Luther Memorials of Wittenberg and Eisleben

As the summer holidays approach, The Local is touring Germany's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Today we visit the Martin Luther memorials in Wittenberg and Eisleben.

Luther Memorials of Wittenberg and Eisleben
Photo: DPA

From the end of the 15th century Wittenberg was the electoral seat of Frederick the Wise. His astute policies, the 1502-founded university, and the influence of Luther and other Reformers make the town a leading centre of religious and cultural life in Europe.

From 1511 Martin Luther lived and worked in the town’s Augustinian Monastery as a monk and a scholar. Evidence of the town’s Reformation and Renaissance traditions as well as its fascinating past is still visible today.

The beautiful old quarter is like an open-air museum with magnificent stone buildings wherever you look, while the town church where Luther preached his sermons is an important location in Reformation history. On the 31st October 1517 Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church, which is also significant as the burial site of Luther and Melanchton. In 2017 Germany will celebrate 500 years of Reformation.

Eisleben is home to the house where Martin Luther was born and the house where he died. His birthplace is now one of the oldest museums in the German-speaking world. He was born on the 10th November, 1483 in what is now Lutherplatz and was baptised the following day in the neighbouring Church of St. Peter and Paul. Eye-catching attractions in Eisleben include the historical market with its medieval architecture and the statue of Luther.

A stroll through the old town reveals the house where Luther was born, which was extensively restored in 2006, the baptismal Church of St. Peter and Paul, St. Andrew’s market church with its original Luther pulpit, St. Anne’s Church with the only stone-carved biblical scenes in Europe and the Luther museum that commemorates his death on the 18th February 1546. The memorials have been a UNESCO-World Heritage since 1996.

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