Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wittenberg

There are some cities that attract people due to their beauty. Others appeal to a sense of adventure or exotic living. Then there are those that are a part of history. Most of the time, these cities are best enjoyed when the traveler has a good idea of the history of the city, or an appreciation of what that city’s story mean’s to today. In fact, many cities have a huge and rich history that does not always add to the charm due to people’s ignorance regarding their place. Venice or Istanbul come to mind as cities that are generally regarded as “pretty” or “exotic” when in fact they have a huge historic richness largely unknown to westerners.

Wittenberg, Germany is the other type of city. Neither especially “pretty” nor “exotic” (compared to all the other towns it’s size in Germany it is quite normal), it remains a huge tourist attraction due solely to its history. The Castle Church on the west end of the historic downtown is the site where Luther nailed the most revolutionary idea of the past 1000 years to the doors. The doors sadly do not remain today, replaced by some large metal doors engraved with the theses. This church is just one of the many historic buildings from Luther’s time in town, but even beyond its significance; it is a site to behold. In a land where, after a while, you begin to classify the various churches and architectural styles into one of a few alternatives repeated over and over again, the Castle church is unique and stunning.

The other main church building in town is the City Church, where Luther actually worked most of the time. It is older (The Castle Church was brand new in Luther’s day) and looks refreshingly old whereas most churches in Germany are too obviously restored and “kept-up.” The alter inside the City Church is especially precious and old, depicting reformation figures and painted in the days of Luther himself.

1 comment:

  1. I loved our daytrip to Leipzig and Wittenburg...memories to keep forever!

    ReplyDelete

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