The life of Martin Luther in pictures
500 years ago Martin Luther wanted to achieve a just church for everyone but in the process he changed the world. Today the places that played a significant role in his life give insight into the famous reformer's works.
Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483 in Eisleben which is now in Saxony Anhalt. His birthplace already became a museum back in the 17th century. That makes it one of the oldest history museums in Germany. The rooms on the ground floor show how the Luther family used to live in the former apartment.
Luther's death house
This house, located opposite the Church of St. Andrew which still has the original pulpit from Luther's day is not far from his place of birth . Today it is a museum exhibiting historic furniture, documents and signatures, as well as the original cloth that covered Luther's coffin in 1546. Luther's birthplace and the house where he died were both declared UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1996.
Augustine Monastery in Erfurt
His career as reformer began in Erfurt. In 1505 Luther stood at the monstaery gate and asked if he could become a monk. The site with the magnificent chapter house and church windows from the 14th century is now home to a museum about the monastery's past. It includes a replica of a cell that was used by Martin Luther.
Castle Church in Wittenberg
The castle church is seen as the home of the reformation. This is where Martin Luther is said to have nailed his 95 theses to the door in 1517. They criticized the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic church and called for a return to the word of God. The door and Luther's tomb, also in the church, draw visitors from all over the world.
Luther Museum in Wittenberg
This is currently the world's largest museum relating to the Reformation. It is also home to the famous Luther chamber, where Luther sat and chatted to students, friends and travelers. The exhibition features many portraits of Luther. It is also home to a wedding portrait showing both him and his wife Katharina von Bora, a former nun who managed the household.
Luther Memorial in Worms
In 1521 Luther defended his teachings before the emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and the Diet of Worms. He was declared an outlaw and his literature was banned. The memorial in Worms shows that Luther had supporters as his statue is surrounded by fellow campaigners and pioneers of the Reformation. It is regarded as the world's largest reformation monument.
One of his greatest supporters, Frederick III the Elector of Saxony, staged Luther's kidnapping after he was declared an outlaw. Disguised as a knight, Luther spent almost an entire year at Wartburg castle, where he translated the New Testament from Ancient Greek into German in just ten weeks. The first pilgrims came to the castle in the 16th century. Today it has some 35,000 visitors every year.
Veste Coburg Citadel
The medieval castle is one of the largest and best maintained castles in Germany. In the 16th century it stood under the protection of the Electorate of Saxony who provided Martin Luther with sanctuary here in 1530. He spent six months working on bible translations, sermons and theses. The Luther chapel and the rooms between the castle yards have attracted Luther fans for centuries.
Castle Church in Torgau
The church at Hartenfels castle was the first built according to the new Protestant design. Luther himself inaugurated it in 1544. The simple architecture was in accordance with his idea of how a house of God should look. Also in Torgau is the only memorial to Luther's wife, Katharina von Bora. She died in the town in 1552 and her grave can be found in St. Marien Church.
Market Church in Halle
After Luther's death in Eisleben on February 18, 1546, the largest funeral procession of his time brought his mortal remains to Wittenberg. On the way his body lay in repose in Halle in the Market Church, where his death mask and a mold of his hands have remained to this day. The church also still has the original pulpit from which Luther preached his revolutionary theories on several occasions.