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Posts tagged ‘Reformation’

Wittenberg UNESCO WHS: The Castle Church

In the east German town of Wittenberg, the Schlosskirche (Castle- or All Saints’-Church) is one of four sites as part of the town’s status as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

Elector Frederick III of Ernestine Saxony (1463-1525, also known as Frederick the Wise, Friederich der Weise) became the first patron of the Protestant Reformation with his support and defence of Martin Luther. On the site of the original city castle, Frederick the Wise authorized in 1489-1490 a renaissance palace with the entire north wing occupied by the Castle Church. The church was consecrated and inaugurated in 1503 as the castle and university church “Allerheiligen” (All Saints); Martin Luther taught theology as professor at the neighbouring university. The first Protestant service at the Castle Church was held in 1524-1525.

A significant portion of the church including the original wooden doors was burned and destroyed in 1760 during Europe’s Seven Years’ War (1754-1763). The 1770 replacement church was subsequently destroyed in the conflict against France’s Napoleon which ended with the town under Prussian control in 1815. With support and backing by Emperor Wilhelm II, a full renovation of the church took place between 1885 and 1892 with the west tower taking the form and shape we see today (see also below). The graves for Martin Luther, contemporary colleague and fellow reformer Philipp Melanchthon, and Frederick the Wise are inside the church. After three years of renovation and restoration work in time for the Reformation quincentenary in 2017, the Castle Church was reopened in the autumn of 2016.

Schlosskirche, Castle Church, Wittenberg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Saxony-Anhalt, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Germany, fotoeins.com

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Museum Luthers Elternhaus, Martin Luther, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Reformation 2017, Reformation 500, Mansfeld, Mansfeld-Suedharz, Mansfelder Land, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Luther’s parents house in Mansfeld

In 1484 one year after Martin was born and baptized in Eisleben, his parents, Hans Luder and Margarethe (née Lindemann) Luder, moved the entire family to the town of Mansfeld, 10 kilometres to the northwest of Eisleben. The family moved into a region rich with mineral ore and extensively covered with mines. Martin roamed these streets until he was 13 years of age when he departed for Magdeburg to further his education. His parents stayed in Mansfeld for the rest of their lives; Martin Luther1 moved onto Eisenach, Erfurt, and eventually to Wittenberg.

To provide an account of Martin’s childhood and his parents’ lives in Mansfeld, a museum was built across the street from his parents’ house, and the Museum Luthers Elternhaus opened on 14 June 2014. Both Mansfeld and Eisleben are located in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.

•   More in English: The Luther Connection (Visit Luther)Mansfeld (Germany Tourism)
•   Museum Luthers Elternhaus (in German): Stiftung LuthergedenkstättenLutherstädte Eisleben Mansfeld
•   Public transport: bus 420 Eisleben-Mansfeld-Hettstedt (VGS Südharzlinie), from “Eisleben Bahnhof” to “Mansfeld, Oberstadt”

1 In his thirties, Martin changed his surname from “Luder” to “Luther”, because the noun “Luder” had unsavory meanings and “Luther” was similar to the Greek word “Eleutherius“; see also Deutschlandfunk interview with Dr. Jürgen Udolph on 9 May 2016 in German.

Museum Luthers Elternhaus, Luther Parents House Museum, Mansfeld, Mansfeld-Lutherstadt, Mansfeld-Suedharz, Mansfelder Land, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Museum Luthers Elternhaus (Luther’s Parents House Museum): Illuminated busts of “Dad” and “Mom” (Hans and Margarethe Luder) are in the background.


My thanks to IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus, the town of Mansfeld, and Anja Ulrich (Tourist-Information Lutherstadt Eisleben und Stadt Mansfeld e.V.) for her time as guide in both Eisleben and Mansfeld. I made the photos above on 27 October 2016. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-989. 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, Wittenberg, and Halle (Saale).

Schlosskirche, Castle Church, All Saints' Church, Martin Luther, Luthergarten, Wittenberg, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, UNESCO World Heritage, Saxony-Anhalt, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: A mighty fortress is our Wittenberg

In the east German town of Wittenberg, people bask under the late-autumn afternoon sun in the Luthergarten (Luther Garden), under sight of the massive 88-metre (290-feet) high Neogothic spire of the Schlosskirche (Castle- or All Saints’-Church). “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, ein gute Wehr und Waffen” is the first verse from one of Martin Luther’s best-known hymns written between 1527 and 1529. The verse encircles the tower as a one-metre tall frieze made with over 100-thousand individual pieces of Meissen porcelain. The Schlosskirche is one of four sites which assign Wittenberg’s status as UNESCO World Heritage Site.


IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus, the city of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, and the Luther Hotel for their patronage and access to facilities. I made the photo above on 30 October 2016 with the Canon 6D, 24-105 zoom-lens, and the following settings: 1/640s, f/16, ISO2000, and 47mm focal-length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-97I.

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, Wittenberg, and Halle (Saale).
Peter-Pauli-Kirche, Lutherstadt Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Where Martin Luther was baptized in Eisleben

This is the interior of the Peter-Pauli-Kirche (Peter and Paul Church) in the city of Eisleben in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. The church here was built between 1447 and 1513, although a previous church dedicated to Peter had already been present by the end of the 13th-century. At the centre of the floor is a circular depression which is a modern baptistry with pumps underneath to simulate the constant flow of water and a focal point from which circular waves emanate. Underneath the Luther Rose on the ceiling lies a second focal point (on the floor at the lower-centre) representing the spreading impact of Luther’s Protestantism.

To the upper-left of the central baptistry and next to the main altar is a famous basin or “font”, a small stone structure which holds water for baptism. The font’s inscription in Latin reads: “Rudera baptistierii, quo tinctus est beatus Martinus Lutherus Anno 1483.” The German translation is: “Überbleibsel des Taufsteins, an dem der selige Martin Luther den 10 November 1483 getauft wurde1,” which in English translates to: “Remains of the baptismal stone in which the blessed Martin Luther was baptized on 10 November 1483.”

Eisleben is host to two buildings which have given the town UNESCO World Heritage Site status: the house where Luther was born, and the building where he died (well, sorta, but that’s for another time …)

Peter-Pauli-Kirche, Lutherstadt Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Where Martin Luther was baptized

Peter-Pauli-Kirche, Peter and Paul Church, Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Martin Luther, Reformation, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Eisleben Peter-Pauli-Kirche (Peter and Paul Church) – 26 Oct 2016.

1 The German translation of the Latin is from Anton Theodor Effner’s 1817 book “Dr. Martin Luther und seine Zeitgenossen: dargestellt in einer Reihe karakteristrender Züge und Anekdoten,” Volume 1 (page 29). Digitized sources: Google Books (book)Google Books (page)Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München.

My thanks to IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus, the city of Eisleben, and Anja Ulrich for her time as guide in Eisleben and Mansfeld. I made the photos above on 26 October 2016. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-97q. 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, Wittenberg, and Halle (Saale).

Wittenberger Marktplatz, Rathaus, Lutherdenkmal, Stadtkirche Sankt Marien, Marktplatz, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, Deutschland, UNESCO, World Heritage Site, Welterbe, Weltkulturerbe, fotoeins.com

The Saxony-Anhalt 5: Luther & Bauhaus

(October 2016.)

As motivation to trace Martin Luther’s footsteps for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 and to learn more about the impact of the Bauhaus art and design movement for the centenary in 2019, I embarked on a press-trip in the autumn 2016 to the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.

(( The description of this trip would be a continuation of a consecutive annual streak going back to 2001. I’ve set foot inside Germany at least once every year since 2001. I’d already claimed another consecutive year with a short stint at “home” in the HD earlier in the spring, but autumn in-country* solidly confirmed a 16th consecutive year in the country. ))


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Morning view, Morgenblick, city view, Stadtblick, Hubbruecke, Elbe river, Romanesque Road, Strasse der Romanik, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Saxony Anhalt, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Magdeburg: the Otto city where Romanesque meets Luther

Above/featured: From Hubbrücke bridge over the Elbe river, churches left to right are Dom, Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, and Johanniskirche, respectively. Photo on 3 Dec 2015.

I’ve seen the city on the map, lying halfway between Hannover and Berlin. Over the last 15 years, there’ve been far too many ICE trains along that very same stretch, bypassing the heart of Saxony-Anhalt. Curiosity eventually wins, and I’m on a train to Magdeburg.

Magdeburg is the capital city of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, home to two famous Ottos, a centre for the state’s Romanesque Road, and one of the stations for (Martin) Luther Country. Founded by Charlemagne in 805 AD/CE, the city is one of the oldest German cities, celebrating their 1200th anniversary in 2005. Magdeburg was an important medieval city in the Holy Roman Empire, a member of the Hanseatic League and important trade centre along the Elbe river, a welcome settlement for Jews in the 10th-century, and one of the first places to begin separating church- from civic-rule of law in the 13th-century with the Magdeburger Recht (Magdeburg Rights).


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Weimar: City Church at Herderplatz, UNESCO WHS

Weimar is a compact town with a large number of buildings as a part of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As part of the “Classic Weimar” World Heritage listing, Herderplatz (Herder Plaza) in the northern part of the city’s old town is known most for the church with two spires and a dark grey roof. This is the Stadtkirche (City Church), known also the Church of Saint Peter and Paul.

The church dates to the middle of the 13th-century AD (CE) when town and charter were first established, although a settlement in the area goes further back to the beginning of the 10th-century AD. Built initially as late-Gothic and redesigned as Baroque, and what fires and war bombing couldn’t destroy, several phases of rebuilding and renovations were completed in 1953, 1977, and 2000.

Johannes Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) was German philosopher, writer, and theologian. From 1776 until his death, he lived and worked in Weimar as General Superintendent for the Saxon-Weimar Duchy, Court Chaplain, member of the church advisory council, and President of the Supreme Consistory. For his service to the city’s people and contributions to German philosophy and literature, and as the site of his burial, the church is also known as Herderkirche (Herder Church).

Cranach Altar

The Cranach Altar is an important testament to the history of the Reformation in the state of Thuringia. The triptych was started by Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1552, and continued by his son, Lucas Cranach the Younger, in 1554. Completed in 1555, the entire piece was installed over the main church altar by 1557. The paintings include portraits of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Martin Luther, and centre around “Christus am Kreuz” (Christ’s crucifixion). Christ’s blood streams out and touches Cranach the Elder’s forehead, symbolizing a direct relationship between God and people without the need for or the intercession of priests; more here.

Contemporaries

Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1472-1553.
Martin Luther, 1483-1546.
Lucas Cranach the Younger, 1515-1586.

Johannes Gottfried Herder, 1744-1803.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832.
Friedrich Schiller, 1759-1805.

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Wartburg Castle, Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Eisenach Wartburg at night

The light spring rain makes gentle syncopated patter on the surrounding forest canopy and against the stone walls and roadwork. Pitty pat, pit pit pat …

In the distance a spotlight fires up, announcing its presence with the soaring beam piercing through the mist. In the fading daylight, it’s become abundantly clear the mystery in this picture has remain unchanged over centuries.

As a part of exile at Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Martin Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German (1521-1522), giving accessibility of the book to the general population for the first time. This marked an eventual shift of requiring intercession from priests to a direct relationship betweeen people and God. Wartburg Castle gained UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999 for the surrounding forested beauty and the site’s historical significance.

I’m grateful to Thüringen Tourismus and the Germany National Tourism Board for supporting and providing access to places and activities in the region. I made the photo above on 25 April 2015 with the Canon EOS6D, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/160-sec, f/4, ISO5000, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on fotoeins DOT com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-77V.

Jan Hus (John Huss), Pomník mistra Jana Husa, Jan Hus Memorial, Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem, Church of Our Lady before Tyn, Staroměstské námesti, Old Town Square, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Jan Hus Day

Above/featured: Jan Hus looks up at the Church of Our Lady before Tyn – 4 Jul 2008 (HL).

Before Martin Luther, there was Jan Hus …

Over centuries, the Catholic Church operated with total authority on religion, science, and politics and far-reaching aspects on daily life. It’s a nice racket to claim you’re the only legitimate path to God and salvation. What Jan Hus (John Huss) and subsequent Martin Luther would set in motion when they openly challenged the superiority of the Church and introduced the idea of an individual’s direct path to their own thoughts and emotions in the world and to God. Being cut out as the “middle man” did not endear these two men to the Church.

Jan Hus helped bring about “The Bohemian Reformation” in the Czech Republic in the 15th-century, predating Luther’s movement in neighbouring Germany by a century. The US Embassy in the Czech Republic describes Jan Hus as:

Jan Hus (1369-1415), a predecessor of Martin Luther, was an early 15th century Czech theologian and scholar. He advocated church reforms, such as using Czech as the liturgical language, aligning the church’s practices with teachings contained in the Bible, limiting the power of the church to spiritual matters, and stopping the sale of indulgences. Consequently, he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1412 for insubordination. He was summoned to the ecclesiastical Council of Constance in 1414, where he was ordered to recant his teachings. Refusing to comply, Hus was burnt at the stake as a heretic on 6 July 1415. Over the centuries Jan Hus has become a powerful symbol of an independent Czech national identity.

News of Hus’ martyrdom sparked outrage, anger, and protests (often violent) among Czechs, and the movement eventually ignited the Hussite wars between Hus’ followers (early Protestants) and the Catholic Church. Armed conflict ended with infighting among the Hussites, and ultimately defeat of the Hussites at the hands of Catholic forces.

In 1903, Czech sculptor Ladislav Saloun began work on designing the Jan Hus Memorial. Jan Hus is seen looking up and towards the Church of Our Lady before Týn which was the primary church for the Hussites between 1419 and 1621. The memorial was inaugurated at Prague’s Old Town Square on 6 July 1915 to mark the 500th anniversary of Jan Hus’ martyrdom. As Prague was under the rule of the Habsburg (i.e., Catholic) Empire in 1915, the authorities of the day refused to acknowledge the memorial and forbade an official event. In quiet protest, city residents proceeded to blanket the new monument with flowers. The Jan Hus memorial has become a symbol of opposition against foreign rule.

6 July 2015 marked the 600th anniversary of Jan Hus’ death. What were some of the following consequences?

•   1st Defenestration in Prague, 1419
•   Jiří z Poděbrad (George of Poděbrady)
•   Precedes Martin Luther’s Reformation by 100 years
•   World’s largest Reformation monument in Worms, Germany
•   Pope John Paul II’s apology, 1999

More on Jan Hus

•   My Expats CZ
•   My Czech Republic
•   Prague.CZ

I made this photo on 4 July 2008 with the Canon EOS450D, EF 18-55 IS zoom- and kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/500s, f/7.1, ISO200, and 27mm focal length (43mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6WM.

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