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Posts tagged ‘Stiftung Luthergedenkstaetten in Sachsen-Anhalt’

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Wittenberg UNESCO WHS: St. Mary’s Church

Above: West side illuminated by afternoon sun, 30 Oct 2016 (HL).

The Stadtkirche Sankt Marien (St. Mary’s Town and Parish Church) is the oldest building in Wittenberg, and is one of four sites in town as part of the town’sasx inscription as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Not only is this the location where Luther preached, the church also contains important relics by the Cranachs highlighting the young Reformation movement. The Cranach and Luther families were close, as well as contemporary colleagues.

The east chancel (near the main altar) was part of the original St. Mary’s chapel built around 1280. By the early 15th-century, the chapel was incorporated into a triple-naved structure with two towers in the late-Gothic style at the west end of the new church; the Gothic tops were removed and replaced by octagonal shapes by the mid-16th century. The original pulpit from which Luther delivered his sermons has survived the centuries, and is now located in Wittenberg’s Luther House (Lutherhaus).

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Mansfeld: Martin Luther’s childhood home town

Above: View of the town from Mansfeld Castle; numbered labels are described below.

I approach the ledge, and what appears is a typical yet modest German town: red roofs, a church steeple, green pastures, and endless hills rolling to the horizon. But this is no typical town. Five centuries ago, a young lad grew up in this town and ran through these streets. Though the area was dominated by mining activity, Dad was grooming the boy to become a lawyer, but the latter would make a life-changing decision. How was the boy to know his decision and subsequent work would eventually change religion, governance, literature, and culture in Europe.

Mansfeld is a town of about 9000 people in the southwest corner of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. The town is dominated by the Mansfeld Castle situated on a rock spur above town. With origins to regional nobles, first mention of the town in official documents occurred in the late-10th century, erection of the castle’s foundations began in the 11th-century, and full charter rights of a city were granted to Mansfeld in the early 15th-century.

In 1484 one year after he was born and baptized in Eisleben, Martin Luder’s parents, Hans and Margarethe (née Lindemann) Luder1, moved the family 10 kilometres northwest to the town of Mansfeld. Hans Luder earned good wages in a region rich with mineral ore and covered with mines. Hans first worked in the quarries, and worked up to managing smelting furnaces, and eventually, to owning individual mine shafts and smelters. Martin wandered these streets until he left town at age 14 in 1497 for further education. His parents stayed in Mansfeld for the rest of their lives, whereas Martin moved to Magdeburg, Eisenach, Erfurt, and settling in Wittenberg.

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 in German on 9 May 2016.


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Eisleben, Lutherstadt Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, Deutschland, UNESCO, World Heritage Site, Welterbe, Weltkulturerbe, fotoeins.com

Eisleben UNESCO WHS: Luther’s birth and death sites

Above/featured: Luther monument by Rudolf Simmering at Eisleben’s market square. The monument was inaugurated in 1883 to mark the quatercentenary of Luther’s birth year (1483). At left and upper-right are the Hotel Graf von Mansfeld and St. Andrew’s Church, respectively.

With a population over 25-thousand people, Eisleben is a quiet town in central Germany in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. But the South Harz region holds a special place in German and European history: Martin Luther came into the world in Eisleben in 1483, spent his childhood years in Mansfeld, and, on a trip home from Wittenberg to negotiate a local dispute in Mansfield, died in Eisleben in 1546. As shown in the map below, a number of important locations in Eisleben are associated with Luther and the Reformation, including the Luther monument in the town’s market square, St. Peter’s Church, St. Andrew’s Church, and St. Anne’s Church. Specifically, two sites in town constitute a part of the inscription for UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996: (1) the house where Luther was born, and (2) the museum on Luther’s death.

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Stadtkirche, Schlosskirche, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, UNESCO World Heritage Site, fotoeins.com

Wittenberg: 13 historical highlights in the Lutherstadt

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.


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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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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).
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