The Birthplace of Protestantism.
We stopped off in Wittenberg when we were travelling from Leipzig to Berlin. Unfortunately we had not realised the Wittenberg Altstadt Station would be so small, so there was nowhere to leave our luggage, therefore we just wheeled it the short distance to the centre of town. We took turns at exploring and guarding the luggage. We bumped into references to Luther in Erfurt and Leipzig but this really was his town. Wittenberg, also known as Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a town in Saxony Anhalt. It is located on the River Elbe and has a population of about 50,000.
Wittenberg is closely associated with Martin Luther and the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation. On the 31st of October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses against the selling of indulgences on the door of the Castle Church here. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Wittenberg's old town is small. It has statues of Martin Luther and Phillip Melanchthon, another Protestant reformer, churches, Luther's house, Melanchthon's house, a park and a university.
The Market Place.
We spent a long time sitting here as one of us had to watch the luggage while the other explored and vice versa. Fortunately, it is a rather lovely spot. Wittenberg's townhall which dates from 1540 is located here and there are statues of Martin Luther and Phillip Melanchthon, another Protestant reformer and associate of Luther. Wittenberg's old market square has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
The Parish Church of St Mary.
The Parish Church of St. Mary is the oldest building in Wittenberg. It was built between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. Martin Luther frequently preached here. The church is visible from the market place. It is beautiful inside. Address: Kirchplatz, 06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg.
The Castle Church.
This should have been beautiful but was a building site when we visited, so a bit of a disappointment really. The Castle Church or Schlosskirche was built in 1500. In 1517 Martin Luther nailed his famous Theses to the church's original wooden doors. These doors were sadly destroyed during the Seven Years War. They have been replaced by bronze doors which were installed in 1858. The bronze doors have Luther's original Latin theses inscribed on them. The tombs of Luther and Melanchthon are located inside the church. We could not go in due to the renovation. Address: WilhelmWeberStraße 1a, 06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg.
The Martin Luther University.
Most of the Martin Luther University is actually located in Halle, but the Leucorea Foundation in Wittenberg serves as the Martin Luther University’s convention centre for seminars and academic and political conferences. It was quite an attractive building which I noticed on my way to Martin Luther's house.
The Melanchthon House
The Melanchthon house was built in 1536. Humanist and reformer Philipp Melanchthon, an associate of Martin Luther, lived and worked in this house until his death. There is a permanent exhibition here about Melanchthon's life and work. The Melanchthon house is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Admission is 4 Euros.
Martin Luther lived in the building now known as Lutherhaus from 1508 to 1546. The house was built in 1504 as an Augustinian Monastery. It was altered between 1844 and 1900 when it was converted into a museum dedicated to the Reformation. Martin Luther's writings and some of his personal belongings are on display here. Address: Collegienstraße 54, 06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg.