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 Bürgermeister (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
|Names:||City Church · Marienskirche · Mother Church of the Reformation · Stadtkirche · Stadtkirche St Marien|
|Categories:||churches; Reformation history sites; World Heritage Sites|
|Dates:||13th C and later|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||51.866502° N, 12.644781° E|
|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|
- Personal visit (March 9, 2008).
- Information provided at the church.
- Stadtkirche St. Marien - Fodor's Germany
- Introduction to Lutherstadt Wittenberg - Frommer's Germany
- Photos of the City Church - here on Sacred Destinations
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.