The Protestant Reformation And The Luther Trail
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his paper, 95 Theses, to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church and unknowingly, began a revolution. This was the spark of the Protestant Revolution which quickly spread throughout Europe.
During his life, Luther spent much time researching, translating and moving about while trying to avoid the wrath of the Catholic Church. You can easily find Martin Luther-themed tours online that will take you to some of these most historic and significant places.
Begin your journey here with us today as we discover the highlights of the Martin Luther Trail. :-)
We begin in the Saxon-Anhalt city of Eisleben, which is Luther’s birthplace, as well as the site of his death in 1546. You can visit the reformer’s childhood home and learn about what life was like in those old times. Or, for those who prefer a more macabre tour, take a look at where he drew his final breath and where his death mask is on display.
While in Eisleben, you can also view the churches connected to Luther. Peter and Paul Church was the site of his baptism and Andreas Church was where he delivered his last sermon. And finally, snap a picture of the Lutherdenkmal (Luther Monument) in Old Town.
Our next stop brings us to Erfurt in Thuringia. Much of Luther’s religious beginnings can be traced to this city. Erfurt is where he entered an Augustinian monastery and also where he became an ordained priest at the famed Cathedral in 1507.
If you can only visit one Lutheran city during your time here, then Wittenberg should be at the top of the list. The town is officially named Lutherstadt Wittenberg because of its strong ties with Luther. This is the birthplace of the Reformation, where Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Church, as you know.
When you’ve finished your tour of the Castle Church and its famous door, you can check out the Luther Museum and take your picture with one of the several statues of Luther.
Augsburg is important in the life of Luther because it is where he was confronted by the Cardinal who demanded that he submit to the Catholic Pope and recant his new theories. Luther’s famous refusal set the stage for his life as a religious outlaw.
Luther further refuted the will of the Catholic Church here during the Imperial Diet of Worms. He spoke those immortal words, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” After this, he was officially proclaimed a heretic and an outlaw. His immediate arrest and/or assassination was ordered. It became a crime to offer him any food, shelter or other assistance.
Wartburg Castle, 1522
Wartburg Castle defied the Catholic Church by providing sanctuary for Luther for about one year. He spent his time in solitude, translating the Bible into German for the first time, and living under the assumed identity of “Knight George.”
The castle still showcases its Luther Room with its large hole behind the stove. This is, according to legend, where Luther threw an ink pot at the devil.
Veste Coburg, 1530
Luther remained here under the protection of Elector John the Steadfast while his emissary Melanchthon attended the Diet of Augsburg. The document he brought with him, known as the Augsburg Confession, was denied by the Catholic diet, but has become the statement of faith for Lutheran Christians all over the world.
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