Wittenberg Tourist Attractions
The old university town of Wittenberg, famed as the starting point of Luther's Reformation, lies on the north bank of the river Elbe in the southern foothills of the Fläming range.
The handsome Town Hall (Rathaus; 1524-40) in Wittenberg has four Renaissance gables, Late Gothic windows, a balcony (by Georg Schröter, 1573) over the doorway and rich decoration (allegorical figures, columns; the goddess Justitia, with scales and sword).
Statues of Luther and Melanchthon
Immediately adjoining the Wittenberg Town Hall are the Market Fountain (1617) and bronze statues of Martin Luther (by Gottfried Schadow, 1821; iron canopy by K. F. Schinkel) and Philip Melanchthon (by Friedrich Drake, 1860; iron canopy by J. H. Strack).
St Mary's Church
The oldest building in Wittenberg is the aisled Gothic church of St Mary (13th-15th C.), in which Luther is believed to have preached. The original twin spires of 1410 were pulled down and replaced in 1558 by octagonal towers in Renaissance style.The church was remodelled in neo-Gothic style in the 19th century by Carlo Ignazio Pozzi and others. Notable features of the interior are the winged altar by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1547), the richly decorated font by Hermann Vischer (1457), an organ noted for its fine tone, paintings by Lucas Cranach the Younger and Renaissance epitaphs and tombs, including that of the Reformer Johann Bugenhagen (1558).
Chapel of the Holy Body
Adjoining St Mary's Church in Wittenberg is the Chapel of the Holy Body (Kapelle zum Heiligen Leichnam; 1377), in brick-built Gothic style, with a strikingly slender tower.
All Saints Castle Church
The Late Gothic Schlosskirche (by Conrad Pflüger, c. 1500) in Wittenberg, now known as the Reformation Memorial Church (altered by J. H. F. Adler, 1883-92), is closely bound up with the story of the Reformation. From the tower there are extensive views. It was to the wooden doors of this church that Luther nailed his 95 "Theses" in October 1517. The original doors were destroyed by fire during the Seven Years War; the present bronze doors, bearing the Latin text of the Theses, were installed in 1858.In the church are life-size alabaster statues of Electors Frederick the Wise and John the Constant of Saxony-Wittenberg, the tombs of Luther and Melanchthon and the Early Renaissance monument of Elector Frederick III (1527) by the Nürnberg bronze-founder Peter Vischer the Younger, who was also responsible for the tombs of the knight Hans Hundt and Provost Henning Gode. The bronze monument of John the Constant was the work of Hans Vischer. On the columns of the nave are life-size figures of Luther, Melanchthon and other Reformers.
To the south of the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg stands the Schloss, the old Electoral residence (by Claus Roder and Conrad Pflüger, 1490-1525), which suffered damage in 1760 during the Seven Years War, and lost its original Late Gothic aspect during the subsequent rebuilding. It still preserves two staircases, balconies with friezes of coats of arms and a massive corner tower. The castle now houses the Julius Riemer Museum of Natural History and Ethnography, the Municipal Archives and a Museum on the History of the Town.
The Cranach House at Schlo-strasse 1 in Wittenberg was the home of Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), who lived in the city from 1505 to 1547. Court painter to the Elector of Saxony, he also became burgomaster of Wittenberg and was the owner of a pharmacy in the town.
Luther House (Museum)
The house in which Martin Luther lived from 1508 to 1546 is in the southeast of Wittenberg. Built in 1504 as a house of Augustinian Hermits, it was altered in 1566; and between 1844 and 1900 it was converted into a Museum of the Reformation (Lutherhalle). In the room occupied by Luther, preserved in its original condition, are displayed Luther's writings, prints, medals, Luther's university lectern, his pulpit from St Mary's Church and a number of valuable pictures.
The Augusteum (1564-83) in Wittenberg, adjoining the Luther House, originally belonged to the University. It was rebuilt in Baroque style in the 18th C.
Near the Luther House, at Collegienstrasse 60 in Wittenberg, is the Melanchthon House (1536), a three-story building with Late Gothic windows and two Renaissance gables. The Reformer Philip Melanchthon (a Greek version of his original name, Schwarzerd) lived and worked here, dying in the house in 1560. It is now a memorial museum. Some features in the garden - the pump, the stone table, the herb garden, the old yew-trees, a stretch of the town walls - date from the 16th C.