City Church, Wittenberg

Towering over Marktplatz in the center of Wittenberg is the Stadtkirche (City Church), the oldest building in the city. It is known as the "Mother Church of the Reformation," as Martin Luther did most of his preaching here.


History of the City Church

Officially named St. Mary's Church (Marienskirche), the City Church has sections dating from the 13th century, making it the oldest structure in Wittenberg.

The choir dates to about 1300; construction on the rest continued until 1470. The distinctive octagonal turrets were added after the Reformation.

Martin Luther preached here regularly, was married here in 1525 and his six children were baptized here. The pulpit from which he preached is preserved in the Lutherhalle.

What to See at the City Church

The parish church has changed quite a bit since Luther's time, but still contains a magnificent Reformation altarpiece by Lucas Cranach the Elder, depicting the Lord's Supper (look for the faces of Luther, Melanchthon and other Reformation figures), Baptism and Confession.

Cranach was B├╝rgermeister (mayor) of Wittenberg, a friend of Luther, and one of the most notable Reformation artists. More of his work can be seen in the Lutherhalle and elsewhere. Also notable is the font by Hermann Vischer (1457) that saw the baptisms of Luther's children.

Quick Facts on the City Church

Site Information
Names:City Church · Marienskirche · Mother Church of the Reformation · Stadtkirche · Stadtkirche St Marien
Categories:churches; Reformation history sites; World Heritage Sites
Dedication: Virgin Mary
Dates:13th C and later
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:51.866502° N, 12.644781° E
Address:Judenstrasse 35
Wittenberg, Germany
Hours:Nov-Apr: Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 11:30am-4pm
May-Oct: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11:30am-5pm
Lodging:View hotels near the City Church
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Personal visit (March 9, 2008).
  2. Information provided at the church.
  3. Stadtkirche St. Marien - Fodor's Germany
  4. Introduction to Lutherstadt Wittenberg - Frommer's Germany

More Information

© Holly Hayes
© Holly Hayes
© Holly Hayes
© Holly Hayes
© Holly Hayes

Map of the City Church, Wittenberg

Below is a location map and aerial view of the City Church. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.