1544 Bürgermeister. (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1472-1553: artist and businessman; town mayor 1537-1544.)”
“Lucas Cranach d. Jüngere (1515-1586), Maler und Porträtist, 1565 Bürgermeister. (Lucas Cranach the Younger, 1515-1586: artist and portraitist;
town mayor 1565.)”
The sign over the door to the pharmacy reads:
Lucas Cranach, Maler zu Wittenberg, wie er sich selbst stets geschrieben, wurde 1472 zu Kronach in Franken geboren, kam 1504 nach Wittenberg, kaufte 1520 diese Apotheke, war von 1537 bis 1544 Bürgermeister und starb am 16. October 1553 in Weimar. Die Stadt Wittenberg im Jahre 1872. (Painter in Wittenberg, Lucas Cranach the Elder was born in 1472 in Kronach, Franconia, arrived in Wittenberg in 1504, purchased this pharmacy building in 1520, served as town mayor between 1537 and 1544, and died 1553 October 16 in Weimar. Inscription by the town of Wittenberg in 1872.)
3. I.G. Schneider Modehaus (Clothing Store)
At the present location of the I.G. Schneider clothing store was a former hotel where luminaries such as Grand-Duke Karl August of Saxony-Weimar, French emperor Napoleon I, Russian writer Maxim Gorki, and German writer Friedrich Schiller once stayed.
4. Leucorea (Fridericianum)
Frederick III (Elector of Saxony, also known as “Frederick the Wise”) founded in 1502 the “Alma Mater Leucorea“, known as Wittenberg University. The word “Leucorea” comes from the Greek “leukos oros” or “white mountain” in reference to the town’s name Wittenberg. The university would become a centre for arts, sciences, humanities, and theology, greatly helped by the arrival and presence of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon. These two would help define the spiritual life of the university and town, and the university would become a vital centre for discussion and dissemination for ideas and spirit for the Reformation. The former “Fridericianum” university buildings would be converted to military barracks and residences. The site is now home to the Foundation for Public Law at the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Stiftung des öffentlichen Rechts an der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle–Wittenberg).
5. Luther-Eiche (Luther Oak)
This location was one of the town’s former city gates, the Elster Gate, where it was common practice in Luther’s time (15th- to 16th-century) to burn the clothes of people who died from disease. In 1520 three years after his (apparent) posting of the 95 Theses at the city’s Castle Church, Martin Luther received a ‘papal bull’ warning him of excommunication from the Catholic Church if he continued his “heretical teachings.” Luther promptly burned the papal bull here in front of Elster Gate on 10 December 1520. Stories state that an oak tree was planted at the spot the following day. The tall thick oak tree in the picture below was planted in 1830 on the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession (see Melanchthon).
6. Lutherdenkmal (Luther Monument)
The town’s market square is the location for the Luther Monument (1821) which is thought to be the oldest Luther memorial in Germany.
7. Lutherhaus (Luther House) – UNESCO WHS
This house is where Martin Luther and his family lived, from his arrival in 1508 until his death in 1546. The building is now museum and testament to his family and to his work. Examples of his home- and work-life merge in and out of the various rooms within the house. Former nun Katharina von Bora married Luther and she eventually took charge of the household and its finances. Her support at home played a critical role in Martin’s life for which he was clearly most grateful; he referred to her as “meine herzliebe Käthe” or “my dearest Kate.”
8. Melanchthondenkmal (Melanchthon Monument)
Considered the “Second Reformer” after Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon studied Greek and Hebrew, and became professor in Greek in 1518 at Wittenberg University. He turned his interests to theology and began lecturing on the subject after securing a degree in theology from the university in 1519. A major figure in helping Luther to translate the Old Testament into German, Melanchthon was also an important player in drafting the Augsburg Confessions in 1530. He would be known as “Praeceptor Germaniae” or “Germany’s teacher” for his lifelong dedication to reorganize the education system. Wittenberg’s market square is also the location for the Melanchthon Monument (1865).
9. Melanchthonhaus (Melanchthon House) – UNESCO WHS
This house was built between 1536 and 1539 for Philipp Melanchthon and his family. The building now houses a museum dedicated to Melanchthon with exhibitions about his work and family life.
10. Markt, Rathaus (Market Square, Town Hall)
Like most towns, Market Square is the past and present focal point of the town’s activities for commerce, politics, and justice. The Renaissance-style Town Hall was built between 1523 and 1535, and the portico (“raised porch”) in 1573 comes complete with the sculpture of Justicia, the (Roman) goddess of justice, accompanied by six figures representing bravery, faith, hope, love, patience, and wisdom. The square is also home to the Luther monument (1821) and the Melanchthon monument (1865).
11. Schlosskirche (Castle Church) – UNESCO WHS
The Castle Church is best known as the location where Martin Luther apparently posted his 95 Theses. Constructed between 1489 and 1525 by Frederick III, the church was part of the original castle compound for the electors of Saxony. The church became the university’s church in 1503 with Protestant services beginning in 1524. The church is home to the graves for Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, and Frederick III. I featured this city landmark in a separate post here.
12. Stadtbäche (town streams)
In the Middle Ages (c. 14th-15th centuries AD/CE), the Rischebach and Trajuhnscherbach streams were diverted into the city for water-powered milling. Around the diverted streams were breweries, tanners, and dyers, as well as fishmongers who could keep fresh fish caught from the Elbe river. The city streams were closed in the late 19th-century for reasons of hygiene, but by the 1990s, plans to reopen the streams as free-flowing water through the city came to light, and by 2006, water flowed through the Altstadt along Coswiger Strasse and Collegienstrasse/Schlossstrasse.
13. Stadtkirche St. Marien (St. Mary’s Town Church) – UNESCO WHS
With the original St. Mary’s chapel built around 1280 AD/CE, the church is the town’s oldest building which houses the altar designed and built by both Cranach the Elder and Cranach the Younger. At a time when church services were conveyed only in Latin, the first mass delivered entirely in German is thought to have taken place in this church. I will feature this landmark in a separate post.
Other highlights include:
• “Luther 1517” 360-degree panorama (by Yadegar Asisi)
• Luthergarten (Luther garden)
• Haus der Geschichte (House of History)
• Museum für Stadtgeschichte (Museum of the town’s history)
• Hundertwasserschule (Hundertwasser School)
Deutsche Bahn service to Wittenberg:
• hourly train service from Berlin with InterCity Express trains (40 minutes) or Regional Express trains (80 minutes).
• hourly train service from Leipzig with InterCity or InterCity Express trains (30-35 minutes).
Click the arrow-window icon in the upper-left corner of the map below to toggle for the legend. Note the two train stations near Wittenberg’s Old Town. “Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Bahnhof)” is the town’s main station served by InterCity Express (ICE) trains and regional trains. Located adjacent to the Luther Garden in the southern part of the Old Town, “Lutherstadt Wittenberg Altstadt” station is served only by regional trains.
My thanks to IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus, the city of Wittenberg, and the Luther Hotel for their patronage and access to facilities. I made the photos from 29 to 31 October 2016 inclusive. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9ew. IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus supported my visit to the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt from 25 October to 3 November 2016 inclusive. I also received assistance from the cities of Eisleben, Mansfeld, Dessau, and Halle (Saale).
Above: REVOCA! (Cajetan to Luther, 1518), Museum Lutherstiege.
With its founding date as “Augusta Vindelicorum” by the Roman Empire in 15 BC/BCE, Augsburg is one of the oldest cities in Germany, and has ties with Martin Luther and the Reformation which marks its 500th anniversary in 2017.
Months after making his 95 Theses known to church authorities and the public, Martin Luther was called to the free imperial city of Augsburg in 1518 by Cardinal and papal legate and representative Cajetan to answer charges of heresy, for challenging the morality of indulgences, and for questioning the supreme authority of the Pope. Cajetan urged Luther to recant or revoke his statements (“revoca!”), but Luther held firm and refused to obey Cajetan.
The following identify locations in Augsburg where Luther made his stand against Cajetan and the Catholic Church and where an important document describing key principles of the Reformation were unveiled and read in official capacity.
Click on the arrow-window icon at the upper-left corner of the map below for the legend. All of the locations are easy to reach on foot or with public transit. Tram stops with the AVV transport authority are indicated as green circular icons. I’ve included a 2.5-kilometre path to catch all five locations.
Fuggerhäuser (Fugger houses)
Martin Luther verweigerte hier im Oktober 1518 gegenüber dem päpstlichen Legaten Cajetan den Widerruf seiner Thesen.
Here in October 1518 Luther refused to deny his Theses as demanded by Cajetan. The town palace, financed and constructed by the wealthy Fugger merchant-family, began in 1512 and completed in 1515.
St.-Anna-Kirche (St. Anna Church)
Hier im Karmeliterkloster bei St. Anna wohnte Dr. Martin Luther vom 7. bis 20. Oktober 1518 während seiner Verhandlungen mit dem päpstlichen Legaten Cajetan.
Carmelite monks built this church in 1321 AD/CE. In 1518 between the 7th and 20th of October, Luther stayed in the Carmelite monastery at St. Anna’s church over the course of his meetings with papal legate Cajetan.
Domportal (Cathedral gate)
Martin Luther’s Widerspruch gegen die Eröffnung des Ketzerprozesses in Rom wurde im Oktober 1518 am Domportal angeschlagen.
The cathedral was built on the foundations of a medieval church going back to the end of the 10th-century AD/CE. After the debate between Luther and Cajetan resulted in an unsatisfactory conclusion for either side, Luther posted at the cathedral’s portal a notice of dissent opposing Rome’s heresy trial against him.
Fürstbischöfliche Residenz (Prince-Bishop’s Residence)
“Hier stand vor dem die bischöfliche Pfalz in deren Kapitelsaal am 25. Juni 1530 die CONFESSIO AUGUSTANA verkündet wurde.”
Only the tower (as seen below) remains from the original episcopal palace at the centre of power and rule for the Bishopric of Augsburg which had been present since the Middle Ages. In May 1530, an imperial parliament (Diet) convened in Augsburg, and on June 25, the episcopal Palatinate proclaimed the Augsburg Confessions here in their primary chamber. The Augsburg Confessions are considered statements of faith for the Lutheran church, and an important historical document of the Reformation. The late-Baroque style building now houses government offices for the administrative district of Schwaben, one of seven districts in the German federal state of Bavaria.
Galluskirche (St. Gallus church)
Martin Luther soll an dieser Stelle durch eine Pforte in der Nacht zum 21. Oktober 1518 heimlich die Stadt verlassen haben.
A church in some form has been present at this location since the 10th-century AD/CE. With arrest charges looming after refusing to surrender in debates with Cajetan in 1518, Luther escaped the city through a portal or gate in the city walls at this location on the night of October 21. Or so goes the legend, with the appearance of an additional plaque of “Da hinab!” or “down there (through the gate)!”
You can almost imagine a 16th-century monk walking these halls, contemplating various aspects of spirituality, and reconciling them with the hardships of everyday living.
Martin Luther arrived in 1501 and began studies in liberal arts, law, and theology at Erfurt University. In 1505, Luther experienced a big personal event (the scare of his life, as legend goes), and decided to leave his studies by entering the Augustine Monastery to become a monk, much to his father’s displeasure and objections. Built originally around 1300, the Augustine Monastery was home for Martin Luther until 1511, and it’s here where he was ordained as a priest. The site underwent extensive post-war reconstruction after suffering heavy bombing damage in the Second World War. The monastery is now a seminary and a modest hotel: guided tours of the monastery provide a glimpse to Luther’s early years as a monk, and visitors can now reserve rooms for overnight stays in a no-frills technology-free setting and a peaceful comfortable environment.
2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in Germany.
Thanks to Germany Tourism, Erfurt Tourismus, and Visit Thuringia for their support during GTM15 and for access to various venues throughout the city and region, and to Mercure Hotel Erfurt Altstadt for their generous hospitality. Three photos labeled “TB/TTG” indicate photos made by Toma Babovic for Thüringia Tourismus GmbH. I made the other photos on 26 April 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-98x.