The historic town of Wittenberg, Germany, is best known as the birthplace of reformer Martin Luther. Understandably, of the many sites making up the city skyline, several are closely related or dedicated to the legendary son of the soil. Additionally, Wittenberg’s old town oozes historic charm and culture. Let’s find out why this town should be your next stop.
The building that served as the residence of Martin Luther
from 1508 till he breathed his last in 1546 is today a museum. Visitors flock to this museum to see where the reformer lived and worked, participated in the famous Table Talks, spoke to the people and ate his meals. The other sections of this building house a wide range of artifacts that tell the story of how he lived his life, including his Bible, paintings, manuscripts, documents and more.
Wittenberg Market Square
Wittenberg market square, the beating heart of the city, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The highlight of this square is the stunning 16th century Rathaus with its four Renaissance gables, Gothic windows and ornate facade. Next to the Rathaus, look out for Market Fountain built in 1617 and statues of Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon. This square is a great place to mingle with the locals, grab a meal, shop and people-watch.
The Castle Church is unparalleled in historical importance. It is on the door of this church that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on 31st October 1517. Though the original door was destroyed, a bronze replacement was installed in 1858. It is also the final resting place of the great reformer as well as fellow reformer Philipp Melanchthon. The church offers guided tours to visitors.
Church of St. Mary
The Church of St. Mary, built between the 13th and 15th centuries, is the most ancient building in Wittenberg, and its twin octagonal towers have come to be recognized as an icon of Wittenberg. Martin Luther himself preached in this Gothic town and parish church. On a tour through the church, you can see priceless paintings by Cranach, a wide collection of modern art, a stunning organ, Renaissance epitaphs and tombs. The church also offers guided tours.
Melanchton House is a celebration of the life and work of famous humanist and reformer
, Philipp Melanchthon. This 16th century house is where he lived with his family, worked and hosted poetry contests, until he passed away. The building’s architecture is eye-catching thanks to its Late Gothic windows and Renaissance gables. The museum houses documents and artifacts owned by or related to the reformer. Highlights include a massive, restored portrait of Philipp Melanchthon by Lucas Cranach the Younger and an original salary receipt drawn out to Melanchthon for his work as a professor. The museums offers interesting games and expeditions designed for children.
The Luther-Melanchthons-Gymnasium school, designed by famous architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, is a splendid building. The school offers group and individual tours, in the course of which you can see special elements of the unique architecture as well as learn everything you want to know about the school. You can also pick up a souvenir to remember your time in Wittenberg.
Cranach House and Courtyard
Gifted German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder resided in this house for several years in the 16th century. Together with publisher Christian Döring, he operated a printing press here, which published September Testament by Martin Luther. In 1517-18, Cranach expanded his work in the courtyard of Schlossstrasse 1, a hop away from the house, and did business with wax, paper, paints etc. Both the house and the courtyard are open to the public. From November to March, the attraction is closed on Mondays. Please look up the opening times for different times of the year before planning your trip.