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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).

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Sacred Sites and Religious Attractions in Wittenberg

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Luther House and Museum
    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.