Sunday, July 3, 2016

It's Raining on Wittenberg

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

According to many experts, the famous door at the Schlosskirche was where Luther
 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 look like brooks to Freiburgers.

We were passing Lucas Cranach's pharmacy. This guy was an entrepreneur,
successfully running his painter's shop, printing books,
 and operating a flourishing pharmacy on Wittenberg's marketplace.
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 the 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 a 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 shows the program of the Lutheran Church.
There are only two sacraments: Infant baptism and the Eucharist under both kinds.
Note Luther is sitting as Junker Jörg at the table, receiving the cup.
The next stop was at the Lutherhaus. Knowing the exhibition inside Luther's house well, I opted to visit the Melanchthonhaus nearby instead.

The master greets the visitor.
Without Magister Philipp Schwartzerdt (Melanchthon), Luther would not have been able to read Erasmus' Greek "Urtext" correctly, which served to translate the New Testament into German. Melanchthon's house and the exhibition were somehow deceiving, with primarily 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 was 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 just had time to catch 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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