European Adventure 2011 - Day Fourteen: Wittenberg

Posted by Amy O. , Saturday, May 21, 2011 10:44 AM

Now that we're back, friends have often asked what was the highlight of the trip, which is impossible to say, since the entire trip was so fabulous.  But this day, the day that Mindy took us to Wittenberg, would definitely rate high on the list, if such a list could be made.

First, we had to take the Autobahn to get there.  This was our first time on the Autobahn, and I'm not even certain that I'm spelling it correctly.  I was glad that Mindy was driving and I was merely watching the speed increase.  All in all, it was, well, exhilarating.

Wittenberg is the town where the daring Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church.  I have often heard this story, but it was so incredible to explore the town and learn so much more about the history and controversy surrounding this historical figure, and to think on the impact of one man's bravery.

The tower of Castle Church, home of the famous door on which the theses were nailed.

The arch/painting below is the top of the famous door.  Unfortunately, the lower part was boarded up because of renovations so we couldn't take those classic shots where we imitate nailing something on the door (I know you're all sad).  However, even if we could've seen the door here, it actually wasn't the real door anyway.  The real wooden door was lost in a fire.  It's since been replaced by a bronze door that actually has the 95 Theses inscribed on it.  So that would've been cool to see.  Guess we'll have to go back ;-).

We first headed to the tourist office for an introductory video & some English audio guides that would teach about the sights of the city.  We decided to mount the 289 steps that lead up the tower of Castle Church, and were rewarded with some amazing views!
Almost there!

 Patrick & Martin

Me & Katarina ~ Martin's love

We grabbed lunch in the main square.  It was asparagus season - Spargelzeit! - so those of us who eat our vegetables indulged in the wonders!
Sooooooo good!

Those who don't eat their vegetables still found other wonders to enjoy...
Views of the square from our lunch spot...

He lives!

After lunch we headed to the City Church where Martin Luther most often preached, the one with the two towers that we'd been seeing from the Castle Church tower.

We found this interesting: outside the church is a monument to proclaim their posture against the anti-Semitism of medieval times that was encouraged by the church.  From the accompanying plaque: 

"The monument which serves to warn against forgetting history, consists of four paving slabs with cracks between them.  These slabs are trying to cover up the Cross, which is refusing to be suppressed and is welling up between them as a sign of guilt and atonement. 

The surrounding text relates to the old inscription above the sandstone relief: The true name of God, the maligned Chem Ha Mphoras, which Jews long before Christianity regarded as almost unutterably holy, this name died with six million Jews under the sign of the Cross.  Then follows in Hebrew script Psalm 130:1 Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord."

Another Luther sighting!
And a Katarina sighting!
After that, we made our way down to Luther's house, which now houses a museum of all things Luther. It too was fascinating - though, by the end of the day, my head was spinning with all that it had taken in!

 Luther's signature symbol...

The 95 Theses

This is the table & room of the famous Table Talks where theology was heatedly discussed with students. 

 A highlight for me - the oldest songbook in known existence containing "A Mighty Fortress"...

 Luther's collected works
After the Lutherhaus, we got some ice cream (eis!), which is the thing to do in Germany, and then we stopped by this courtyard, where the Lucas Cranachs (Sr. & Jr.) lived & worked & created.  The Cranachs were big supporters of Luther, even though it was dangerous to be, and created much art with him as the focus to demonstrate this.
 Mindy, Lucas, & me

 A few parting shots of Wittenberg...

...before retiring to Mindy's place for an evening of Forbidden Island, which she fortunately loved.

1 Response to "European Adventure 2011 - Day Fourteen: Wittenberg"

Redjen Says:

Hope those asparagus weren't contaminated with E. Coli! Looks like those who don't eat their vegetables may have had the safer meal.

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