Celebrating the Reformation: 2017
Steps towards the Reformation
The clock is counting down to a momentous occasion, as Lutherans on every continent prepare for October 31st, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Thousands have already made the pilgrimage to LutherCountry, about 125 miles southwest of Berlin. Thousands more will visit the German federal states of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia for that special date. As well appreciating the past, this anniversary marks a fresh beginning. By walking in the Great Reformer’s footsteps, the Lutheran community has been drawn together as never before. Many Americans have been so impressed by what they have seen and the people they have met, that they are encouraging friends to go to Germany next year. Sights that are regularly mentioned include the "Mother Church of the Reformation" in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Luther's Birthplace in Lutherstadt Eisleben, Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt, and Eisenach's Wartburg Castle, where Luther translated the New Testament. And there is praise for the warm welcome from Germans themselves.
So what makes a trip to LutherCountry so special? Unlike any other major figure born 500 years ago, his whereabouts throughout his life are well-documented. Even the font in which he was baptized back in November, 1483 is still at the local church in Lutherstadt Eisleben. Although his family moved to Mansfeld-Lutherstadt, Luther attended school in Eisenach, where he boarded with a family. The turning point in his life? That was in 1505, when he was caught in a violent storm. Vowing to become a monk if he survived, he joined the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt. Tracing and learning about each step his life is easy, as each of Luther’s homes has been transformed into a fascinating museum.
The next turning point in Luther’s life came in 1510. By then, he was a monk, and had moved to Lutherstadt Wittenberg, where he lectured and studied at the university, one of Europe’s best. There, his good friends and staunch supporters were Philipp Melanchthon and Lucas Cranach the Elder, one of the finest painters of his time. Luther traveled to Rome (on foot, a round trip of 1,800 miles) and did not like what he saw. Soon, he was preaching against the selling of indulgences and advocating the reformation of the Catholic Church. On Oct 31st, 1517, he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Lutherstadt Wittenberg's Castle Church. With that, he changed history.
Those simple details barely scratch the surface of this momentous event. But the effect continues today. Throughout this Reformation anniversary year, Lutherans from California to Pennsylvania are sharing stories about their churches and communities. On the worldwide web, their photos reflect special events, from lectures and concerts to German-themed festivals that are building up to, and will be part of, the Big Day: October 31st. On that day, 500 years ago, the history of the world changed in a beautiful corner of Germany: LutherCountry.
NOTE: In a “Celebrate the Reformation” competition, communities can win a limited-edition Luther statue by uploading their most creative photos to www.celebrate-the-reformation.com.
Our Service for You
Whether you are looking for a route through LutherCountry, seeking information on LutherCities, or need the perfect pictures, we’ll be happy to assist you! Please visit the “Press area" on our website to get free access to a lot of helpful resources including our latest Press Kit.
For further information
Visitor information and Where to Stay
Marketing and Media Relations
TourComm Germany GmbH & Co. KG
Attn: Larissa Graf
If you need assistance, please send an email or call Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Central European Summer Time.
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 LutherCountry, where you can explore Luther’s old stomping grounds and much more!
LutherCountry 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 LutherCountry 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!