Trace Martin Luther’s Footsteps Through Germany

It’s 500 years since the start of the Protestant Reformation—here’s what you can still see today

Jennifer Billock

Jennifer Billock

Travel Correspondent


In 1517, Augustinian monk Martin Luther was so fed up with the Catholic Church that he ( allegedly ) nailed a list of 95 observations, called the 95 Theses , to the door of a church in Germany. He was frustrated by the greed and corruption he saw in the church, particularly by reports that some in positions of power were taking large sums of money in exchange for absolving sinners of their mistakes. His treatise included questions and ideas for debate, largely centering on two topics: that the Bible, rather than priests or the Church, should be the religious authority and that people can only achieve salvation through internal spiritual repentance, not by sacramental confession or indulgences.

Luther only intended for his theses to spur debate, which was common at the time—scholars posted talking points on doors frequently so people could read them. But soon his ideas were mass-produced on a printing press and spread throughout Germany. This sparked a grassroots movement called the Reformation, which divided the Western church in two, leading to the founding of Protestantism and transforming the way generations of people thought about their relationship to God.

After Luther posted his Theses, he was called to defend his ideas in front of an assembly. There was no agreement, so Luther went home. From 1518 to 1520, the Pope spoke out against Luther's writings and ordered an investigation into his teachings—that ended in 1521 with Luther being excommunicated from the Catholic church. That same year, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V ordered Luther's writings destroyed and branded him an outlaw. Luther then went into hiding, though his work had already sparked a revolution. For the remaining years of his life, he was protected by his friends, powerful German princes who made sure he lived a safe life. He married and had five children. Luther died in 1546.

Religious or not, these spots in Germany helped shape the world as we know it, and you can still visit them today.

Lutherhaus, Wittenberg


Construction on this present-day Unesco site  began in 1504 , built to be a monastery for the Augustinian order. At that time, it was known as the Black Monastery because of the color habits worn by the monks. Luther moved into the monastery in 1508, and it is here that he wrote his treatise. The monastery was dissolved as a result of the Reformation, but Luther continued living there and was joined by his wife and family in 1525. After Luther's death, the former monastery was taken over by the university and served as a residence for visiting scholars. When visiting the Reformation museum on the grounds now (there’s been a museum there since the late 1800s), don’t miss the exhibits containing his personal manuscripts, books, furniture, and more, including the pulpit he preached from at the Castle Church.

Schlosskirche, Wittenberg


On October 31, 1517, Luther headed here and is said to have  nailed his 95 Theses to the door of this very church. The original doors are sadly no longer there—they burned in 1760 along with a large part of the church—but the theses are inscribed on the 1858 bronze doors that replaced the wooden ones. Luther is buried here as well, with a simple marker above his coffin. The plaque, roughly translated from Latin, says, “Here lies the body of Martin Luther, Doctor of Divinity, who died at Eisleben, his birthplace, on the 12th of the Calends of March, in the year 1546, when he had lived 63 years, 3 months and 10 days.” There’s also a tribute to Luther at the top of the round tower, if you climb the 289 steps to get there.

Wartburg Castle, Eisenach


This Unesco site was Luther’s hiding place, where he stayed  after he was declared an outlaw in 1521 . The Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise, brought Luther here to save his life. As an outlaw, he could be killed freely by anyone at any time according to German law. Frederick the Wise staged a fake attack on Luther’s life—with Luther’s consent—in order to take him to Wartburg for protective custody. He lived here for ten months under the alias Knight George—even dressing like a knight to avoid being discovered. He wore a sword, clothes of nobility and donned a fancy hairstyle and beard. While Luther was at Wartburg, he translated the New Testament from Greek into German. It reportedly only took him ten weeks. The small cell Luther stayed in, called “Luther’s Room,” can be visited by tourists today, where they can see a desk and chair with a bible and portrait of Luther on display.

Augustinerkloster, Erfurt


In 1505, according to legend, Luther was terrified for his life and shouted up into the severe thunderstorm he thought would kill him these words : “Saint Anna, help me! I will become a monk.” Today, that spot in the Stotternheim district of Erfurt is marked with a commemorative stone, for it was after that declaration that Luther—who had weathered the storm alive—headed to this monastery, began his studies to become a monk, and took his vows the following year. He was ordained here in 1507. Today, the monastery is  still a working Lutheran church , but with some extra amenities: a historical library, lodging for visitors, a café and a conference center.


Eisleben played a huge role in Luther’s life—he was born here, baptized here and died here. The town itself dates back to the 10th century, with suburbs from the 12th century. Luther’s baptismal font is at St. Peter and Paul Church. He was baptized on November 11, 1483 , and some of the original remains of the font can still be seen in the middle of the chancel. Baptized one day after his birth, his birthplace is now a museum as well as a Unesco World Heritage Site and has been a destination for pilgrims since the 17th century . Coincidentally, he died in this town while visiting family—and that building, too, is a museum now. At the nearby Andreaskirche , Luther spoke his final sermons. The last line of his last sermon was, “I am able to say many more things about this text, but I feel very weak and sick today. I hope I can do it later.” He died the next week, and his funeral was held at the same church.

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Jennifer Billock

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Jennifer Billock is an award-winning writer, bestselling author, and editor. She is currently dreaming of an around-the-world trip with her Boston terrier. Check out her website at .

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Home » Europe » Germany » Walking In the Footsteps of Martin Luther

Walking In the Footsteps of Martin Luther

By Author Lance Longwell

Posted on Last updated: April 28, 2020

In October 1517, a young theologian posted 95 theses on a church door in Germany. His name was Martin Luther and his hammer rang the bell of reform throughout the Christian world. Luther’s theses were the birth of the Protestant Reformation. Today, the Martin Luther pilgrimage sites in Germany draw visitors from around the world – including me.

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.”

My interest in Martin Luther and the German Reformation sites is historical, not religious. The purpose of my visit to Luther Country (as the locals call it) was to walk in the footsteps of Martin Luther. I am not Christian and have no theological calling to his ideas, however, over the years, I’ve been interested in the man, and the historical fallout of his actions. He was a rebel with a cause.

The Martin Luther Memorial on Anger Square in Erfurt

“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say”

As a man, he was complex. He was not an entirely likable person. He was stubborn. He stood up to gross corruption within the religious establishment, yet supported political corruption. He was convinced of his own righteousness. He was cunning. He was a shrewd political operative. He loved booze. And he was a man who altered the course of history – for both better and worse. Even today, we still struggle with the legacy of Luther.

“He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long.”

The Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt, Germany

Martin Luther Country spans the German states of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. Before reunification, this was East Germany. If you were to go any further east, you’d be in the Czech Republic. He moved repeatedly throughout the region (more on that later). I’ve been traveling frequently to Germany since 1995 and have never found a more beautiful corner of the country than Luther Country.

Every story has a beginning. And the story of the Reformation began with his birth on November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, Saxony. Luther’s parents were traditionalists, but were well off. Luther’s father operated copper mines and Luther’s mother cared for the family. He was the eldest son and his father had high expectations that he was to become a lawyer.

Painting by Lucas Cranach of Martin Luther's parents

At the age of 14, he was sent to boarding school in the town of Magdeburg, about 50 miles away from home. A year later, he moved away to finish his primary schooling at St. George’s in the town of Eisenach, in the state of Thuringia.

He actually lived in Eisenach five different times in his life and deeply loved the city. This is where I picked up the trail and started walking in the footsteps of Martin Luther.

“Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.”

The Lutherhaus, Martin Luther's home in Eisenach

Luther’s boyhood home is just steps off the main market square in Eisenach. Unfortunately, during my visit, it was under construction. Almost all of the Luther sites have been undergoing some degree of renovation in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I had to use my imagination to envision what his childhood room looked like.

However, St. George’s church on the main square was available. In this church, he would preach and also participated in the choir.

The Merchant's Bridge in Erfurt

After graduating primary school, he moved to the nearby cosmopolitan city of Erfurt to study at the University of Erfurt. His family’s relative wealth afforded him a room in very nice student home close to the university. I wandered the small lanes of Erfurt’s old city and could almost hear Luther’s footsteps on the Merchants’ Bridge as he would stop to pick up clothes – dyed in blue (as many of the city’s residents would wear).

Years later, as a monk, he would corner merchants on the narrow staircase leading down to the Gera River and ask for donations (the staircase is known today as the Lutherstiege). But it was also here in Erfurt, with its sad Jewish history , that Luther’s opinions of Judaism were formed (more on that later).

The Lutherstiege, or Luther's Stairs, off the Merchant's Bridge in Erfurt

He graduated from University of Erfurt and immediately re-enrolled in the school’s law program. And, he may have been forgotten to history as a bureaucratic lawyer, if it were not for a surprise summer storm in 1505. Luther had only recently begun his law degree.

But on July 2, 1505, he was returning to Erfurt from visiting his family and was caught in violent thunderstorm that terrified him. A lightning bolt crashed near him and he called out to God, “Help! Santa Anna, I will become a monk!” He survived the storm, but believed he had made a binding contract directly with God.

Much to his father’s chagrin, he dropped out of law school, walked through a gate with a large black door and entered the local Augustinian Monastery.

The University in Erfurt

“It is neither right nor safe to go against my conscience.”

St. Augustine’s Monastery in Erfurt still exists today. I was able to walk through the gate, just as Luther had done. I entered St. Augustine’s church and was able to see where Luther prayed every day. He would look up at the stained glass window, containing a white rose on a blue field with a red heart center and adorned with a black cross over the heart.

Years later, Luther would think back and select this white rose as his symbol: the Lutheran Rose. Visitors coming to Erfurt can take accommodations at the monastery and sleep in a room like Luther did (although much more modern…and comfortable).

The Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt with the water pump where Luther got water

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”

Two years later, in 1507, Luther was ordained a priest in the grand St. Mary’s Cathedral overlooking the main square in Erfurt. Of all the cathedrals in Germany, this is one of the finest. And the Domplatz square in Erfurt is my absolute favorite. The next year he received a degree in biblical studies.

Four years later, he received his Doctorate in Theology and began teaching at the University of Wittenberg. For the rest of Luther’s life, the cities of Erfurt and Wittenberg would act like poles in his life: Erfurt would be his spiritual home and Wittenberg would be his professional home.

The Merchant's Bridge above the Gera River in Erfurt

“Many pass for saints on earth whose souls are in hell.”

Yet all was not well in the Catholic Church. The Pope had a scheme to sell indulgences in order to pay for the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This action was representative of the overall corruption in the Catholic Church and it absolutely incensed Luther.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther wrote his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” which he nailed to the church door in Wittenberg. He intended to spark a theological debate. Instead, he started a revolution.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

The black gate of the Augustinian Monastery

Luther’s ideas spread like wildfire, aided mass productions of his theses by a printing press and translations into other languages. By 1520, it was clear to the Catholic Church that the problem known as Martin Luther wasn’t going away. Luther was order by the Pope to recant. He refused. Pope Leo X excommunicated Martin Luther on January 3, 1521. Yet the Pope really had no power.

The second ax fell a few months later. Having already lost his religious support, Luther lost his secular support. At the Diet of Worms in 1521, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V tried and convicted Luther and issuing a warrant for his arrest. He had secured safe passage to attend the trial, but was a marked man. On his way back to Wittenburg, he disappeared.

Wartburg Castle above Eisenach where Martin Luther took refuge

His friends had arranged for Luther to be kidnapped and taken to Wartburg Castle overlooking his beloved town of Eisenach. Luther arrived on May 4, 1521 and spent the next 10 months in hiding as a monk under the assumed name of Junker Jörg.

During his time, he translated the New Testament of the Bible from Greek into German (one of his original Bibles is on display at the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar ). Unlike current Catholic Church teachings, Luther believed that individuals could have a direct relationship with God and did not need the clergy to act as intermediaries. Having access to the bible proved critical to the success of spreading Lutheranism.

Martin Luther's sparse cell at Wartburg Castle in Eisenach

“There never yet have been, nor are there now, too many good books.”

In June 1525, he was married to Katharina von Bora, a nun who was 15 years his junior. Luther had never understood the Catholic Church position on celibacy. He felt having a wife and partner made him stronger. The wedding was attended by Luther’s friend and long-time collaborator, Lucas Cranach the Elder .

Cranach was Luther’s confidant and a painter who ensured we knew exactly how Luther looked at every stage of his life. Nearly every Martin Luther site in Germany has Cranach paintings, but I found a large collection of them in the Cranach Gallery at the Weimar Palace .

The Martin Luther triptych by Lucas Cranach at the Herder Church in Weimar

Luther was a marked man for the rest of his life, however, that was largely a political designation. He lived remarkably in the open under the protection of Protestant rulers in Germany, including Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. He had counseled Philip I into entering a bigamous marriage, but gravely miscalculated the political risks of such an action. It became the blight on Luther’s legacy.

A portrait of Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach in the Weimar Palace

“Beer is made by men, wine by God.”

I ended my Martin Luther Germany Tour in the very north of Bavaria. Martin Luther briefly lived in the mountaintop castle Veste Coburg in 1530. It was an excellent choice for Luther – there is no finer castle in all of Germany.

The Coburg Castle

“Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.”

After nearly two weeks of crisscrossing Germany on my own Martin Luther pilgrimage, I felt like I had a much better handle on the man. However, the more I learned of Luther, the more I wanted to know.

Opening the box on his life also introduces a nagging question: Was he a good man ?

Portrait of Junker Jörg, Martin Luther's persona in hiding

Luther’s legacy has been complicated. There are billions of Protestants in the world who owe their faith to him. Yet the rift that he created has led to countless wars and troubles.

Most difficult of all, as the Nazis came to power, they relied heavily on the writings of Martin Luther to justify their positions. And it was easy to do, Luther wrote a 60,000 word book on the topic: On the Jews and Their Lies .

Nuremberg was the first major city to embrace Lutheranism and it was also the intellectual seat of Nazi power. Many historians have argued that Luther’s ideas and writings were the blueprint for Nazism. Even if this overstates his role, he certainly helped pave the way.

Over 500 years after the Reformation, I’m glad I took the time to tour the Martin Luther Germany sites and learn more about this complex man and his ideas. Walking in the footsteps of Martin Luther is an experience I will never forget.

Lucas Cranach's painting of Luther's interpretation of the Bible

Sites on the Martin Luther Germany Tour

Martin luther sites in eisenach.

Luther’s House – Located at Lutherplatz 8. The house is open from April-October daily from 10:00am-5:00pm; and November-March from 10:00am-5:00pm, except Mondays. Website:

St. George’s Church – Located right on the market square. He sang and preached in this church. Website:

Wartburg Castle – Located on the hill above town. The castle is open from April-October daily from 8:30am-5:00pm; and November-March daily from 9:00am-3:30pm. Website:

Martin Luther Sites in Erfurt

Augustinian Monastery – Located at Augustinerstrasse 10. Visits are possible on a one hour which is run several times daily. Check the website for specific times, but generally at 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm and 2:30pm, plus other times during peak season. Website:

St. Mary’s Cathedral – Located on the massive Domplatz square in the Old Town. The Cathedral is open from May-October on Monday-Saturday from 9:30am-6:00pm, and 1:00pm-6:00pm on Sunday; from November-April on Monday-Saturday from 9:30am-6:00pm, and 1:00pm-5:00pm on Sunday. Website:

Collegium Maius , the old Erfurt University Building – Located on Michaelisstrasse. This building is a post-war reconstruction. The exterior is visible, but the building itself now houses an evangelical church.

The Georgenburse , or Student Dormitory – Located at Augustinerstraße 10. Tours are available on request.

Luther Memorial Statue – Located in Anger Square in front of Merchants’ Church St Gregorius at Anger 80. Always accessible.

Merchants’ Bridge and the “Lutherstiege” (or Luther’s Stairs) – Crossing the Gera River in the center of town. Always accessible.

Martin Luther Sites in Weimar

The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul – Located on the Herderplatz in Weimar. Open from April-October on Monday-Friday from 10:00am-6:00pm; Saturday from 10:00am-noon and again 2:00pm-4:00pm; Sunday from 11:00am-noon and again from 2:00pm-4:00pm. From November-March, open daily from 11:00am-noon and again from 2:00pm-4:00pm. Website:

The Palace Museum – Open April-October 15 on Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00am-6:00pm; and October 16-March on Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00am-4:00pm. Website:

Duchess Anna Amalia Library – Located at Platz der Demokratie 1. A maximum of 290 people can visit per day. Get tickets well in advance at the Tourist Information office in Weimar on the main Market Square.

Martin Luther Sites in Coburg

The Coburg Fortress – Towering above the village of Coburg, the Coburg Fortress (Veste Coburg) is open April-October daily from 9:30am-5:00pm; from November-March on Tuesday-Sunday from 1:00pm-4:00pm. Website:

While in Germany, I was the guest of the German National Tourist Board . I’m grateful to the GNTB as well as Thuringia Tourism , Weimar Tourism , the Erfurt Tourism & Marketing Board , and the Eisenach Wartburg Region . As always, all opinions are my own.

A few more photos from my Martin Luther Tour of Germany:

The student dormitory where Martin Luther lived in Erfurt

Lance Longwell is a travel writer and photographer who has published Travel Addicts since 2008, making it one of the oldest travel blogs. He is a life-long traveler, having visited all 50 of the United States by the time he graduated high school. Lance has continued his adventures by visiting 70 countries on 5 continents – all in search of the world’s perfect sausage. He’s a passionate foodie and enjoys hot springs and cultural oddities. When he’s not traveling (or writing about travel), you’ll find him photographing his hometown of Philadelphia.

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Lynn Schmidt

Thursday 14th of September 2023

Is there a tour in October that I might join? I am a solo traveler.

Lance Longwell

Friday 15th of September 2023

I didn't do a tour. I explored on my own as a solo traveler. It's possible to do it alone.

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Martin Luther's Travel Guide: 500 Years of the 95 Theses: On the Trail of the Reformation in Germany

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Cornelia Dömer

Martin Luther's Travel Guide: 500 Years of the 95 Theses: On the Trail of the Reformation in Germany Paperback – November 30, 2016

  • Print length 176 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Berlinica Publishing LLC
  • Publication date November 30, 2016
  • Dimensions 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • ISBN-10 193590244X
  • ISBN-13 978-1935902447
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Luther's Uprising

Ninety-Five Theses and the Pope: How the Reformation Began

It was October 31, 1517, now 500 years ago, when Martin Luther made history: He affixed the Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, the town where he lived and preached. Luther was Catholic, as was everyone in Europe at that time, a priest, and a professor of Theology. The event itself is somewhat disputed; some doubt that it happened at all, but Philipp Melanchthon, his friend and also a professor in Wittenberg, was a witness.

However, Luther did not angrily swing a hammer. The door of the impressive Castle Church served as a bulletin board for the city's theologians. It is also public record that Luther wrote a — submissive and respectful — letter to Albert, the Archbishop of the German town of Mainz. The letter was about the same issue as the theses — indulgences, Ablasshandel. Indulgences were monies paid to the Church, who then made sure the sinner would go to heaven. Luther resented the sale of indulgences, because the remission of sins was being mixed up with political and economic goals.

But it was not just about money; indulgences were a reflection of an international power play, with the Archbishop of Mainz, Saxon Elector Frederick the Wise (see page 58), and the Pope in Rome as major players. Luther, so to speak, lived in the very last trenches of the Roman Empire: The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, an ensemble of kingdoms, mos importantly Northern Italy, Burgundy in France, Bohemia with Prague as the capital, and the Kingdom of Germany. The latter consisted of many duchies, including Saxony, which covered present-day Saxony, and parts of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. Elector Frederick the Wise became a life-long benefactor of Luther. Frederick did this for political, not religious reasons. He wanted to strengthen the German princes against the Pope in Rome.

One German duchy was Mainz, then the largest archbishopric in Christianity — and also the seat of the archchancellor of Germany, the head of the German Electors. Because the archbishopric had changed occupants three times between 1504 and 1514, it had to pay a triple fee to Rome for the appointment of a new archbishop and for the granting of a gallium (the symbol for the rank of archbishop). The price tag was 10,000 ducats or 14,000 guilders (one guilder being somewhat more than fifty dollars today).

Hence, the archbishopric was in extreme debt. When a new archbishop was due to be elected, a nobleman was sought who would have the necessary finances at his disposal. Enter aforementioned Albert of Hohenzollern-Brandenburg, who had been the archbishop of Magdeburg since 1513. Even though holding multiple offices was prohibited, Rome still permitted it after a special dispensation was negotiated, plus a payment of 21,000 ducats or 29,000 guilders.

Because Albert did not have this amount at his disposal after all, he turned to the Fugger Bank of Augsburg. In return, Albert had to permit the selling of the so-called "St. Peter's Indulgence" to pay for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The other half of the proceeds would go to the Fugger Bank to repay the debt. From the outset, there was an obvious intertwining of religious and financial interests.

Indulgences were to be sold for a period of eight years in the ecclesiastical provinces of Mainz, Magdeburg, and Brandenburg. With few exceptions, they would apply to all sins. Consequently, "sub-commissioners," preachers of indulgence, and confessors were recruited to execute the campaign. On January 22, 1517, Johann Tetzel — a Dominican monk from Leipzig — was sworn in as general sub-commissioner for the sale of indulgences in the province of Magdeburg.

On April 10 of that same year, Tetzel was in Jüterbog, a town near Wittenberg. For the first time, Luther was directly confronted with the effects of the "St. Peter's Indulgence." Initially, Luther tried to clarify the matter in his sermons. Luther was not criticizing the practice of indulgences per se. Rather, he was concerned about misunderstandings, saying buyers of indulgences were being tricked into believing that from that day forward they could be sure of their salvation and that their souls would arrive in heaven as soon as the money was paid — referring to Tetzel's rhyme, "As soon as a coin in the coffer rings / the soul from purgatory springs." Luther was upset by the claim that people could supposedly be forgiven — even of grave sin — by means of indulgences. So, Luther sent his cover letter to Albert, the Archbishop of Mainz, and included the Ninety-five Theses, which criticized indulgences from a number of different angles. In his discussion of his Theses, Luther had always — incorrectly — assumed that the Pope shared his opinion concerning indulgences. Even in 1541, Luther emphasized that he initially did not intend to oppose indulgences per se — just their misuse. He most certainly did not want to oppose the Pope. But he was mistaken. Frederick the Wise of Saxony knew better. He had his Court Preacher Georg Spalatin (page 56) read Luther's Theses to him. Frederick commented, "Mark my words. The Pope will not be able to tolerate that."

The Theses were intensely discussed within the Church, and Luther had to write an explanation of them in 1518. Luther had two tasks before him: first, the difficult and almost hopeless confrontation with the ecclesiastical system and, second, building up and implementing his new realization. The court case against Luther was opened in Rome in summer 1518. Frederick the Wise, however, managed to arrange for Luther to be summoned not to Rome but to Augsburg, before Cardinal Cajetan. That hearing would take place on October 12 and 14 in the Fugger House (Fuggerhaus) in that city. Cajetan asked Luther to recant and threatened him and his supporters with excommunication. In a loud shouting match, Luther refused to recant. Apparently, friends then helped Luther to pass through an unguarded city gate to make a quick escape to Wittenberg, riding the first leg of the journey — to Nuremberg — bareback.

After Augsburg, a moratorium followed. Luther, however, was eager for another debate. Soon, the Leipzig Debate with the theology professor Johann Eck would give him just that opportunity. The Disputation of Leipzig was a huge, well-attended event. Luther regarded himself as the winner, but so did Eck. Eck asked the Pope to move against Luther for holding to "Hussite heresy." The Hussites were an early Reformation movement in Bohemia; their founder, Jan Hus, was burned at the stake in 1415, followed by the Hussite wars.

Accordingly, a bull threatening Luther and his followers with excommunication was posted in Meissen, Merseburg, and Brandenburg in September 1520. As a result, Luther's books were burned in several cities. Luther reacted to this on December 10, 1520, in Wittenberg — by publicly burning papal books and the canon law, along with the bull threatening his excommunication.

On December 10, 1520, Luther wrote to Spalatin:

"On December 10, 1520, at nine o'clock in the morning, all these books of the Pope will be burned in Wittenberg in front of the eastern gate, near the Church of the Holy Cross: the Decretum, the Decretals, the Liber Sextus, the Clementines, the Extravagantes, and the newest bull of Leo X ... as well as several other [texts] that were added by various others so that the Papist arsonists can see that it does not take much to burn books they cannot refute."

Many years later, in 1541, Luther still wrote indignantly about the practice of indulgences:

"Meanwhile, I found out what dreadful and abominable articles Tetzel was preaching, and I will mention some of them now: He claimed that he had such grace and power from the Pope that even if someone seduced the Holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, or impregnated her, Tetzel could forgive that person, if only he placed the proper amount in the money chest. Similarly, Tetzel claimed that when the red indulgence-cross bearing the papal arms is lifted up in church, it is just as powerful as the cross of Christ. ... And again, that if anyone puts money in the chest for a soul in purgatory, the soul flies [from purgatory] to heaven as soon as the coin falls and rings at the bottom. Tetzel claimed that the grace from indulgences is the same grace as the grace through which a man is reconciled to God."

Luther wrote several books against the papacy. The best-known is Christ and Antichrist, in which Luther comments crassly on ten equally crass caricatures of the Pope. On the occasion of the Council that convened in Trent in March 1545, a text of Luther's was published, Against the Roman Papacy, an Institution of the Devil. In it, he describes the Pope as the "antichrist and werewolf, as an enemy of God, an enemy of Christ, and an enemy of all Christians and the whole world," and he warns that anyone who follows the Pope must know "that he is obedient to the devil in opposition to God."

Luther's Town

Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Birthplace of the Reformation

Wittenberg, a town between Berlin and Leipzig, was Martin Luther's hometown, where the historic events took place that shook the foundations of Christianity. In Wittenberg, Luther and his colleagues at the newly founded Leucorea University found the spiritual environment that put him in a position to unleash monumental forces, and change the world. Today, Lutherstadt Wittenberg is Luther Central! Practically every spot is associated with the Reformer.

The rise of Wittenberg began when Saxony Elector Frederick III, also known Frederick the Wise, founded the Leucorea University of Saxony (leucos means "white" and refers to "Wittenberg," which means "white mountain"). The university celebrated its opening on October 18, 1502, and would become the university where Martin Luther taught and developed his theses. Luther was asked to be a professor at Leucorea in 1510, and his friend and companion Philipp Melanchthon would join the faculty in 1519.

In the early 13th century, universities had been founded elsewhere under the authority of the Pope. They taught the Aristotelian academic methods customary in the Middle Ages, as well as Roman law in the area of jurisprudence. But over time, secular powers (kings, princes, and cities), began to found universities as well. With that, non-theological subjects were beginning to grow in their independence and significance. This was also the case at the Leucorea.

In the beginning, there was still a medieval aura to the Leucorea, St. Augustine was chosen as its patron saint andeach department was appointed its own saint. To determine the correct seating order at staff meetings, the various faculties were ranked. As usual in the Late Middle Ages, the theological department sat at the head of the table, followed by the law and medical faculties in less prominent positions. At the bottom of the ranking was the arts faculty. One new regulation, however, indicated the spirit of rising humanism: crowned poets (poetae laureati), were now ranked with the masters of arts faculty. These poets represented German humanism. They dealt in new ways with the ancient languages — Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.

The university required a large amount of teaching material for its students — printing had been invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439 — so printers moved to town. Wittenberg's first printed texts were produced the same year the university was founded. The prior of the Augustinian Monastery was Johann von Staupitz (page 56), who would become a defender of the Reformation. Frederick the Wise also assigned two Augustinian Hermits as professors, one in the theological faculty, the other in the arts faculty, who lectured on moral philosophy. With professors and students moving into town, and printers being busy, the economy grew. The city of Wittenberg supported the Leucorea as much as possible. For instance, the confession house at the Franciscan Monastery was restored for the arts faculty's lectures.

The foundation of the Leucorea also compelled changes in Wittenberg's municipal planning. Because student accommodations were scarce, some students had to live in private homes. In 1504, a law was passed, requiring anyone owning or inheriting an empty lot to build a structure on that property within one year. So the Leucorea caused Wittenberg's first building boom of the 16 century as well. Buildings were constructed on vacant lots; homes were expanded to include small businesses for craftsmen or merchants. Even professors took in students, as did Luther and his wife, Katharina. This is when the houses now located around the City Church were built, separating the church from the city hall.

Frederick the Wise also commissioned the castle with the Castle Church. The castle of the Ascanians formerly at that site had been torn down already, and the new castle with two wings was completed in 1509. Construction cost 32,466 guilders, thirteen groschen, and nine pfennigs. The Castle Church formed the third wing of the residential castle. TheCastle Church became the University Church. Elections for various university offices were held in the sacristy, while the sanctuary served as the main hall of the Leucorea. And its door was used as a "bulletin board" for academic theses.

The Castle Church was constructed with a high altar painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder, another famed resident of Wittenberg. One of Cranach's works still hanging in the Church today is The Martyrdom of St. Catherine. On the side wings was a depiction of six female saints, known as the "Princes' Altar of Dessau" (Dessauer Fürstenaltar). Today this painting is exhibited in Dessau's Georgium Castle in the Anhalt Art Gallery (Anhaltischen Gemäldegalerie). Also, world-famous painter Albrecht Dürer contributed works that were originally in the Castle Church, of which four are preserved. Two altarpiece panels depict the Seven Joys of the Virgin and the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin. The panel depicting the seven sorrows is now in Dresden, while the Virgin is displayed in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. By continuously sponsoring Masses, the Elector filled the church with spiritual life. In one year, 1,138 Masses were sung and 7,856 Masses were read.

When Frederick the Wise died, the Castle Church lost its importance. His brother John the Steadfast, who succeeded him, positioned himself more clearly on the side of the Reformation and closed the Allerheiligenstift in 1525. Under a cloud of secrecy, the collection of relics was brought to the city of Torgau. Georg Goldschmidt separated the gold, silver, jewels, and pearls they contained and reworked them into items of daily use. The silver was sold to Nuremberg, with a profit of 24,739 guilders, A few items were preserved, however, such as a drinking glass owned by St. Elizabeth of Thuringia. Today it can be viewed in Coburg Castle (Veste Coburg).

In 1760, the Castle Church was destroyed in the Seven-Years'-War. The only items from inside the original church that survived were the tomb figures of Frederick the Wise and John the Steadfast. In 1892, the church was renovated in the neo-Gothic style. The aim was to have a building presenting the main Reformers. Statues commemorating Luther and his most important allies were placed inside: Justus Jonas, Johannes Bugenhagen, Nikolaus von Amsdorf, Urbanus Rhegius, Georg Spalatin, Philipp Melanchthon, Johannes Brenz, and Caspar Cruciger. On the ceiling are the seals of towns that sided with the Reformation. Of the original 198 seals, 128 are preserved. On the walls are the Reformers' coats of arms. The pulpit features the four Gospel writers, plus additional coats of arms of cities that played a major role in Luther's life: Eisleben, Erfurt, Wittenberg, and Worms.

The balcony displays fifty-two coats of arms of the noblemen who dealt with Luther during the first half of the 16 century. This rich collection illustrates the intention of Crown Prince Frederick William III (who later became Emperor Frederick III), to embellish the Castle Church as a "sanctuary for all of Protestant Christianity." The only features of the Renaissance-era castle structure itself that remain today are the magnificent stairwells. They lead nowhere, because the original building had three stories, but a fourth was added when the church was transformed into a Prussian fortress.

The focal point of Luther's life was the former Augustinian Monastery. Referring to the black cowls its resident monks wore, it was also known as the Black Abbey. It was located near the Elster Gate, south of the city wall, where the Holy Ghost Hospital (Heilig-Geist-Spital) had originally been.

Johann von Staupitz founded the monastery in 1502, but was not able to complete it to include a church and cloistered courtyard as originally planned. He had, however, a monastic house constructed, with lecture halls for the university on the second floor and accommodations for forty monks on the third floor. At any given time, fifteen to twenty monks from out of town lived here while attending the university.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berlinica Publishing LLC; First Edition (November 30, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 193590244X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1935902447
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • #104 in German Travel Guides
  • #851 in German History (Books)
  • #1,442 in Tourist Destinations & Museums Guides

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Seeing the World One Step at a Time

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A journey on the trail of martin luther.

August 17, 2017 by Michael January 3 Comments

In the footsteps of  500 Years of Reformation

October 31 st , 2017 will mark the 500 th Anniversary of the world changing event when religious reformer Martin Luther nailed his arguments against the practices of the Catholic Church, his “95 Theses” to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany beginning the Protestant Reformation.

I recently took a trip to follow in the footsteps of the monk turned protestant icon, and wondered how to frame it. It’s a complex story, but how to begin? And like a sentence in German where you don’t know the meaning until you get to the verb at the end, I didn’t know how to shape it until the last day of my journey when two stark threads came to together.

Watburg Castle Eisenach

Wartburg Castle

For the traveler, following the trail of the famous reformer can be a fascinating way to explore a beautiful country, but also a journey through history and culture. Luther spent much of his life in what is for the most part in the former East Germany, which provides its own paradoxes. And just as changes in religious outlook can lead to myriad consequences, a journey in these footsteps, beginning with one monk’s complaints about what he saw as the perversion of his religion to unintended ends, following a trail of this road wanderer leads to many surprises.

To make the experience more international, I was with a group from across the globe, from China, Japan, Sweden and Poland, and two of us from the US, an eclectic bunch, some with knowledge of the subject and some with just a curiosity.

I’ve been to Germany often, but this was my first trip on the giant bus of the air, a double decker Lufthansa Airbus 380. It’s like riding on a football field of chairs, with another floor above your head. With over five hundred passengers, it’s a crowd, but the entertainment system offers lots of options (including a tail camera so you don’t have to look out a window), and the liquor is free! At least at the Frankfurt Airport, the rail station is just an escalator ride down from the baggage claim, to get on one of Germany’s now ubiquitous ICE High Speed trains to our first stop on the Luther Trail.

Eisenach and Wartburg Castle

Wartburg Castle (pronounced Vartbourg) is one of the most visited Luther sites. It was here, while holed up in a small wood-lined chamber, Martin Luther began his translation of the First Testament of the Bible into common German. The legend has it, after escaping from judgment under excommunication and refusing to recant his views before the Council at Worms, hurrying back to his home, he was kidnapped on the road by a band of men, who turned out to be friends in the service of the Prince Elector Frederick III (Frederick the Wise). He was spirited away to the castle high on a hill above the town of Eisenach. Here he grew his monk’s tonsure into long hair and a beard. He called himself the “Knight George”, taking the name from St George and his dragon, and for ten months he worked on his Bible, arguing with the devil and throwing his inkwell to chase him from his small room.

Lutherstube Wartburg

Luther Room at Castle Wartburg

Through November 5, 2017 one of three National Exhibitions commemorating the anniversary of beginning of the Reformation is being presented at Wartburg, transforming the magnificent Romanesque Revival rooms of the castle into an exploration of “ Martin Luther and the Germans ”, focused on the question of how the eras of German history have formed their own unique views of Luther.

With three hundred individual exhibits from the Wartburg Foundation collection or on loan from other institutions, including interactive media stations, highlights of the exhibition include 16th century paintings and graphic works from the period of Luther’s life by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Lucas Cranach the Younger, and Albrecht Dürer, as well as more modern interpretations from the 19th and 20th centuries. Historical objects include an original double eagle banner from the Holy Roman Empire from 1532, and a replica of the golden bejeweled crown of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the Great.

Martin Luther Monk, Knight, Reformer

Panels of Martin Luther

Aside from Wartburg Castle, in the town of Eisenach is the house where Martin Luther lived as a boy for three years while attending Latin school, the Luther House Eisenach. The museum houses the original Luther Rooms from the 16 th Century, a permanent exhibit on “Luther and the Bible” and a special anniversary exhibition on “ The Catho­lic View of Luther – Her­etic, Schis­mat­ic, Teach­er of the Faith ”.

What Else to Do in Eisenach

Eisenach also has a music history as the town where composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born.  It has the first museum in Germany dedicated to the composer, in a house his family owned, though there is some dispute whether he was actually born there. The fount where Bach was baptized is in St George’s church. And the Reuter Wagner Museum holds the second largest Richard Wagner Collection in the world. Wagner was so inspired by Wartburg Castle he made it the setting for his opera, Tannhäuser.

Where to stay: the Steigenberger Eisenach Thuringer Hof is located directly on the town square across from the statue of Martin Luther, a ten minute walk from the train station.

Where to dine: the Weinrestaurant Turmschänke Karlsplatz 28 is in the historic tower of the remaining medieval city wall gate, across from the statue.


Not far from Eisenach is the village of Schmalkalden, with one of the best preserved medieval town centers in Germany. It was here in 1531 that Martin Luther met with the leading families and ruling houses of Northern Germany, by then inclined to follow Luther’s new version of the faith. The nobles of the north had been yearning to form their own alliance separate from the Catholic Holy Roman Empire in the south controlled by the Habsburgs. Protestantism would form the dividing line. The Schmalkaldic League was named after the town where they met. Arrayed around the town square on the remaining buildings are displayed the heraldic shield signs of the many noble houses who gathered to meet.

The League lasted until about 1552, after losing a war, but gaining a political victory, thanks to the building threat from the encroaching Muslim Turks of Suleiman the Magnificent, when Emperor Charles V’s signing of the Augsburg Peace allowed the prince rulers to choose which religion would be practiced in their own lands, giving us the permanent Reformation.

Lutherhaus Schmalkalden

Luther House Schmalkalden

The Wilhelmsburg Castle in Schmalkalden has installed an exhibition “Dawn of an Era” with interactive stations, art and artifacts telling the story of Luther and the Schmalkaldic League. The exhibition is in German only, but a guided tour can be arranged.

In the town, half-way between the central square and the castle is the house where Luther stayed while in Schmalkalden. It is not currently a museum, but an apartment building. On the first floor is a book shop with Luther related items, while upstairs, the rooms where Martin Luther stayed in ill health while passing a kidney stone, demanding the league potentates come to him so he could present his Articles of Faith, are being renovated.

St. George’s Church also has a room where Luther stayed, once again in hiding, upstairs above the precept, with a small window looking out to the choir below, with its original baptismal font from the 16 th Century.

Where to dine: The Ratskeller Schmalkalden at Altmarkt 2, on the ground floor of the town hall is a traditional German restaurant directly on the main square. Or try an ice cream from one of the street facing bakeries on the square while counting the heraldic shields and contemplating the difference between the Hanseatic League and the house of Saxony.

Before continuing our tour, a bit about food in Germany

Martin Luther, from so many paintings by his friend and promoter, Lucas Cranach the Elder, was notoriously rotund in later life and dining on traditional German food will give you an idea why. The Thuringian diet, much like Bavaria, is heavy on meat. Thuringia Sausages are a particular delight, and any traditional Brauhaus will provide pork from almost any corner of the animal, in large knuckle parts to a back steak (a pork chop).

martin luther travel

Streetside Thuringer Sausage

The Thuringia dumpling is tasty but in texture rather like a gelatinous croquet ball, meant to sustain farmers working long days in the field. At one stop in Augsburg, a rather new trend seemed on offer, taking the concept of the Tapas Bar and applying it to a German menu, allowing a mix of sample portions from appetizers to main course and dessert.

In the north, I discovered a rather unique take on the familiar burger with a crusty potato cake for a bun, though eating it with a knife and fork seemed more sensible that trying to lift it with the hands. Fresh fish and vegetarian items are available for the less meat inclined, but interpreting a German menu might take some assistance. This central part of Germany is rich in farmland and the local markets held in any town square can be filled with colorful riches of local fruits and veggies.

From Schmalkalden we travel south by almost two hours to Coburg. In Luther’s time it would be about three days by horse at 30 miles a day. Coburg in Franconian Bavaria is the traditional family capital of the Saxe-Coburg’s who married into the English royal family when the young Queen Victoria wedded Prince Albert. The royal family changed their name to the Windsors during the anti-German sentiment of World War I.

Coburg also had a bit of luck in 1920 after the breakup of the former German Empire and the formation of the Weimar Republic.  The people were given a chance to choose whether they wanted to remain a part of Thuringia or join with Bavaria. They voted around 90 percent to switch to Bavaria, with the luck being after WWII, they were in West Germany, while Thuringia was in the socialist sector.

Luther Panels

Luther Panels at Veste Coburg

Martin Luther’s connection to Coburg is the six months, from April to October of 1530, he stayed in the great castle fortress, the Veste Coburg (Veste sometimes Fest meaning holdfast or stronghold) during the Imperial Diet of Augsburg. Coburg was then in Thuringia, controlled by the John of Saxony, called John the Steadfast, who had succeeded Frederick the Wise on his death in 1525. John was the leader of the Schmalkaldic League and would go to the Imperial Council, but fearing the Luther was subject to arrest and burning for heresy if he entered Bavaria, ordered him to wait in Coburg. His friend, Phillip Melanchthon, would present his doctrine to the council in the Confession of Augsburg. While awaiting the outcome from Augsburg, Luther would continue his translation of the Bible in his rather more comfortable rooms in the fortress castle.

The Veste Coburg is presenting a special anniversary exhibit “Ritter, Bauern, Lutheraner” (Knight, Peasant, Lutheran)” through November 5, 2017. The exhibit offers a fascinating collection of artifacts winding through the great halls of the castle.

What Else to Do In Coburg

As the ruling seat of the house of Saxe-Coburg, the city has a number of sites related to Prince Albert. The home where he was born, Schloss Rosenau with its setting Queen Victoria called “the queen’s view” over a hedge of roses, and the romantic 19 th Century Castle of Callenberg, still owned by the family.

Where to stay: Hotel Goldener Anker Rosengasse 4 is convenient to the old town, just inside the remaining gate of the medieval city walls.

Where to dine: Brauhaus Zu Coburg Nägleinsgasse 4 a traditional brewery restaurant just off the main town square where the statue of Prince Albert watches over the old city market.

From Coburg it’s on to Augsburg, not far from Munich and called the gateway to the Alps, at least for those traveling the Romantic Road to the south and the largest city on the Luther Trail.

Martin Luther Stilts

Martin Luther on Stilts at Augsburg Market

The Protestant reformer has two associations with the city. In his early days, after nailing his 95 Theses to the church doors in Wittenberg, he is called to answer at the Imperial Council of 1518. He is interrogated by Cardinal Thomas Cajetan and asked to recant with just a simple 6 letter word in Latin “Revoco”, but refuses. He stays for five days in rooms at the Cloister Church of St Anne while he presents his arguments. Realizing he could be arrested after three days of debate, he escapes.

Then again in 1530, after his Lutheran view has begun to take hold, he offers his Confession of Augsburg (Augustan Confession) with the 28 basic articles of the new faith, but doesn’t come to the city himself. The Church of St. Anne has a permanent exhibit called the Lutherstieg (Luther Stairs) encompassing the rooms where Luther hung out, with an interactive dialogue with Cardinal Cajetan.

What Else to Do in Augsburg

Augsburg is a vibrant city. It is the city where Mozart’s father Leopold was born and taught music at the still existing Mozart House Museum. Named for the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, the town stood at the end of the road from Rome. Augustus never visited the town himself but it was named for him by a nephew, and his statue stands imperially in the town square.

Golden Hall Augsburg

Golden Hall Augsburg Town Hall

The town’s growth in the middle ages is much due to two wealthy mining and shipping families, the Fuggers and Welsers. Jakob Fugger built a residential neighborhood for the poor, still standing, the Fuggerei, and their story is told in a new museum with talking interactive video screens, the Fugger and Welser Erlebnis Museum. The Golden Hall (Goldener Saale) in the city’s Town Hall is definitely worth a look, restored from a bombed-out wrecked shell in the war to a gleaming gold gilt wonder, used as a ceremonial concert hall.

Where to stay: Hotel Augsburgerhof – Auf Dem Kreuz located inside the old city walls and just across the street from the Mozart House.

Where to Dine: Restaurant Die Tafeldecker – Jakiberstr 26  located at the Fuggerei with a Bavarian Tapas style sampling menu. The Riegele Wirtshaus – Frolichstr 26 a brewery restaurant near the main train station, with the old brewery equipment turned into a terrace play yard.

Continuing Journey

Some of my companions departed from Munich while my journey was not yet complete. I would return northward in search of more of Martin Luther. Eisleben, the city where he was born and where he died. Wittenberg, where he lived and taught for 35 years and where his reformer journey began when he presented his 95 Theses arguments, nailed to the church door.

To Halle, where he preached many times and his body stopped on the journey home, where his death mask was taken and still can be seen in the Market Church. To Wiemar, where Luther stood on the same balcony as Adolf Hitler did 430 years later, and his statue still stands, (Luther’s, not the other guy). And finally on a last day, when I had one more stop to make, just a bus ride outside of the city where the German Republic was founded for brief time between the wars, before the aforementioned came to power.

The Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial is mostly open ground now, with the former prison hovels now just foundation outlines and a few remaining buildings, mostly where the soldiers and administration made their headquarters. It was here with only a brief time left, the journey came full circle. Here, I met a touring group of Korean divinity students, studying to be ministers, also following the trail of Martin Luther.

They had made the same side trip to the haunting camp memorial. In kindness, the leader of the group offered me a ride with them, rather than waiting for the last bus back to town, but they were returning to Erfurt, while I to Weimar. It seemed a reflection of the journey paths that have been crossing in the footsteps of one visionary for five hundred years. Then, a high speed train back to Frankfurt to ride in another giant bus of the air.

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martin luther travel

August 20, 2017 at 4:10 am

Excellent article, Michael. We enjoyed it very much along with your fantastic pics. Thanks for all the info. We’ll pass it on to a few friends in Germany. M&G NYC

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August 21, 2017 at 9:15 am

Nice experience

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August 23, 2017 at 12:41 am

Nice read Michael – lots of history there.

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The city, which he had greeted as holy, was a sink of iniquity; its very priests were openly infidel, and scoffed at the services they performed; the papal courtiers were men of the most shameless lives; he was accustomed to repeat the Italian proverb, “If there is a hell, Rome is built over it.” [11]

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Arrive this morning in Berlin, where our representative will greet you and escort you to your bus. A driving tour of Berlin will introduce you to such sites as the Brandenburg Gate and the rebuilt Reichstag, whose transparent dome represents the nation’s open government. Pass the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche, left as a poignant reminder of what was lost in the Second World War, and stop at a section of the Berlin Wall, a stark testimony to the once divided city. Take a photo at Checkpoint Charlie, the infamous crossing point from East to West Berlin during the Cold War Era. Dinner and overnight in Wittenberg.

Day 3 Wittenberg

This morning, wander the Wittenberg town where Luther lived and taught for 36 years. See where he posted his 95 Theses on the Palace Church door, giving voice to the Reformation. Visit Schlosskirche, where Luther was buried, and explore Luther Halle, a former monastery where Martin lived with his family. This afternoon, explore on your own through the town’s museums and shops. Enjoy an English Service held by the local Luther English Ministry team before returning to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 Halle and Eisleben

Start the day in Halle, where Luther supported the Market Church constructed here. George Handel would be baptized here in 1685. Cardinal Albert of Mainz precipitated the onset of the Reformation by selling indulgences, and the Protestants in Halle bought him out of his position. Continue to Eisleben, where Luther‘s life both began and ended. Luther was baptized at St. Petri (St. Peter & St. Paul’s Church), where you can see portraits of his wife and parents. This charming little town includes the Luther Family Home, and the house Luther was visiting at the time of his death. Walk the medieval cobblestone streets past St. Andrew’s Church, where Luther preached his last sermon. Dinner and overnight in Erfurt.

Day 5 Erfurt

Erfurt was called the “city of spires” in Luther’s day. Visit St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Augustinian Monastery, where Luther was ordained into the priesthood in 1507. Visit the Veste, the 900-year-old fortress of Coburg, where Luther took refuge from his enemies behind its triple ramparts. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 Eisenach

Martin Luther lived in Eisenach during his student days. Learn about Luther’s life and the Reformation at the Luther House Museum, and tour the famous Wartburg Castle, where Luther translated the New Testament into German in 1522. View the room where Luther completed his translation in just 11 weeks. Travel to the Rhine River area. Check into your area hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 7 Worms and Heidelberg

Explore the ancient city of Worms, where Luther refused to back down from his criticism of the church during the famous Diet of Worms. The Reformation Monument features statues of significant figures in the Reformation. View the castle twice struck by lightning in Heidelberg and explore the charming Old Town’s cobblestone lanes and medieval atmosphere. Heidelberg University played an essential role in the debates over the Reformation. Continue to Mainz for dinner and overnight.

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This morning, visit the Rhine River city of Mainz, where Johann Gutenberg developed the process of moveable type that allowed printing to be done on a production scale. Enjoy a cruise on the Rhine River past medieval castles before staying overnight in Frankfurt. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

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  • Martin Luther Biography

A Martin Luther Biography

Martin Luther biography, the story of the German monk who challenged the authority of the Church and set off the Protestant Reformation.

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Luther the Monk

  • Sale of Indulgences

The 95 Theses

Upheaval in germany.

  • Diet of Worms
  • In Hiding: Wartburg

Revolution in Wittenberg

  • Luther Gets Married
  • Peasants War
  • Reformation in Germany

The Early Years

Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, in the small town of Eisleben in eastern Germany. His parents were from peasant stock, but had high ambitions for their intelligent, eldest son.

Martin Luther's Parents, Hans and Margarethe Luther

Luther's father, Hans, started out as a miner, but by Martin's birth had become the owner of several foundries. Young Luther was sent away to boarding schools in various towns nearby to study.

The curriculum during the late Middle Ages was Latin and church liturgy and doctrine. Discipline was severe: pupils were caned for misbehavior and not learning their schoolwork.

Martin was a good student and he went on to the University of Erfurt, earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in Theology. He was in his first year of Law School in Erfurt when an incident occurred that would change the course of European history.

On a stormy afternoon in July, 1505, Martin Luther was walking along a country road on the way back to his college. Suddenly, a bolt of lightening hit the ground near his feet. In his terror, he cried out to St. Anne, vowing to become a monk if he survived.

Two weeks later, Luther joined the Augustinian Order in Erfurt; his father was furious.

Portrait of Martin Luther, by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Many Christians of the late Middle Ages had a great fear of demons and devils, and were terrified of ending up in hell. Mortality rates were high and life was very uncertain due to disease, accidents, childbirth and wars. Luther shared those fears and his first years in the monastery he was tormented with the idea that all men were hopeless sinners in the sight of God and unworthy of salvation.

Some years later, his view changed and he came to believe that Christians could be saved only by true repentance and their faith in Christ's promise of salvation. He rejected the doctrine that acts of penance and good works were the keys to heaven.

Luther followed all the requirements of the cloister - prayer, fasting, living a spartan life - but carried everything to such an extreme that his superiors were worried about him. He wore out his confessor with marathon sessions of confessing, going over every thought in detail, then starting again from the beginning. His confessor, Father Staupitz, told him:

"Look here, if you expect Christ to forgive you, come in with something to forgive- parricide, blasphemy, adultery -instead of all these peccadilloes."

Partly for this reason, he was sent to teach theology at the University of Erfurt, and in 1511, at the University of Wittenberg, where he received his Doctorate in Theology. In Wittenberg he was also the parish priest assigned to minister to the citizens of the town.

The Sale of Indulgences

A major source of church funding during this period was the sale of indulgences. An indulgence was a "get out of purgatory card" that could be obtained for oneself or others by paying a certain sum to the church.

At this time, the local prince, Frederick III of Saxony (The Wise), had been granted permission from the Pope to sell indulgences in Wittenberg to raise money for a bridge over the Elbe.

Portrait of Frederick III of Saxony (The Wise)

In addition, a representative of the Pope was just over the border in Thuringia selling indulgences to raise money for the Pope and for another German nobleman who was purchasing a church office (the Bishopric of Mainz) from the Pope. The Pope was selling offices and indulgences to get money for an ambitious building program which included the construction of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. The Pope's representative, the Dominican Father Tetzel, encouraged people to buy the indulgences with the jingle,

"As soon as the coin in the coffer rings The soul from Purgatory springs"

and telling them their loved ones were crying out to be released from suffering.

Martin Luther was sent to Rome in 1510 on an errand for his order. He was shocked by the lack of morality and piety of the local clergy and by the luxurious lifestyle of the Pope Leo X, a member of the Medici family. Pope Leo was known for his expensive tastes and was fond of hunting, gambling and carnivals. The papacy was at a low point in its history and others had been calling out for reform prior to Luther.

Martin Luther was a theology professor at the newly-established University of Wittenberg and had been spending a good deal of his time reading the Scriptures and writings of the early Christians, especially St. Paul and St. Augustine. He came to the conclusion there was no evidence in the Bible for believing the Pope had power to release souls from Purgatory.

Therefore, he felt the pieces of paper being sold to escape Purgatory were worthless and pious Christians were being scammed. The fact that the funds were going from poor German peasants to wealthy Roman clergy made the fraud even more disturbing. He wrote out a list of his objections to the practice; he named 95 issues he wished to dispute.

On October 31, 1517, Luther nailed his ninety-five theses, or points of discussion, on the door of the Castle Church in  Wittenberg . The document was in Latin and invited other scholars to debate the statements set out.

Doors of Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany

This was the normal way to offer topics for formal discussion in a community of scholars, so the act of nailing the paper to the door was not revolutionary.

However, the topic was a touchy one. Indulgences were a major method of fund-raising for the Church. (Medieval Bingo, as author Roland Bainton, in  Here I Stand , put it!).

The  95 Theses  were translated into German and widely distributed throughout Germany, courtesy of the printing press.

There is some question about whether the list was actually attached to the church door. Phillip Melanchthon, Luther's closest ally, described the event in a writing after Luther's death and recently another writing of a contemporary has come to light which also states the theses were nailed to the door.

Luther never mentioned it in his own writings. There is no question, however, that Luther wrote the list and sent a copy of it to Prince Albert of Mainz.

The protest against the indulgences set off a conflagration which, step by step, resulted in most of Northern Europe breaking away from the authority of the Catholic Church.

The reaction of the Church initially was to try and suppress the attack on indulgences by suppressing Martin Luther. Pope Leo directed the head of the Augustinians to: "quench a monk of your order, Martin Luther by name". He also allegedly remarked, "Luther is a drunken German. He will feel differently when he is sober".

Portrait of Pope Leo X

However, because of the complex politics of the time involving the Holy Roman Emperor, Spain and France, the Pope couldn't afford to alienate the German princes. Some of the princes were sympathetic to Luther and German resentment against sending money to Rome was on the rise.

The Pope, directly and through churchmen supporting him, told Luther he was wrong, but would be forgiven if he backed down. Luther became more adamant and started adding new complaints about the Church. A flurry of pamphlets and tracts issued from both camps attacking each other.

The Pope wanted to bring Luther to Rome and deal with him, but the German princes, including the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, said Luther should be given a hearing on the issue in Germany. A debate was held in Leipzig, with Luther challenging the authority of the Pope to decide doctrine and maintaining that many church practices, including most of the sacraments, were bogus because they conflicted with Scripture.

It was clear by this time that there could be no coming together on these issues, since the very authority of the Pope was called into question. Luther had made himself very unpopular with the Church. The Church did act to curb the worst abuses of indulgences, but it was too late. The debate had moved far beyond that.

See  Protestant Reformation  for a list of the doctrinal differences between Luther and the Church.

Pope Leo sent Luther a notice that he would be excommunicated unless he renounced his heretical views within 60 days. Luther responded by publicly burning the letter, or "bull" in Wittenberg, along with a stack of Church writings.

The Diet of Worms

Every year or so, the Holy Roman Emperor would call a meeting of the German princes and bishops. These meetings were called Diets and in 1521, Emperor Charles V summoned Martin Luther to the meeting to be held in the old cathedral city of Worms in western Germany. (Diet of Worms is pronounced " dee-ate  of  vohrms ".)

Charles V was a very devout Catholic, but about half of the princes were sympathetic to Luther. Luther was given safe conduct to attend the meeting and defend his positions. At the Diet of Worms, Luther was shown a table with a pile of his books and other writings. He was offered the opportunity to recant, but refused. Luther's reply was written down as he spoke it:

"Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason -- I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other -- my conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

The printed document released after the Diet of Worms also contained the famous words, "Here I stand, I can do no other."

In Hiding: Wartburg Castle

Luther was allowed to leave Worms, but he was now considered an outlaw. Emperor Charles issued the Edict of Worms, declaring Luther a heretic and ordering his death.

Frederick the Wise of Saxony favored Luther and arranged for him to be "kidnapped" and taken to  Wartburg Castle  near the town of  Eisenach .

Side view of Wartburg Castle

Luther disguised himself as a nobleman, grew a beard and called himself "Junker Jörg". He was safe in the Wartburg, a strong fortress on the top of a mountain, under the protection of the local prince.

Martin Luther disguised as Junker Jörg

He spent nearly a year there, writing furiously and fighting depression and numerous physical ailments.

It was in a small study in the castle in 1522 that he translated the New Testament from Greek into German and profoundly influenced the form and standardization of the German language.

Back in Wittenberg, in Luther's absence numerous leaders had sprung up, each with his own interpretation of doctrine, and most having far more radical views than Luther.

Priests wore ordinary clothing and grew their hair, services were performed in German, monks and nuns were leaving the cloisters and getting married. Some groups were smashing images and statues in the churches and dragging priests away from the altars.

Luther was becoming more and more alarmed at these reports. When the town council of Wittenberg wrote to him, begging him to come back and restore order, he decided to leave the safety of the Wartburg and return.

Martin Luther's House in Wittenberg, Germany

He did manage to quiet things down when he returned to Wittenberg. He convinced a couple of the more radical preachers to stop preaching or leave town.

Luther began the process of laying out what he believed to be the proper conduct of church services and started writing books to be used to educate the clergy and lay-people about the "correct" way of behaving and worshipping as Christians.

Katharina von Bora: Luther Gets Married

One of the problems confronting Luther when he returned was the question of what to do with all the nuns who had run away from the nunneries, including twelve who had been smuggled out in herring barrels. Apparently in the Middle Ages they couldn't be allowed to remain single, so Luther worked to find husbands for them.

Finally, only one woman was left, 26 year-old Katharina von Bora, the daughter of a poor nobleman. She had been sent to the nunnery at a very young age, probably because her father couldn't afford to provide her with a dowry to marry her off.

Portrait of Katharina von Bora

Luther picked out a disagreeable, elderly man for her. Katharina refused and said she would marry either Luther or another local bachelor. Luther, who was 42, had stated many times he wasn't going to marry. However, he impulsively announced he was marrying Katharina von Bora, to the great surprise of his friends.

Luther was very fond of Katharina, referring to her as "My Lord Katie" or "My rib". In a letter he addressed her, "To my beloved wife, Katharina, Mrs. Dr. Luther, mistress of the pig market, lady of Zulsdorf, and whatsoever other titles may befit thy Grace."

For a long-time bachelor, married life was quite a change, He wrote, "There is a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage. One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the pillow that was not there before." The marriage turned out to be a happy one and they had six children, three girls and three boys, during their time together.

See Martin Luther quotes  for Martin Luther's sayings on life and love.

The Peasants War of 1525

There had been periodic unrest involving the German peasants over the years and conditions had been getting worse for them due to some changes in the way land was held. Many were inspired by Martin Luther's challenge to the authority of the Church to challenge the secular powers as well.

Luther was initially sympathetic to their struggles, but as the movement gained momentum, some of the groups became violent and were roaming the land looting and killing, robbing and burning monasteries, abbeys and castles.

Martin Luther wrote an appeal to the aristocrats to restore order by force. The peasants were disorganized and poorly armed and were no match for the knights and heavily armed soldiers. They were slaughtered by the thousands and their leader Thomas Müntzer, beheaded.

Both sides were angry with Luther: the nobles blamed him for stirring up the people and the peasants blamed him for encouraging the nobles to use violence against them.

The Protestant Reformation in Northern Germany

Martin Luther spent the rest of his life in Wittenberg, preaching the new doctrines and creating an enormous body of written work.

Wittenberg Markt, Town Square

He wrote many books on Protestant theology, instructional books for Christian worship and living, as well as hymns for congregations to sing during the service. Many are still being sung today; the most famous is  A Mighty Fortress is Our God , which can be sung in English in Wittenberg in the Castle Church itself during certain services.

Luther wrote to and met with other leaders of the Reformation, such as Zwingli, to try and produce a unified statement of belief for the reformed church, but nothing came out of it because they were not able to agree on many of the doctrinal issues.

Protestantism spread rapidly over northern Germany and to the towns of Augsburg, Nuremberg and Strasbourg in the south, as well as Switzerland. By the time of Luther's death it was well established, mostly in the form Martin Luther created.

Luther had been ill off and on for most of his life and his health had been deteriorating as he got older. He died on a visit to Eisleben, the town of his birth, in 1546 at the age of 62.

He was buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg in front of the pulpit where he delivered many of his sermons. His grave is still there.

Martin Luther's Grave, Castle Church, Wittenberg

More Info on Martin Luther

If you want more information on this subject, I highly recommend the Martin Luther biography by Roland H. Bainton,  Here I Stand, A Life of Martin Luther . Well-written, with tons of interesting information.

It's on Amazon (As an Amazon Associate I may earn a small commission from some purchases.)

For a concise summary of the doctrinal differences between Martin Luther and the Catholic Church, see  Protestant Reformation .

More Martin Luther...

Medieval Men at Wittenberg Faire

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martin luther travel

Lutheran Journeys

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.”

Welcome to lutheran journeys, “to travel is to live…”.

The prolific author Hans Christian Andersen understood travel to be an essential part of a life well-lived. When we explore our Christian heritage in faraway lands, we come to a greater understanding and deepening of our faith.  As St. Augustine once said, “The world is like a book, and those who don’t travel will only read one page.”

Lutheran Journeys provides experiences that are true to our faith, and to Lutheran history and heritage. From our program consultants to our travel operators, our in-house flight specialists to our expert guides, the focus of every journey we plan is the spiritual experience of our travelers. Our attention to detail allows you — as the group leader — a chance to absorb your experiences while educating your group, never having to deal with the business end of your travel (hotel check-in/out, finding restaurants, booking visits, translating, or logistics).

 Whether you are looking for a Bible-based journey to Israel, Jordan, or Greece, a Lutheran heritage tour through Germany, a study on Celtic Christianity, a walk through the El Camino in Spain, or an opportunity for your youth group, we will walk with you. Through our Lutheran Specialist, you will find a vast knowledge base of both church and destination. We will work with you to build an itinerary that fits your vision for your community.

 As you explore this webpage for a sampling of our offerings, let us know if you have an idea or are seeking a destination other than what you find here.  We will work with you to develop exactly what you are looking for to enhance the faith journeys of your community.

martin luther travel

martin luther travel

About Our Team

Our team of program consultants includes a Lutheran Specialist that will guide you through your planning and traveling experience. We also maintain close relationships with many Lutheran churches across the country who have worked with us and will be great resources for establishing a culture of travel to complement your faith-formation ministry.

martin luther travel

Lutheran Journeys to the Holy Land

Lutheran Journeys joins you in echoing the invitation, “Come and See,” to your community. From Bethlehem to Nazareth, from Capernaum to Jerusalem, you will walk in the footsteps of Jesus. With journeying at the heart of your community’s faith, visiting Israel will make your hearts beat with even more fervor and excitement

Lutheran Journeys to Germany

Through Lutheran Journeys, the great history of Germany and its churches comes alive. From the Augustinian Monastery at Erfurt to the infamous door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, your community will catch a glimpse into the very foundations of Lutheranism. You will experience Martin Luther’s rich legacy from his humble beginnings as a monk to his triumphant revelations as a reformer.

Celtic Christianity

Lutheran Journeys will guide you through the story of the Celtic Christians, which share close ties to many movements within the modern church. Your community will explore the dedication and deep spirituality of the early church leaders who brought about a shift in Christian understanding that persists even today. Taking in sites throughout Ireland, Scotland and Northern England, your community will experience the region’s historic glory as a center for learning and spirituality.

Lutheran Journeys to Greece and Turkey

Lutheran Journeys will guide you through Greece as your community studies the letters of the Apostle Paul. You will explore the actual sites of the earliest Christian Churches, which will open up new areas for growth and faith-formation. In visiting Corinth and Thessaloniki after walking the streets of Athens, a new perspective will be gained in your understanding of scripture.

Cathedral Residency

Each year, Lutheran Church choirs from across the United States spend a week or more serving as the “choir in residency” for cathedrals in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. There are options available for nearly all levels and sizes of choirs to participate in these life-changing and inspiring opportunities.

Lutheran Journeys, in collaboration with our sister company Music Celebrations International (MCI), has the experience and skill to arrange one of these Cathedral Residencies for your choir. Please visit our Choir Residency webpage for more information:

Other Destinations

At Lutheran Journeys, we know that there are many sites around the world that you feel called to visit. That’s why we have a large number of other itineraries, not shown on this webpage, which you may like to explore. And, as always, we are happy to customize current offerings or research and explore new destinations based on your interests.

“What a great trip! And Faith Journeys did a fantastic job meeting my expectations and working with me on the itinerary. For the most part, the Vatican, Florence, Augsburg, Leipzig, Erfurt, and Wittenberg were the high points for me and the group as a whole. Our specific tour guides were outstanding and they made the history of the places come alive. It was evident that they were really into their individual subject matters. All of our members agreed that they added to the spiritual aspect of our tour. I also had ample time to add spiritual dimensions to our tour which was very nice. Our accommodations were above expectations. Even our tour manager said that Faith Journeys had taken very good care of us. I felt connected before and during the trip. I would recommend Faith Journeys as a great company to work with.”

St. Jacob Lutheran Church

Contact us directly if you have any questions regarding a pilgrimage through the online form or at:

[email protected]

martin luther travel

Spartacus Educational

Orthodox church.

Most of the people living in the Russian Empire were members of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1721 the Orthodox Church became a government department called the Holy Synod. It was run by the Chief Procurator, an official appointed by the Tsar.

Completely under the control of the government, the Orthodox Church played an important role in the various russification campaigns (forbidding the use of local languages and the suppression of religious customs). t also became closely associated with the Jewish Pogroms that took place during the last part of the 19th century.

As a state department the Russian Orthodox Church lost the right to plead with the Tsar on behalf of the poor and dispossessed. The church was therefore seen by those seeking reform as a reactionary institution condoning serfdom .

The Bolsheviks , as Marxists , regarded religion as the "opium of the masses". After the October Revolution the Soviet government were extremely hostile to the Church.

In January 1918 the Soviet government passed legislation that attempted to separate the Church from the state and education. They also deprived the Church of all legal functions concerning the family and marriage.

During the Civil War all church buildings, funds and property were confiscated. It is estimated that around a thousand priests were killed during this period.

A decree passed on 14th April 1929 established that the Church could not own property nor establish central funds, or make compulsory levies. Their religious activities are confined to worship within the registered congregation. They were also forbidden to engage in missionary or welfare work.

None of the new cities and industrial centres, built under the Five Year Plans , included churches. Old churches were pulled down and by the 1930s Moscow only had a dozen churches compared to over 200 before the October Revolution .

In 1937 there was 30,000 registered religious communities. During the purges this figure dropped significantly and by 1939 it was only 20,000. However, it was estimated that there was a large number of unregistered congregations.

Follow @JohnSimkin on Twitter

Russia: A History

Faltu Saala

Most Badass Quotes from Historical Figures

Home » Most Badass Quotes from Historical Figures

The chronicles of history have seen a considerable amount of leaders who figured out how to separate themselves from the various recognized legends, crazy people and even villains throughout the years. Their activities and quotes recognized them in the manners of most badass people. Here are some of the most badass quotes from these historical figures.

Sam Manekshaw

“If a man says he is not afraid of death, either he is lying or he is a Gurkha.” – General Sam Manekshaw


“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

martin luther travel

After repeated attempts of assassination from the USSR, legend has it that Yugoslavian President, Josip Broz “Tito” sent this letter to the Kremlin: “Stalin: Stop sending people to kill me! We’ve already captured five of them, one with a bomb and another with a rifle… If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send one to Moscow, and I won’t have to send another”.

martin luther travel

“A man who isn’t ready to die for something is not fit to live.” – Martin Luther King

martin luther travel

“Either I will find a way or I will make one.” – Hannibal Barca

martin luther travel

“The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions … but by iron and blood.” – Otto Von Bismarck

martin luther travel

Theodore Roosevelt was shot and hit directly in the chest! To this he simply opened his vest, revealing his bloody shirt and said, “Ladies and gentleman, I don’t know if you fully understand I have been shot but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose!”

martin luther travel

“It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” – Emiliano Zapata

martin luther travel

During the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” after taking everything, George Foreman would throw for seven rounds, Muhammad Ali whispered. “That all you got, George?”

martin luther travel

When asked how high his IQ is, Stephen Hawking replied “I don’t know. People who boast about their IQs are losers.”

martin luther travel

“I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to move forward.” – Fridtjof Nansen

martin luther travel

“No Damn Man Kills Me And Lives.” – Nathan Bedford Forrest

martin luther travel

“Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit.” – Augustus

martin luther travel

“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone, but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” – Malcolm X

martin luther travel

“I am the flail of god. Had you not created great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.” ― Genghis Khan

martin luther travel

A bare minimum of khadi spun dhoti and a covering cloth on his upper body. He had a meeting with the king of England in the same attire. On asked by a Journalist whether he felt underdressed during his meeting, his prompt reply was “The King was wearing enough clothes for both of us!” and there instantly Gandhi had won the hearts of all of Europe.

martin luther travel

“Give me blood, I will give you freedom.” –  Subhash Chandra Bose

martin luther travel

“Last words, to the firing squad about to shoot him, were: Take a step forward, lads. It will be easier that way.” – Robert Erskine Childer


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  1. Martin Luther's Travel Guide: 500 Years of the 95 Theses: On the Trail

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  4. Wittenberg, Germany: Martin Luther's Town

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  5. Martin Luther: History and places to visit.

    Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms. Wittenberg. See Luther's house, the church doors where the 95 theses were (allegedly) nailed, the oak tree where he burned the papal bull, the churches he preached in, Luther's grave, and related museums. Wartburg Castle. The beautiful medieval fortress where Luther hid from the Inquisition and translated the ...

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    Wartburg Castle is where Luther spent time in Eisenach as an adult after the pope labeled him a heretic and an outlaw, basically declaring "open season" on him after his refusal to recant at the Diet of Worms. His powerful protector, Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony, had Luther kidnapped and brought to Wartburg where he spent 10 months ...

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    Cornelia Dömer, PhD, serves as a representative for the State of Rheinland-Pfalz at the federal German level and with the European Union.From 2000 to 2007, she managed the Luther-Zentrum Wittenberg. Previously, she was responsible for culture and marketing Luther at the Sachsen Anhalt GmbH, and e.V.

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  12. Martin Luther Religious Tour in Germany

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    Martin Luther lived in Eisenach during his student days. Learn about Luther's life and the Reformation at the Luther House Museum, and tour the famous Wartburg Castle, where Luther translated the New Testament into German in 1522. View the room where Luther completed his translation in just 11 weeks. Travel to the Rhine River area.

  16. Martin Luther Biography. His Life and Deeds

    Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, in the small town of Eisleben in eastern Germany. His parents were from peasant stock, but had high ambitions for their intelligent, eldest son. Martin Luther's Parents, Hans and Margarethe Luther. Luther's father, Hans, started out as a miner, but by Martin's birth had become the owner of several ...

  17. 2024 ~ Germany; In the Footsteps of Martin Luther

    2024 ~ Germany; In the Footsteps of Martin Luther. Monday, June 17, 2024 3:10 PM. Thursday, June 27, 2024 4:10 PM. Friends, family, and members of the Christian community, you are invited to experience the joys of traveling together in Christian fellowship. Your walk of faith will deepen as you embark on an unforgettable journey of discovery ...

  18. Home

    Lutheran Journeys provides experiences that are true to our faith, and to Lutheran history and heritage. From our program consultants to our travel operators, our in-house flight specialists to our expert guides, the focus of every journey we plan is the spiritual experience of our travelers. Our attention to detail allows you — as the group ...

  19. Russian Serfs

    With a population of sixty-seven million, Russia had twenty-three million serfs belonging to 103,000 landlords. The arable land which the freed peasantry had to rent or buy was valued at about double its real value (342 million roubles instead of 180 million); yesterday's serfs discovered that, in becoming free, they were now hopelessly in debt.

  20. Maria Spiridonova

    Maria Spiridonova, the daughter of a bank official, was born in Tambov on 16th October, 1884. According to Leonid Laparenok: "Maria grew up a romantic-minded young girl, brought up on the traditions of Russian literature, with its tales sympathetic to the insulted and humiliated. This literature and upbringing largely determined the course of ...

  21. Russian Orthodox Church

    Orthodox Church. Most of the people living in the Russian Empire were members of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1721 the Orthodox Church became a government department called the Holy Synod. It was run by the Chief Procurator, an official appointed by the Tsar. Completely under the control of the government, the Orthodox Church played an ...

  22. Most Badass Quotes from Historical Figures

    Here are some of the most badass quotes from these historical figures. "If a man says he is not afraid of death, either he is lying or he is a Gurkha.". - General Sam Manekshaw. "If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.". - Benjamin Franklin.