A time to worship, a time to celebrate
Reformation Summer in LutherCountry
Joyous celebrations and solemn services, lively festivals and thought-provoking exhibitions: all are on offer this year, during Reformation Summer in LutherCountry . No wonder visitors from around the world are heading for the German Federal states of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, where they can walk in the footsteps of Martin Luther . What better way to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation than to see where the Great Reformer grew up, worked and changed the world?
But in addition to the historical churches and houses, there is an array of events reflecting the meaning of this landmark year. Particularly intriguing is an exhibition in Lutherstadt Wittenberg , the city where Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door. Called Luther! 95 Treasures - 95 People , it features 95 people, who had a special relationship with the Great Reformer, from Johann Sebastian Bach to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Fascinating artefacts include paintings in the “old” Catholic style that are contrasted with the “new” down-to-earth Protestant style of Luther’s great friend, Lucas Cranach (till November 5th, 2017).
This summer, Lutherstadt Wittenberg also hosts the World Reformation Exhibition . The varied program will see lively discussions and debates in tents and on stages throughout the ancient city center. Topics will range from spirituality, youth, peace, justice, and the integrity of creation to culture, ecumenism, religion, and globalization (till September 10th, 2017).
Year in, year out, one of the most moving places to visit is Wartburg Castle , outside Eisenach. In this imposing fortress, Luther translated the New Testament, enabling Germans to read the Bible in their native language. The importance of this, in relation to the growth of a common language and national identity in Germany, is reflected in the Castle’s special exhibition Luther and the Germans (till November 5th , 2017 ).
Eisenach is also the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach . And, the Bach House explores the connection between that most Lutheran of all composers and Luther himself. A regular event is a short concert played on five Baroque keyboard instruments every hour. Another way to travel back in time is to visit the carefully-preserved medieval town of Schmalkalden . It was here, in 1537, that Luther presented his Articles of Faith, still used in the ordination of priests today. The three-day Luther Festival brings medieval music, food and drink plus street entertainers to the historic market square (June 16th-18th, 2017).
Luther, of course, had to walk everywhere, but today hiking is a recreation. For the 117th German Hiking Festival (July 26th – 31st, 2017 ), Eisenach’s theme is “Hiking in Luther’s footsteps”. The culmination is 30,000 hikers attending a service at Wartburg Castle (July 30th , 2017 ).
But for many, the Reformation Summer highlight is Lutherstadt Wittenberg’s Festival Church Service (May 28th , 2017 ), part of the German Protestant Kirchentag. On meadows across the Elbe River from the Old Town, pilgrims and visitors from around the world will gather to sing, pray and worship for this open-air church service that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, linking past and present.
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About LutherCountry: Where you can walk in Luther’s footsteps
Would you like to step inside the very room in which Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German, or admire the pulpits from which he preached and where pastors still preach today? Do you want to taste beer brewed the way Martin Luther liked it? Then come and visit
, where you can explore Luther’s old stomping grounds and much more!
is situated in the heart of Germany and has so much to offer, from fascinating churches and museums for the believers and history or culture fans among you, to beautiful landscapes that could be straight out of a children’s picture book.
What do the places in
all have in common? Centuries ago, they were the stage for Martin Luther’s tumultuous life and thus played a special role in the Reformation, which changed the way people thought about so many aspects of daily life. Martin Luther’s influence spread through Western Europe and, with European settlers, to the United States.
Although Luther lived five centuries ago, his presence is still tangible today. Grab your suitcase and come experience the unforgettable – LutherCountry is waiting to be discovered!