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Wittenberg celebrates Luther's wedding

June 12, 2015

490 years ago, Protestant reformer Martin Luther married a nun who had escaped a monastery - breaking from the Roman Catholic Church. Each year Wittenberg organizes a festival, including a reenactment of the wedding.

Deutschland Luthers Hochzeit in Wittenberg
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Woitas

From Friday, June 12, everything in Wittenberg will revolve around Martin Luther and his marriage to Katharina von Bora. The three-day festivities will be crowned by a moving wedding procession. As well as 2,000 costumed extras, a student and teacher from Wittenberg - the town in Saxony-Anhalt - will play the historic wedding couple. Tens of thousands of guests are expected to attend Luther's 'wedding'.

The old town will transform into a medieval spectacle with market stalls, entertainers and people in period costume - and artisans will be on hand with displays of products from Luther's time. Period knight games and parades will be offered to children and around the castle church musicians will perform historic music.

It was here where Martin Luther is said to have nailed his Ninety-Five Theses, on the reformation of Christianity, to the door in 1517. His work went on to change both the political and Christian worlds substantially. Eight years later, Luther married the escaped nun Katharina von Bora - 15 years his junior. With his marriage in 1525 he personally broke away from the Catholic Church.