Sunday, July 3, 2016

It's Raining on Wittenberg

Our group saw the town of Luther's postings, Wittenberg, in pouring rain. Red Baron had visited the place on a bicycle tour in 2004.

The famous door at the Schlosskirche where Luther, according to many experts,
 posted his 95 theses against the sale of indulgences in 1517. The text in Latin
is now cast in solid bronze.
On our way from Schlosskirche to Marienkirche (in the background) we walked along newly created Bächle (brooklets) that rather look like brooks to Freiburgers.



We were passing Lucas Cranach's pharmacy. This guy was an entrepreneur
not only successfully running his painter's shop but printing books
 and operating a flourishing pharmacy on Wittenberg's market place too.

Luther's statue in front of the town hall


We arrived early at Marienkirche and had to wait for the visit for a camera crew was interviewing a lady in the chancel.



It was a surprise to meet former bishop Margot Käßmann, now ambassador of next year's 500th anniversary of Luther posting his theses, who generously allowed me to take her photo. I told her that when watching her from the distance talking to the television people my impression had been that of a young lady. She - mother of four daughters - said with a smile that she was already a grandmother. I only stammered: I am a grandfather too. She answered with another smile. What a charming ambassador!

The altarpiece showing the program of the Lutheran Church.
There are only two sacraments: Infant baptism and the Eucharist under both kinds.
Note Luther sitting as Junker Jörg at the table receiving the cup.
Next stop was at the Lutherhaus. Knowing well the exhibition inside Luther's house I instead opted to visit the Melanchthonhaus nearby.

The master greeting the visitor
Without Magister Philipp Schwartzerdt (Melanchthon) Luther would not have been able to read Erasmus' Greek "Urtext" properly that served for the translation of the New Testament into German. Melanchthon's house and the exhibition was somehow deceiving with mostly empty rooms filled with artist-inspired furniture surrogates.

Melanchthon through the centuries
However, some of the original documents exposed behind double glass protection were interesting.

The Augsburg Confession dedicated to Emperor Charles V at Augsburg
 in 1530 as the confession of faith of many princes and cities.
Philip Melanchthon - Luther still being banned -presented the document
 at the Imperial Diet.

Original pages of the Augsburg Confession of Faith

Back at the Lutherhaus I had just time to walk around catching some photos.

Same setup as at the Melanchthonhaus: Luther through the centuries

Luther's educational mission in 1524:
To the councilors of all cities in German lands:
that they erect (build) and hold (support) Christian schools
.
Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them (Matthew 19:14)

400th anniversary of the Reformation in hard times.
The memorial sheet shows Luther's usual attributes:
The Wittenbergian Nightingale,
Luther's Rose, and A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Following Marx, Goethe, and Wagner
who did it again? Ottmar Hörl.

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