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Motherland of the Reformation

When Martin Luther sent his 95 Theses to Albert of Mainz, the most powerful cleric in the Holy German Empire, and possibly nailed them to the main door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517, the world was changed. Luther only wanted to reform the church, but after the Leipzig Disputation of 1519 at the latest, a split was inevitable. The Reformation, however, was not just an event that started in Saxony and affected the whole world, but also a long process that found its culmination only after many decades of wrangling.

After many changes, historical Saxony is now divided into the federal states of Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. Brandenburg, Bavaria and even the Czech Republic have also inherited parts of it. It pays to follow in the footsteps of the Reformer, his supporters and his opponents – and these are more than abundant. At the end of the 16th century Saxony had already been given the honorary title “Mother of the Reformation”, a legacy to which also the current federal state declares itself. Learn more about this rich heritage!

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Saxony 1517 and today

Saxony in 1517 and today

Authentic sites bear witness to the work of the Reformer Martin Luther, his supporters and opponents on the territory of today's federal state of Saxony.

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Portrait of Martin Luther von Lucas Cranach the Elder

In the Footprints of the Reformer

There are many places in Saxony where Martin Luther has left his traces. It is worth tracking them down.

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"Katharina von Bora"

The Woman at Luther’s Side

Katharina Luther war more than a housewife and mother. It is not for nothing that her husband called her respectfully “Mr. Cathy”.

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Coat of arms of the Electorate Saxony at the Hartenfels Castle

Sponsors of the new Faith

Without the protection of the Saxon Electors, Martin Luther, like others before him, would have been burned at the stake.

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Cathedral Treasury Bautzen

The Catholic Side  

Martin Luther wanted to reform the church but could not avoid a split. Thus, the old church kept being in existence and opposition to him.

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Bach Window in the Thomas Church Leipzig

Effects of the Reformation  

The teachings of Martin Luther had immediate and far-reaching effects on architecture, art and music.

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Castle and Monastery Ruin Oybin

Witnesses of Change  

Reformation meant change for established institutions which either found ways to adapt to the new situation or faded away.

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Zinzendorf-Sculpture in Hernhut

Refugees and Messengers of Faith  

Reformation also led to intolerance which made people suffer. Some believers travelled the world to spread the Word and the new teachings.

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Marking of the Luther Route at Hartenfels Castle in Torgau

The Luther Trail in Saxony  

The Luther Trail in Saxony leads to places where the Reformers were active and illustrates the implications of their work.

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Big Zittau Lenten Veil

The Via Sacra  

The „Holy Road” leads to special and unique sacred art in the traditionally tolerant Saxon region of Upper Lusatia.

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