Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story

Posts tagged ‘Erfurt’

Augustinerkloster, Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt, Thüringen, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Erfurt: Martin Luther’s start at the Augustine Monastery

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.

In the federal state of Thuringia in central Germany, the Augustinerkloster (Augustine monastery) in Erfurt is a notable place for the history of Martin Luther and the Reformation.

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.

Erfurt’s Augustinian monastery is listed as one of many sites for inclusion as UNESCO World Heritage Site under the title Luther memorials in Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Bavaria and Thuringia.

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Petrikirche, Taufkirche, Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Tracing Martin Luther’s steps in 16 German cities

Above/featured: “Luther war hier. // Luther was here.” Eisleben, Germany – 27 Oct 2016.

In pre-teen years, I attended a Catholic elementary school by weekday, and a missions-oriented Protestant church by weekend. I already had multiple questions running around my pre-scientist brain, like electrons appearing and dissipating in a fuzzy halo. When various disparate elements began to settle with few satisfying answers, I left behind the churches and their respective religions. But one thing that’s remained is my love of history. History has never been boring, because I carry the past (as offspring of immigrants), and I’m determined to bring history’s lessons into the present.

Even in youth, I had to ask: why was one set of churches called “Protestant”? What was under protest? How did one man help spark a movement that would help merge and create a version of a language that continues today, that would bring accessible means to literacy for the public, and that would begin to change rule by religion to rule by law?

Martin Luther (‘Luder’, at birth)

From his birth in Eisleben; to formative years in Mansfeld, Magdeburg, and Erfurt; to the bulk of his working and teaching years in Wittenberg; to his death in Eisleben, Martin Luther set upon a course that helped change language, education, culture, religion, and governance. In many ways, Luther had much to thank Jan Hus for the latter’s efforts to reform the Catholic Church in Bohemia one hundred years earlier.

Every year on the 31st of October, a number of cities, regions, and federal states in Germany mark an important event in this movement. It’s widely understood Martin Luther walked up to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and pinned his 95 Theses to the church doors on 31 October 1517. Even if direct evidence Luther actually posted papers to the doors is debatable, what’s not is that 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Germany.

Martin Luther, Reformation, German Reformation, Wittenberg, Marktplatz, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

The illuminated Luther memorial stands tall in front of Wittenberg’s town hall at Market Square. As UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town hosts 4 sites: Luther House, Melanchthon House, St. Mary’s Town Church, and the Castle Church. 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation in Germany. Various German federal states, regions, and cities will mark the quincentenary throughout the year. Photo at Wittenberg Marktplatz on 30 Oct 2016.


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Wiki/CC3: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Bernd_das_Brot_Erfurt_by_Stepro.jpg

Erfurt: five KiKa characters as sculptures

Erfurt is the capital city for the state of Thuringia (Landeshauptstadt Thüringen) and is included among many in the Historic Highlights of Germany. As a self-described hub for children’s media, Erfurt is headquarters for the German Children’s Channel, or KInderKAnal, better known in short as KIKA. In commemoration of the channel’s tenth anniversary in 2007, sculptures representing well-loved KIKA characters sprung to “life” around town.

Kids of all ages can now cross the city looking for KIKA characters. My personal favourite is Bernd das Brot (Bernd the bread), a grumpy loaf and reluctant star of late-night tedium … “in the KIKA lounge …” It’s easy to assume I would’ve incorporated a part of the KIKA lineup as part of my early German-language instruction. The truth is there were too many late-nights in my dark one-room apartment with a small television for illumination, and more often than not, crusty Bernd was present (on continuous loop). Like a loaf of bread’s “heel” or end piece that’s undesired and ignored, it’s always there if you need it …

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Morning light on Krämerbrücke, Erfurt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Erfurt: 12 stations through the Old Town

Above/featured: Krämerbrücke in shadow, at first light.

Located along the Gera river near the centre of Germany, Erfurt is an historical hub of east-west trade, a stop on the historical road “Via Regia” dating back to the Middle Ages, and is considered a spiritual home for Martin Luther. He left behind plenty of traces throughout the city which is now the capital city for the German state of Thuringia (Landeshauptstadt Thüringens). For its preserved medieval Old Town, half-timbered houses, and churches, Erfurt has the nickname “Thuringian Rome.”

Each of the following locations in addition to the Erfurt’s Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) is indicated with an icon in the map below. All 12 places below can be reached with tram routes 3, 4, or 6 in a common stretch with stops at Anger, Fischmarkt / Rathaus (Fish Market / City Hall), and Domplatz (Cathedral Square).


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Anger, Schlösserstrasse, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Erfurter Anger (Erfurt Commons)

With over 200 thousand residents, Erfurt is the capital city for the state of Thuringia (Landeshauptstadt Thüringens), and is included in the Historic Highlights of Germany. The city’s central square is the Anger with its first mention traced to a document in 1196. Anger develops over centuries as the town’s trading centre for wine, wool, wheat, and woad. Woad (“Waid” in German) is a source for blue dye after the plant is collected, dried, pulverized, and fermented. By the second-half of the 17th-century, Erfurt is a centre of woad trade and production; Anger is also known as the “woad commons” or “Weidt Anger”, “Waidanger”, “Waydanger”. Today, Anger has evolved into the present-day commercial hub of consumer activity, with Germain chain stores Karstadt (department), Saturn (electronics), and REWE (food) in “Anger 1”.

“Anger” is a German noun (m, der) representing an open common space in a small town (i.e., ‘village green or common’). The German word for anger is Zorn (m) or Wut (f). Confusion and similarity of words in English and German is an example of a “false friend”.

Hauptpostamt, Anger, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany, fotoeins.com

Erfurter Anger: Angereck, Hauptpostamt

Kaufmannskirche, Anger 1, Anger, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany, fotoeins.com

Erfurter Anger: Kaufmannskirche, ‘Anger 1’

My thanks to Germany Tourism, Thüringen Tourismus, and the Erfurt Tourism and Marketing Board for supporting and providing access to places and activities, and to Mercure Hotel Erfurt Altstadt for their warm hospitality. I made these photos on 26 and 29 April 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6Z4.

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