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Routes to Luther

The Man, his Faith


Martin Luther, (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk,and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the Catholic view on indulgences. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the Pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.

His translation of the Bible into the German vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to marry.

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther wrote to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting against the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences", which came to be known as the Ninety-five Theses. Hans Hillerbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church, but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly "searching, rather than doctrinaire." Hillerbrand writes that there is nevertheless an undercurrent of challenge in several of the theses, particularly in Thesis 86, which asks: "Why does the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?"

On 31 October 1999, officials of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification regarding some of the issues at the root of the Reformation. While this statement was praised for helping clarify centuries of misunderstanding, a number of scholars, especially Protestant converts to Catholicism, starting around the 1990s, have been criticizing the Reformation for being unbiblical and unfaithful to the doctrines and practices of the early Church.

In 2013, the Joint International Commission between representatives of the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation published a report entitled "From Conflict to Communion" anticipating the forthcoming "Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017", which noted that "in 2017, Lutheran and Catholic Christians will commemorate together the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation". The "common commemoration" was a year-long remembrance concluded on Reformation Day 2017.

German Towns Signifcant to Martin Luther

ALTENBURG

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE TOWN

Besides Weimar, Altenburg was the Wettin Electors' second Thuringia residence. Georg Spalatin was a close confidant, secretary and spiritual adviser to Elector Frederick the Wise and for many years Spalatin liaised with Luther on his behalf. After Frederick's death in 1525 Spalatin took up the post of rectorate of Altenburg, and in 1528 he became superintendent before implementing his interpretation of Luther's Reformation. Altenburg has the advantage of being located at the crossroads between three of Germany's federal states, just 50 km from Leipzig, Zwickau and Chemnitz.

LUTHER PLACES

ALTENBURG CASTLE

This former residence of the Wettin dynasty sits in splendour on a rocky outcrop. Over the course of 1,000 years the Hohenstaufen Emperors, Wettin Electors and the dukes of Gotha and Altenburg continued to add to this impressive complex. The castle museum illustrates how the dukes used to live and features diverse collections including precious watches, a baroque cabinet of porcelain and even playing cards spanning five centuries and five continents. Guided tours are available in the banquet hall and the castle church. 

CASTLE CHURCH

The splendour of the baroque interior is rivalled only by the sound of the tremendous organ, praised by Bach and created by Thuringia's answer to Silbermann, organ builder H.G. Trost. In fact, Bach’s favourite student, J.G. Krebs, was choirmaster here, where he wrote compositions and played the organ for 50 years. 

SPALATINS FOOTSTEPS

A sign posted trail through the old town connects five authentic places of the reformation where both Luther and Spalatin preached and worked. These are the Altenburg Castle, Church of the Brethren, Red Towers, Church St. Bartholomäi and the Town Hall. 

CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN

This church from 1905, with its lavish art nouveau mosaics, stands on the site of a former Franciscan monastery. Large sculptures on the church's facade commemorate Spalatin and his friend Luther. Pilgrim’s information centre for all five Luther trails to Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. 

THE RED TOWERS

Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa funded this imposing abbey and he was present for its consecration in 1172. Built by Italian monks, the abbey is a paragon of Hohenstaufen Romanesque architecture. Only the red towers, the “Rote Spitzen”, remain and they still watch over the town today as one of Altenburg's most notable landmarks. Exhibition on the cloister’s astounding history and walk through archeological excavations. 

TOWN CHURCH ST BARTHOLOMÄI

St Bartholomäi is Altenburg's oldest church. Martin Luther preached here often visiting his intimate friend Georg Spalatin, who was Altenburg's reformed preacher from 1525 to 1545. Spalatin had been instrumental in saving the early reformation. As the private secretary of the elector Friedrich he was responsible for all dealings in the "causa Lutheris" and became a friend to both men. Today the gothic church with its Romanesque crypt and its baroque tower is labelled European cultural heritage and houses an exhibition "Faith and Freedom" on the work and life of Spalatin.

Altenburg Castle

EISENACH

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE TOWN

Martin Luther had many connections to the town of Eisenach. He spent five formative periods of his life there. He attended St. George’s school until 1501. Luther always had fond memories of his school days and referred to Eisenach as „my dear town“.

LUTHER PLACES

WARTBURG CASTLE (UNESCO WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE)

Its history dates back to 1067. It was the venue of the Minnesingers‘ contests. But later, it was also home of St. Elisabeth. In 1521, Luther arrived at this place and lived here in protective custody. He assumed the name of Junker Jörg and translated the New Testament from Greek into German. It is said that the famous composer Richard Wagner was inspired to write his „Tannhäuser“opera, when he saw the castle. The Luther Room is still authentic. Recently, Wartburg castle was one of the authentic locations of the famous „Luther“ movie, an US American / German co-production.

LUTHER’S MEMORIAL

This memorial is located at Karlsplatz. Its plinth is decorated with scenes of Luther‘s time in Eisenach.

LUTHER’S HOUSE

The Lutherhaus, now a museum with the award-winning permanent exhibition “Luther and the Bible”, is one of the oldest half-timbered houses in Thuringia. Luther lived here with the Cotta family for three years from 1498 to 1501 while he attended the school in town. Until the end of 2018, Luther’s House will be showing its special exhibition “Heretic, Schismatic, Teacher of the Faith – The Catholic View of Luther”.

ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH

It was here that Luther sang in the church’s boys choir and he preached there.

Luther‘s Room at Wartburg Castle


ERFURT

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE TOWN

In 742, St. Boniface founded the bishopric of Erfurt. Great personalities such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Sebastian Bach and Napoleon Bonaparte have lived in Erfurt or visited the town several times. Erfurt is characterized by its medieval city center, one of the largest listed historical city centers in Germany with richly decorated patrician homes and lovingly restored half-timbered houses. Today, Erfurt is the capital of the German state Thuringia.


Martin Luther lived and worked in Erfurt from 1501 to 1511. He once said: „Erfurt is situated in the best location. It is the perfect place for a city.”

LUTHER PLACES

MONASTERY OF ST. AUGUSTINE

The monastery and the church of the Augustinian hermits were built around 1300. Martin Luther, the famous Augustinian monk, was admitted to the monastery in 1505. He stayed here until 1511. It is said that Erfurt was the young Luther’s spiritual home.
Today this monastery is a Luther memorial place and serves as an internationally renowned reformation and conference center, as well as a guest house.

GEORGENBURSE ERFURT (ST GEORGE'S DORMITORY)

First mentioned in 1456, the Georgenburse was originally used as a dormitory until the middle of the 16th century. Martin Luther lived here between 1501 and 1505 while he was a student at the University of Erfurt. On the ground floor there is a permanent exhibition about the life of students and the university in the Middle Ages. Today the Georgenburse is a place for learning and meeting, and serves as a guest house for visitors of Erfurt.

COLLEGIUM MAIUS, MAIN BUILDING OF ERFURT’S OLD UNIVERSITY

Founded in 1392, the Erfurt University is the third oldest university in Germany. As a student at Erfurt’s university between 1501 and 1505, Luther first studied the “seven liberal arts”, and afterwards began the studies of jurisprudence. This building has been rebuilt recently.

ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL

The late Gothic cathedral with its high-Gothic choir and Romanesque tower replaced the church built on this site for Bishop Boniface in 742. The central tower houses the "Gloriosa", the world’s largest medieval free-swinging bell. In 1507, Luther was ordained as a priest in this cathedral.

LUTHER MEMORIAL

This monument is located next to the Merchants’ Church (Kaufmannskirche) on Anger. Its plinth is decorated with scenes of his time in Erfurt.

TOWN HALL

The neo-Gothic Town Hall was built from 1870 to 1874. Inside is a series of murals depicting legends and scenes from Luther’s life.

MERCHANTS’ BRIDGE

A significant landmark is the Merchants’ Bridge (Krämerbrücke), the longest series of inhabited buildings on any bridge in Europe (120 m). Initially built in wood and rebuilt in stone in 1325, it is Erfurt’s most interesting secular construction. A staircase on one end of the Merchants’ Bridge named “Lutherstiege” leads to the Gera River.

Augustinian Monastery

HALLE (SAALE)

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE TOWN

In Halle (Saale) Martin Luther’s Reformation is tangible at a clustered multitude of authentic sites located closely to the city centre. The buildings commissioned by Martin Luther´s adversary, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg, take visitors on a trip back in time to the 16th century. There are also a great many treasures and artefacts from the Reformation to discover in Halle, including the original death mask of Martin Luther in the market church. But the adventure definitely does not end there: the Pietists took Reformatory ideas from the Francke Foundations out into the world and changed them profoundly.

LUTHER PLACES

MARKET CHURCH (MARKTKIRCHE “UNSERER LIEBEN FRAUEN”)

The Market Church was built in the 16th century as a late Gothic hall church nestled between the twin steeples of the former Church of St. Mary. In 1541, Justus Jonas the Elder introduced the Reformation to Halle. That’s why Luther preached in the Market Church on his final journey in 1546. Today you can visit Luther’s death mask there.

THE LIBRARY “MARIENBIBLIOTHEK”

The library “Marienbibliothek” (Library of Our Lady), which was founded in 1552, belongs to the Market Church parish and is one of the oldest and most extensive church library collections in Germany. The collection includes 30,000 volumes, besides 600 incunabula (graphic prints from before 1500) there are works hailing from all academic fields of the 15th and 18th centuries, as well as handwritten notes by Martin Luther.

THE NEW RESIDENCE AND THE CATHEDRAL

The Dominican monastery originally built at this site in 1300 was extended by Cardinal Albrecht after 1520 to become a collegiate church for his residence. Located next to the cathedral is the New Residence, constructed in the Renaissance style from 1531-1539 and originally conceived by Cardinal Albrecht as a Catholic university.

THE ART MUSEUM MORITZBURG HALLE (SAALE)

The Moritzburg’s cornerstone was laid in 1484 by Archbishop Ernst von Sachsen (Archbishop from 1476-1513). He moved into his newly built residence with his court in May 1503. At this time the construction was almost finished except for the palace chapel. Under Archbishop Ernst’s successor Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg (1490-1545), Martin Luther’s powerful opponent, the Moritzburg was sumptuously furnished with rich wooden panelling, magnificent carpets, murals and exquisite paintings by great masters of the time, including Cranach, Grünewald and Dürer.

THE FRANCKE FOUNDATIONS

4 Thalers and 16 Groschen (German coins) in the donation bucket motivated the theologian August Hermann Francke to constitute an educational foundation in 1698, whose epochal reforms would put Luther’s ideas into practice and see them carried throughout Europe and as far as India and North America. During its heyday as many as 3,000 people worked and lived in the educational foundation, which at the time represented “New Jerusalem” for contemporary witnesses. And to this day the Francke Foundations remain a living cosmos of museums, schools and institutions. The Francke Foundations are still a vibrant promoter of education today, through museums, schools and institutes. The foundation’s impressive collection of buildings includes the Historical Orphanage, Europe’s longest half-timbered building, the oldest civic museum room and an early modern library with stage-set shelving.

UNIQUE RENAISSANCE CEMETERY (“STADTGOTTESACKER”)

Cardinal Albrecht initiated the construction of the “Stadtgottesacker” in the mid-16th century. The master builder Nickel Hofmann planned this cemetery, which is unique north of the Alps, in Renaissance style according to an Italian “Camposanto”. The cemetery is framed by 94 richly ornamented arches in which famous inhabitants of the city have been laid to rest, including August Hermann Francke. Visitors to this site will find a place whose overall conception and atmosphere radiate harmony and peace.

Burg Giebichenstein with the Saale river

LUTHERSTADT EISLEBEN

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE TOWN

Today Eisleben is 1,000 years old. Martin Luther was the most famous citizen of this city. He was born here on November 10th 1483 and died here on February 18th 1546. He described his feelings towards his birthplace with the words: „Eisleben was my fatherland“.

The city cultivates his memory with pride. Therefore the town got the surname Lutherstadt (Luther-City) in 1946.

LUTHER PLACES

LUTHER´S BIRTHPLACE

This museum was already built for Luther pilgrims in the late 17th century. The permanent exhibition “Von daher bin ich – Martin Luther und Eisleben” (That’s where I'm from – Martin Luther and Eisleben) illustrates the origin of the reformer, his baptism, the piety and spiritualism of the Middle Ages as well as his father’s profession as a miner.

LUTHER’S DEATH HOUSE / LUTHER‘S LAST PATH

The exhibition reminds of the last residence of Luther and his activities in Eisleben as well as his ideas about death and dying. The permanent exhibition “Luther’s Last Journey” recounts the final days and hours of the Protestant reformer in Eisleben, his relationship to death and dying in his role as a theologian, spiritual guide and mourner and his legacy on culture of dying and death.

CHURCH OF ST. PETER AND PAUL

Martin Luther was baptized in this church on 11 November 1483. The church was restored and turned into a “center of baptism”. The highlight of the church is a baptismal font from the time of Luther, together with a new font, which is recessed into the floor.

CHURCH OF ST. ANDREW

Martin Luther gave his last sermons in this hall church in late Gothic style. It was here where the funeral service took place. The pulpit of Luther remained in original style until today.

CHURCH OF ST. ANNE

Because of the influence of Martin Luther St. Anne’s Church became the first Protestant Preacher’s Church in the Mansfeld region. Several times Martin Luther visited the nearby Augustinian Hermit Monastery.

Luther‘s birthplace in Eisleben

LUTHERSTADT WITTENBERG

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE TOWN

The first documentary evidence of a settlement in Wittenberg is dated around 1180. Since 1486 Wittenberg flourished as an electoral seat under Frederick III “the Wise”. Wittenberg University became a center of European intellectual life through Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and Giordano Bruno, who were teachers there. Wittenberg’s Luther sites became UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites in 1996.

LUTHER PLACES

CASTLE CHURCH

On 31st October 1517 he nailed his 95 theses on to the main door. Today, inside the church, the grave of Martin Luther and the final resting place of the reformer Philipp Melanchthon can be visited. The chapel is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site.

TOWN CHURCH ST. MARY’S

The town and parish church is the oldest building in town and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Martin Luther used to preach in this church. His companion Johannes Bugenhagen clarified Reformation insights here. The famous painter Lucas Cranach the Elder designed the Reformation altar, which you can admire during a guided tour. You can also discover valuable paintings by Cranach, the elaborately decorated baptismal font by Hermann Vischer the oldest piece of the church, the magnificent organ as well as the vestry of contemporary art.

LUTHER HOUSE

The Luther House is located in Collegienstraße. In 1504, it used to be an Augustinian monastery. Later it became the home of the reformer Martin Luther. Today the Luther House is the largest Reformation museum in the world and is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

LUTHER OAK

The Luther Oak, planted in 1830, marks the spot where Luther once burned a copy of the papal bull threatening him with excommunication.

LUTHER MEMORIAL

View the Luther and Melanchthon memorials in front of the town hall.

Town hall at the market - Wittenberg

MAGDEBURG

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY

First documented as 'magadoburg' in Charlemagne's Capitulary of Diedenhofen (Thionville) in 805 AD, the city of Magdeburg quickly established itself as an important trading centre on the river Elbe. In the 14th century the confederation of merchants made the city a member of the Hanseatic League. And as Magdeburg continued to grow, tensions between the church and the secular powers continued to mount. In 1523 their disputes had reached such a height that the Mayor and part of the council called for Luther's ideas on Reformation to be implemented. In an effort to avert an escalation of the growing unrest in Magdeburg, the authorities sent for Martin Luther. Luther had previously spent time in the city as a thirteen-year-old schoolboy, but in 1498 he was sent by his father to study at the Latin School in Eisenach. His presence in Magdeburg in 1524 was hailed a success. In fact, the Augustinian monastery church was so overcrowded when he preached there on June 24th 1524 that he had to repeat the sermon in St. John's Church. The famous church reformer left such a lasting impression on the thousands of townsfolk who heard him speak that by July 17th that same year, nearly every church in Magdeburg had converted to the Protestant faith. Magdeburg became a stronghold of the Protestant church and was nicknamed “Our Lord's Chancery”.

LUTHER PLACES

WALLOON CHURCH

The Walloon Church is a high-Gothic hall church and was formerly the abbey church of a mendicant order of Augustinian monks, which accounts for its modest appearance. In 1516 the district vicar of the Augustinian order, Martin Luther, came to visit the abbey. Through a number of sermons he gave in the church in 1524 Luther – who lived in one of the monastery's cells when in Magdeburg – was instrumental in bringing the Reformation to Magdeburg.

ST. JOHN'S CHURCH

St. John's Church is the oldest of Magdeburg's parish churches. This triple-naved cruciform basilica was built in the Romanesque style in 1131. The history of St. John's Church is an eventful one. It was destroyed many times by great city fires and also during the 1631 siege of Magdeburg led by General Tilly, but it was always rebuilt. St. John's Church is closely linked to Martin Luther's activities in the city. On June 26th 1524 he preached here to an overcrowded congregation about true and false righteousness. It is noted in the annals that the entire old town of Magdeburg converted to Protestantism in the wake of Luther's sermon.

LUTHER MEMORIAL

Erected in honour of the church reformer, this memorial statue of Martin Luther is located outside St. John's Church at its north-west corner. Sculptor Emil Hundrieser cast the statue in bronze in 1886. The words of Luther are inscribed on the front of the plinth: 'Gottes Wort mit uns in Ewigkeit' (God's word with us for eternity). At the back is the date November 10th 1883, the 400th anniversary of Martin Luther's birth.

CATHEDRAL

Magdeburg Cathedral is the pride and joy of this city on the Elbe and also the final resting place of Emperor Otto the Great and his first wife Edith. Numerous artworks inside, including sculptures of St. Maurice and of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, testify to the church's heyday in the Middle Ages. Luther was among those who witnessed the transformation of the simple St. Anne's chapel into an ornate chancel. The cathedral also houses the tomb of Archbishop Ernst (1464-1513). In the ecclesiastical province of Magdeburg, the Dominican monk Johann Tetzel was responsible for issuing the indulgences that had been sanctioned by the Pope. This 'trade in souls' outraged Luther. Tetzel's indulgence chest can be seen in the cathedral near the high altar.

CITY GATE

Magdeburg's oldest city gate stands behind the Fürstenwall promenade on the former site of the Trollbrüder School, which Luther attended as a boy. Built in 1493, this stone archway stands proudly next to what is now the Romanesque Arts Centre. Luther used to pass through the gate to reach the old town.

MARTIN LUTHER SQUARE AND MARTIN LUTHER WOOD

Both of these sites, not far from St. John's Church, have a special connection to Luther and his work. The square and woodland were renamed after the reformer in 2010, giving the people of Magdeburg further opportunity to reflect on the significance of Luther to their city.

MANSFELD-LUTHERSTADT

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY

Martin Luther's father, Hans Luder, moved to Mansfeld in 1484 where he became a mining entrepreneur. As a result, Martin Luther spent his childhood in the town. But it is not only the modern-day name of Mansfeld-Lutherstadt that reminds us of the great reformer. Martin Luther has also been immortal-lised in many monuments and buildings and his influence continues to shape the town to this day.

LUTHER PLACES

LUTHER’S PARENTAL HOME

With the opening of Luther's parental home in June 2014, Luthers home gets a new museum site. The exhibition "Ich bin ein Mansfeldisch kind/ I’m a child of Mansfeld” gives insight into the everyday life of the Luther family in Mansfeld, of Luther's school and school history as well as from the reception of Luther in the Mansfeld region. The exhibit includes significant archaeological finds such as the marbles that Martin Luther played with.

ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH

The St. George’s church, whose beginnings go back to the 12th Century, is located in the historic town of Mansfeld. The church in late Gothic style was rebuilt at the end of the 15th century. It is the home church of Martin Luther. As a student he sang in the choir of St. George's Church.

MONUMENT “LUTHERBRUNNEN” (LUTHER FOUNTAIN)

The monument of 1913 shows relief scenes from Martin Luther's childhood and life in Mansfeld-Lutherstadt and is crowned by Saint George, the patron saint of the Counts of Mansfeld. The impression is determined by three large picture reliefs that reflect excerpts from Luther's life.

MANSFELD CASTLE

The Mansfeld Castle was mentioned as a castle for the first time in the year 1060. Around 1260 Mansfeld finally became the ancestral seat of the counts. Today the castle is a youth educational institution and meeting place. You can visit the castle grounds, the fortress ruins and the castle church.

Luther‘s parents house in Mansfeld

SCHMALKALDEN

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY

MThere are very few German towns, whose names are so closely connected with the events of the Reformation and Martin Luther, as Schmalkalden. In 1530-1, with the founding of the Schmalkalden Alliance, the city was thrust into the centre of European politics. The various protestant movements combined under the leadership of Johann, Elector of Saxony, and Landgrave Philipp of Hesse against the Roman Catholic Emperor Charles V to establish the protestant belief.
Seven national conferences were held in Schmalkalden; with the most notable being the ‘Schmalkalden Princes’ Day’ of 1537. Sixteen princes; six counts; as well as envoys of the Emperor, the Pope, the French and Danish Kings; representatives of 28 German and Hanseatic cities; 42 protestant theologians, who were led by Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, were all present at this historical event.
It was here that Martin Luther presented his tenets, which have been recorded as the Schmalkalden Articles in the Book of Concord of the Lutheran Church, by which many Lutheran priests are ordained worldwide. Written with his blood, sweat and tears, these articles are often referred to as Luther’s personal creed.

LUTHER PLACES

ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH WITH LUTHER’S ROOM

Martin Luther preached there in 1537. Nowadays the Luther’s room is a little church museum.

LUTHER’S HOUSE

Martin Luther lived here during the historical days of the Schmalkalden Alliance in 1537, Today, the residence is an exclusive holiday apartment for 4 people, which allows a unique opportunity to overnight in an original location pivotal to the Reformation. ‘Luther’s Table Talks’ are held on a monthly basis in this house and guided tours are available upon request.

HISTORICAL TOWN HALL OF SCHMALKALDEN

Place of foundation and meeting point of the political leaders of the Schmalkalden League during all congresses that were taking place in Schmalkalden.

HESSENHOF

During the conference of the schmalkaldic league in 1537 this building served to be the place of argument for the Protestant theologians.

Luther‘s House in Schmalkalden

TORGAU

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY

Martin Luther visited Torgau several times. Here, Luther, Melanchthon, Jonas and Bugenhagen drew up the „Torgau Articles“, an essential part of the Augsburg Confession in 1530. Luther’s wife Katharina died in Torgau.

LUTHER PLACES

HARTENFELS PALACE

The Palace Chapel was consecrated on October 5th 1544 by Martin Luther and is widely regarded as the first to be built as a Protestant church. It bears witness to the first time that the spiritual programme of the Reformation was embodied in architecture and art.

KATHARINA LUTHER MEMORIAL

This is the last home of Katharina von Bora, Luther’s wife. It is dedicated to this courageous woman who died here in 1552.

TOWN CHURCH OF ST. MARY

Luther frequently preached in the Town Church. Its most precious contents include “The fourteen helpers in need”, an early work by Lucas Cranach the Elder, the Baroque high altar and the gravestone of Katharina Luther.

Hartenfels Palace

WEIMAR

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY

Weimar – unexplored connections
Martin Luther's links to Weimar are closer than you might think. The ruling electors in Luther's days chose Weimar as their secondary residence in 1513, and from 1531 it was one of their main seats. Between 1518 and 1540, at the behest of Elector Johann and later Johann Friedrich, Luther would make frequent visits to discuss how to implement the Reformation.

LUTHER PLACES

CHURCH OF ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL (HERDERKIRCHE)

The late-Gothic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul was built between 1498 and 1500 as a triple-naved hall church. Its main attraction is its winged altarpiece, begun by Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1552 and completed by his son. The Cranach altar is widely regarded as one of the most significant works of 16th century art from the Saxony-Thuringia region, and as a testament to the new ideas of the Reformation era. The church also boasts a shrine to Luther in the form of a triptych from 1572, which depicts Luther as a monk and a professor and as 'Squire George'. Martin Luther came here regularly to give sermons.

WEIMAR PALACE AND THE CRANACH GALLERY

Five years after the completion of this three-storey baroque palace in 1913, the monarchy was abolished in Germany. The classical state rooms, together with the banqueting hall, the great staircase and the large gallery, are among the most beautiful in Europe.
The foremost art collections are found in the Lucas Cranach Gallery where you can admire works by Cranach, Dürer and their contemporaries. Lucas Cranach the Elder, who died in Weimar in 1553, produced a great many paintings and portraits of Martin Luther and his wife, Katharina von Bora.

DUCHESS ANNA AMALIA LIBRARY

The Duchess Anna Amalia Library has been one of the most famous libraries in Germany ever since the 18th century. It owes its fame to its royal patrons Wilhelm Ernst, Anna Amalia, and Carl August, as well as to its librarians, of whom Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was undoubtedly the most significant.
One of the library's most precious treasures is its remarkable collection of bibles, which includes the magnificent Luther Bible from 1534.

FRANCISCAN MONASTERY “AM PALAIS”

The Franciscan Monastery opened in 1453 and today it is home to the Liszt School of Music. A memorial plaque pays tribute to Martin Luther, who often led sermons in the monastery church.

LUTHER COURTYARD

The first documentary evidence of these quarters, where Martin Luther used to stay with an acquaintance, dates from 1492. Today, the courtyard houses a small museum dedicated to Johannes Daniel Falk (1768-1826). The writer, diplomat and advocate for social education lived and worked in Weimar from 1797 until his death.

Cranach altar in the Church of St Peter and St Paul