Wittenberg, Germany

Wittenberg's Marktplatz, dominated by the fine Town Hall and the towers of the City Church. Photo © Sacred Destinations.

Wittenberg (officially named Lutherstadt Wittenberg) is the German city most associated with Martin Luther (1483-1546), leader of the German Reformation. The Luther sites of Wittenberg were together designated a World Heritage Site in 1996, along with Eisleben. Wittenberg lies 68km (42 miles) northeast of Leipzig and 100km (62 miles) southwest of Berlin. A pleasant German town in its own right, Wittenberg's Luther sites attract Protestant pilgrims and history buffs from all over the world. Wittenberg's other famous son was humanist Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560), a Protestant reformer and scholar and friend of Luther. Both are honored with bronze statues in front of the Rathaus (town hall).

Luther House
The house where Luther and his family lived is well-preserved and full of Reformation relics, including Luther's desk, his pulpit, and first editions of his books.
City Church
In this twin-towered Gothic church, Luther preached the Reformation, was married (1525) and baptized his six children. Inside, Cranach's huge Reformation Altar includes scenes of Christ and Luther.
Castle Church
On the door of this church in 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses against the sale of indulgences - and launched the Reformation. The church contains the tombs of Luther, Melanchthon and Frederick the Wise.