Wittenberg (Lutherstadt Wittenberg)
Wittenberg, or Anhalt-Wittenberg, formally Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a lovely and historic town on the river Elbe in eastern Germany. Its notoriety stems from its associations with Martin Luther, reformer and founder of the Lutheran Church. In fact, the principal reason to visit Wittenberg is to see the Luther sights.
Wittenberg has literally a ton of Luther sights, led by the All Saints Church, or Schlosskirche, the most important of them all, to the doors of which Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses in 1517, setting off the Protestant Reformation. Inside the church are Luther's tomb as well as portraits of him by Lucas Cranach the Younger. Among other priorities in Wittenberg are the Luthereiche (Luther Oak), a small park where in 1520 he burned a copy of the papal bull that excommunicated him, and Lutherhaus, which has more than a thousand exhibits depicting the life and transformation of Luther from critic to outright reformer. St. Mary's Church, or Stadtkirche, which dominates the town's market square, is where Luther preached. There is also a statue of Luther smack dab in the center of the market square.
Wittenberg, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, some 21 miles (33 km) east of Dessau, or 72 miles (115 km) southwest of Berlin. It has a population of about 50,000.
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