Lutherstadt Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt draws large numbers of tourists even though at first glance you may wonder what the fuss is all about.
While medieval history is an inherent part of most small towns and cities dotting the German countryside, there are probably very few that bear the burden of comparatively recent history as much as Wittenberg.
You would have possibly guessed the connection the town has with the great Martin Luther from the name. Here indeed is a live chronicle of the Reformation. Every historic building and street has something to do with Luther. If you have an inordinate interest in the Reformation, you have certainly come to the right place.
Head straight for the Marktplatz, via the Collegienstraße that leads to it. Luther Halle is where you can get your fill of all things Luther. Letters, documents, and even the very room that he sat down to make notes and lecture are there exactly as it was originally.
You might be interested to know that the tree outside is where he burned his decree of excommunications. He certainly was someone who had no time for ambiguity.
There’s plenty more touring to be done if you intend to chase up on Luther. It’s made easy however, by the fact that all these buildings now come under UNESCO’s World Heritage listing.
While in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, your children might like to check out the Hundertwasser Schule, a school that you don’t come across everyday. Designed by the eccentric architect Hundertwasser, there are trees growing out through the roof.
The Old City area of Wittenberg is where you’re in for an architectural treat. The door of the Castle Church is where Luther nailed his thesis. This is also where he lies buried.
Further down you can visit the house he lived in. Also worth visiting is the City Church with its famous Cranach altar.
Before you leave find the time to stroll along the Elbe River; it’s a visual treat you won’t forget in a hurry. If you’re here at the right time, you may get to take part in the many local celebrations. Prominent among them is the Potter’s Market in September.
Luther’s Wedding and the Reformation Festival are, of course, special events fêted with great gusto.