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Posts tagged ‘Luther 2017’

Worms: world’s largest Reformation Monument

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.

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Lutherstadt Wittenberg: 13 historical highlights

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.

  1. Bugenhagenhaus (Bugenhagen House)
  2. Cranach-Haus, Cranach-Hof (Cranach House and Court)
  3. I.G. Schneider Modehaus
  4. Leucorea
  5. Luther-Eiche (Luther Oak)
  6. Lutherdenkmal (Luther Monument)
  7. Lutherhaus (Luther House) – UNESCO WHS
  8. Melanchthondenkmal (Melanchthon Monument)
  9. Melanchthonhaus (Melanchthon House) – UNESCO WHS
  10. Markt, Rathaus (Market Square, Town Hall)
  11. Schlosskirche (Castle Church) – UNESCO WHS
  12. Stadtbäche (town streams)
  13. Stadtkirche St. Marien (St. Mary’s Town Church) – UNESCO WHS

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Martin Luther, Museum Lutherstiege, St.-Anna-Kirche, Augsburg, Bayern, Bavaria, Germany, fotoeins.com

Augsburg: Luther vs. Cajetan (1518), Confessions (1530)

Above/featured: 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.

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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.

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in Germany.


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

Inside the Lutherpforte gate: east to the Gästhaus (guest house)

Erfurt Augustinerkloster, Toma Babovic, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Cloister (TB/TTG)

Erfurt Augustinerkloster, Toma Babovic, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Reconstructed library (TB/TTG)

Erfurt Augustinerkloster, Toma Babovic, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Recreation of Luther’s spartan room, a monk’s cell (TB/TTG)

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

Vulgate Bible, printed in 1491 by Johann Amerbach in Basel and subsequently bound in Erfurt. Shown are the gospels of Mark and Luke in the New Testament. The “Q” at the upper-right is the first verse of the first chapter in the gospel of Luke: “quoniam quidem multi conati sunt ordinare narrationem quae in nobis conpletae sunt rerum …” The NIV translation goes as: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us …” Photo by HL

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

Copies of Martin Luther documents. Top: “Ein schon sermon tzu Erffurdt …”, printed 1522 in Erfurt by Michael Buchführer. Bottom: “Allen frommen Christen zu Erfurt. Vorrede zu Justus Menius: Wider den hochberühmten Barfüsser zu Erfurt …”, printed 1527 in Wittenberg by Hans Lufft. Photo by HL

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

Luther-Festsaal, Renaissancehof (HL)

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

From the reception area towards the newer “Haus der Versöhnung” (HL)

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

Klostergarten (HL)

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

Kreuzhof (HL)


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.

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 (HL, 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?

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