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"Pray, and let God worry."
The number of towns in Southern LutherCountry where Martin Luther lived, worked, preached, and taught are almost as endless as stars in the sky. Some of these stars shine brighter than others, as they served as stage to some of the most pivotal moments in Reformation history. Discover which of these highlights should make the cut for your LutherCountry adventure!
The Reformation Hero Georg Spalatin came to Altenburg in 1525 at Luther's request and used the city as a "testing ground" for the practical implementation of Reformation values. Luther came to Altenburg many times, either to visit his friend George Spalatin or simply passing through on his way to Leipzig, Zeitz, or Coburg.
Luther first visited Jena on March 3, 1522 while still under the guise of "Squire George" ("Junker Joerg"). He went on to preach at the St. Michael Town Church several times between 1522 and 1537, making Jena a late child of the Reformation. The original Luther Bible from Jena is now on display at the City Museum of Jena.
While Martin Luther never personally visited Bad Frankenhausen, a nearby hill played stage to a deciding battle in the Peasants’ Revolt that ended with devastating losses for the peasants. A cylindrical memorial was erected here in the late 1980’s by Werner Tuebke; its spectacular "Early Bourgeois Revolution in Germany" painting is a cultural highlight you won’t want to miss!
Two Reformation Heroes visited the city of Arnstadt during their day: Martin Luther and J.S. Bach. The city boasts two lime wood trees that were planted in memory of the time Luther spent here at the Franciscan Monastery in 1506. Bach, on the other hand, lived here from 1703 to 1707 and spent his time promoting the Lutheran tradition of choral music by working as a church musician and composer.
Luther’s ancestors called Moehra home and the Great Reformer even lived here himself in 1521, just before his “abduction” to Wartburg Castle. Luther’s Ancestral Home, the Luther Church, and an in-depth exhibition in the village hall’s Luther Chamber bring visitors face-to-face with Luther’s legacy.
Luther visited Nordhausen in 1525 to warn against violent uprisings among the peasants during a sermon at St. Blasii Church, but sadly to no avail. Justus Jonas, a close colleague of Luther and Melanchthon and one of the most important organizers of the Evangelical Church, was born here in 1493.
This city is not only famous for the world’s most colorful show grottoes, the Fairy Grottoes, but was also home to one of the most influential evangelical preachers of the Reformation, Kaspar Aquila. Martin Luther stayed with Aquila many times throughout his life; today, an almost life-size statue of the Great Reformer graces the entrance of Saalfeld’s St. John’s Church. The City Museum inside the Franciscan Monastery also boasts fascinating Luther memorabilia.
Rudolstadt’s Historical Library possesses a truly remarkable artefact: The second volume of a Luther Bible dating from 1541. This gem of Reformation history is currently on display at Luther’s Death House in Lutherstadt Eisleben. Rudolstadt is also home to the Luther Church, which was founded in 1904 and built of grey and red sandstone in neo-Gothic design.
Luther came to the city many times to visit the Franciscan Convent and attempt to put a stop to the revolutionary tendencies promoted by the “visionary” Karlstadt, who disagreed with Luther on several grounds through the course of their acquaintance. Luther lumped Karlstadt together with Thomas Muentzer, who promoted reform through violent means. A must-see in Neustadt is an early Cranach altar inside St. John's Church.