In the Footsteps of Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a simple monk, who – through his stand of conscience – started an ecclesiastical shock wave that changed the course of Western history. This great Protestant revolutionary held such a strong belief in his faith that eventually he overthrew the all-powerful Catholic Church and reshaped Medieval Europe.

 

Music Celebrations has created In the Footsteps of Martin Luther, special customized tour itineraries that will have your group visiting many of the locations so important in the life and times of Luther, from Eisleben to Worms to Wittenberg and Leipzig, where you will see his homes, churches, and sanctuaries he used in his darkest hours, where he translated the Bible into the vernacular.

In The Footsteps of Martin Luther
The Roots of the Reformation

(6 Nights / 8 Days)

Wittenburg / Leipzig / Eisenach / Eisleben / Berlin
Travel to Germany and follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther. Begin with a stop in Juterborg for a visit to Nikolaikirche. Continue to Wittenberg and visit the Lutherhalle. Also visit Schlosskirche where Luther nailed his 95 “Theses” in October 1517. In the church is the tomb of Luther, Melanchthon, and other reformers.

 

Visit Leipzig to St. Thomas Church. Martin Luther preached here in 1539 heralding the arrival of Protestantism in Leipzig. Visit Eisenach and see Wartburg Castle where Martin Luther disguised himself as “Knight George” and translated the New Testament into German.Continue to Eisleben where Martin Luther was born and died. End in Berlin and visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin Dom, and Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In The Footsteps of Martin Luther
Martin Luther and Johann Sebastian Bach

(7 Nights / 9 Days)

Eisenach / Erfurt / Leipzig / Eisleben / Wittenberg / Berlin

Arrive in Frankfurt and transfer to Eisenach. Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic tour of the city. Visit Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther translated the New Testament to German. Visit Lutherhaus and the Bachhaus.Stop in Erfurt. Luther spent many years here studying at the University and living as a monk in the Augustinian Monastery. Continue to Leipzig where we will visit St. Thomas Church.

 

Visit Eisleben and visit Martin Luther’s birth house. Continue to Halle where George Friderich Handel was born. Visit the Handel House  and stop in Wittenberg and to visit the Lutherhalle. Also visit the Schlosskirche and see an extensive view of the city and where Luther nailed his 95 “Theses” in October 1517.  End in Berlin and visit the Unter den Linden, Kurfurstendamm, and the Imperial Parliament.

In The Footsteps of Martin Luther
The History of the Reformation

(7 Nights / 9 Days)

Berlin / Juterborg / Wittenberg / Eisleben / Leipzig / Dresden / Prague

Arrive in Berlin and visit the Brandenburg gate, Gendarmenmarkt, and explore Berlin’s architectural wonders.  Continue to Wittenburg via Juterborg where Johann Tetzel sold absolution of sins to help the Archbishop of Mainz to pay off the debts he had incurred in securing the agreement of the Pope to his acquisition of the Archbishopric. Martin Luther was inspired to write his Ninety-Five Theses, in part due to Tetzel’s actions.

 

Visit Wittenburg to visit the Lutherhalle and the Schlosskirche where the 95 “Theses” are inscribed. Visit Eisleben where Martin Luther was born and died. Continue to Leipzig via Halle, the birthplace of George Friederich Handel. Visit Dresden and visit the Zwinger Palace and Old Masters Gallery. End in Prague where you will see the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, and the Jewish Quarter.

In The Footsteps of Martin Luther
The Luther Path

(8 Nights / 10 Days)

Berlin / Juterborg / Wittenberg / Torgau / Leipzig / Eisleben / Erfurt /
Eisenach / Mainz / Worms

Begin in Berlin and visit the Brandenburg Gate, Under den Linden, and Gendarmenmarkt. Continue to Wittenberg via Juterborg. In Wittenberg, see the Lutherhalle and Schlosskirche, where the doors are inscribed with the Ninety-Five Theses. Stop in Torgau and visit Hartenfels Palace. Housed in one of the palace wings is Schloßkirche, which was consecrated in October 1544 by Martin Luther. Also visit St. Mary’s Church.  In Leipzig, visit St. Thomas Church, where Martin Luther preached in 1539 heralding the arrival of Protestantism in Leipzig.

 

Continue to Eisleben to visit the city where Martin Luther was born and died. Visit Luther’s birth house, which is now a well-preserved museum. In Halle, where George Friderich Handel was born. Visit the medieval city of Erfurt and explore the Augustinian Monastery wherein is housed the Luther Exhibition. Transfer to Mainz via Eisenach to visit Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German. Visit Mainz and see the Gutenberg Museum. See St. Martin’s Cathedral for a view of Mainz. Continue to Worms where Martin Luther was summoned in 1521 by Emperor Karl V in order to justify his “heretical” conduct towards the Roman Catholic Church (Diet of Worms).

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Martin Luther Venues

Berlin-Dom-IndoorBerliner Dom

Founded in 1454 as a Catholic church and later as a Protestant institution in the 16th century. The church underwent a variety of renovations until the building of the current Neo-Rennaissance style cathedral in 1905. Located on Museumsinsel, an island in the Spree River in central Berlin and home to five internationally renowned museums. Attractions include the nearby Lustgarten on the cathedral grounds, the Germany History Museum, and the Berlin State Opera. Home of a now restored pipe organ built by Wilhelm Sauer. Spacious church interior ideal for orchestras and ensembles of any kind.

 

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Memorial-ChurchKaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Protestant church completed in 1895 and named for Wilhelm Frederick Louis, German Emperor from 1871-1888. The church was damaged in a bombing raid during World War Two, and a new church was built around the old remains in 1963. Spacious interior ideal for choirs and orchestras of any kind. Colorful stained glass windows and interior artwork provide for a pleasant concert experience. Located in Breitscheidplatz in the center of the city, next to the Berlin Zoo and Tiergarten, a large city park with sprawling gardens.

 

 

Gethsemane-ChurchGethsemane Church

Located in the locality of Prenzlauer Berg, in Berlin’s borough of Pankow, this Romanesque-Gothic style church was built in 1893. It is named after the Garden of Gethsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where Jesus and the Twelve Apostles prayed and spent the evening before his crucifixion. Unlike many other churches, this particular church was spared and did not sustain damage during World War Two. It was a well-known meeting point for opponents of the East German regime in the mid-1980’s. Its interior makes it a suitable venue for choral concerts.

 

 

MatthäuskircheMatthäuskirche

Located on the southern edge of the Tiergarten in Berlin’s central Mitte district, this historic Protestant church was built in 1856 and consecrated in 1846. It was designed by architect Friedrich August Stüler and built in the Romanesque style. The church was badly damaged by Allied bombing raids during World War Two, and reconstruction took place over the next decade. In the mid-1950’s, the church became part of the Berlin Kulturforum, a collection of desiggnated cultural buildings in West Berlin that were constructed after the city had been divided by the Berlin Wall. The church’s spacious interior is suitable for a variety of ensembles and concerts.

 

Zinna-AbbeyZinna Abbey (Jüterbog)

This 12th-century abbey is located in a village called Kloster Zinna, part of Jüterbog in the federal state of Brandenburg. It was founded by Wichmann von Seeburg, the Archbishop of Magdeburg, and was also a monastery inhabited by Cistercian monks. The “new abbey” contains a museum while the Gothic style church is all that remains of the monastic complex. Interestingly, the complex contains a brewhouse, featuring a sweet herbal liqueur called “Klosterbruder” still produced today. The abbey church’s large, resonant interior is ideal for choral concerts, and ensembles will surely enjoy its vintage, historic charm.

FrauenkircheFrauenkirche

18th century Lutheran church that was destroyed in the Allied firebombing of Dresden during World War Twi. The original was completed in 1743 and featured a pipe organ on which Johann Sebastion Bach performed a historic recital. Using may of the original materials and building plans, the church was completely reconstructed in a worldwide effort by historians, archeologists, church members, and local citizens. It was completed in 2005 in time for the city’s 800-year anniversary. The reconstruction effort is a symbol of cultural reconciliation for the city. The church’s large interior and iconic symbolism add to a memorable experience for any performing ensemble.

 

Dresden-Cathedral_2Dresden Cathedral

Located near the Elbe river in the historic center of the city, this Baroque-style church is the official Roman Catholic Cathedral of Dresden. Also known as the Hofkirche, it stands as one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. It was commissioned by King Augustus III of Poland in order to counterbalance the nearby Frauenkirche, the well-known Protestant church of Dresden. The church was badly damaged during the bombing of Dresden in World War Two, and was restored during the mid-1980’s by the East German government. The cathedral features a carefully restored organ, the last work of the renowned organ builder Gottfried Silbermann. The beautifully ornate, spacious interior is ideal for choral concerts and recitals.

Wartburg-Castle_2Wartburg Castle

Located on a hill overlooking the city of Eisenach, this 12th-century castle boasts a rich cultural history and is a well-known landmark within the German State of Thüringen. An official UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, Wartburg was the home of St. Elisabeth of Hungary (1207-1231), and the place where Martin Luther translated the New Testament of the Bible into German. Luther also stayed here in hiding from 1521 to 1522 after he was excommunicated by Pope Lio X and the Catholic Church. Much of Wartburg’s original structure, documents, artifacts, and rooms still exist today. Depending on group size, ensembles may perform in the concert hall, chapel, or outside in the courtyard. Guided tours of the castle are available for all visitors.

 

St.-George's-ChurchSt. George’s Church

Built in the 12th century, this Protestant church serves as an important cultural center for both the city of Eisenach and Germany as a whole. Martin Luther was known for giving sermons here during the Reformation, and Johann Sebastian Bach was baptized here in 1685. Eisenach itself served as an important center during the time of the Reformation. Martin Luther attended nearby St. George’s Latin School, and also translated the New Testament of the Bible from Greek into German. Composers Johann Pachelbel, Georg Philipp Telemann, and several members of the Bach family all worked here in their lifetime. The church’s historic, resonant interior is ideal for concert performances.

St.-Augustines-MonasterySt. Augustine’s Monastery

Located in the Thuringian capital of Erfurt, St. Augustine’s Monastery is a unique monument to medieval religious architecture. The monastery was an important place in the life of Martin Luther. He lived here as an Augustinian monk from 1505 until 1511. In August 2004, the monastery was certified as a “National Heritage Site of Special Cultural Interest.” Its proximity to the city of Erfurt makes it easy to visit the Altstadt, or old city quarter, and follow in Luther’s footsteps. Guided tours of the church and the monastery grounds are available for visitors. It is used for a variety of events each year. Including conferences, lectures, concerts, and theatre, and is suitable for a variety of ensembles.

ThomaskircheThomaskirche

An iconic historical site, this late Gothic-style church was built in the 15th century and is located in the heart of the city. The church was the primary workplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, where he served as cantor and premiered many of his compositions in the mid 18th century. Bach’s grave is also located here after it was moved from Old St. John’s Cemetary in the mid 20th century. Other historical figures including Mozart and Martin Luther also visited the church during their travels. The intimate space is ideal for choral ensembles, and a visit will add to a memorable tour experience for all participants.

 

NikolaikircheNikolaikirche

Romanesque-Gothic style church named after St. Nicholas and built during the city’s founding in 1165. The church was originally Catholic, and later a Protestant institution after the Reformation in the 16th century. Located in the heart of the city, it is the site of several historic musical premieres, including Bach’s St. John Passion for choir and orchestra performed on Good Friday in 1724. The church was a notable place of demonstration during the anti-communist protests of 1989. Spacious interior ideal for any kind of ensemble.

St.-Nicholas-ChurchSt. Nicholas Church

Monumental Baroque-style church built by the Jesuits in the early 18th century. Church construction lasted from 1703-1756 due to setbacks including the Black Death, unstable economy, and various wars and conflicts. Located in the center of historic Prague in Old Town Square along the Vltava River. The interior of the church is decorated with statues, paintings, and frescoes by leading artists of the time, including a fresco of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Also featured in the church is a Baroque organ once played by Mozart in 1787. The intimate interior is ideal for choir and chamber orchestra concerts.

 

St.Salvator.Church of St. Salvator

Majestic, early Baroque style church located at the end of the Charles Bridge, at the entrance to Old Town Square in Prague. Part of a series of buildings forming the Klementinum, the Czech Republic’s oldest Jesuit college first founded in 1232. The church features two large pipe organs, both of which have been recently restored and are used for Mass and classical music concert throughout the year. The large, resonant interior is suitable for symphony orchestras, choirs, and other ensembles.

StadtkircheStadtkirche

First constructed in the twelfth century this church is the civic church of the German town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. Martin Luther and Johannes Bugenhagen were known to preach here at the time of the Reformation, and the church also saw the first celebration of the mass in German, rather than Latin. It is also the site of the first ever distribution of bread and wine to the congregation and is thus considered the mother-church of the Protestant Reformation. The church has been a world heritage site since 1996. Its large and resonant interior make it ideal for choral concerts, recitals, and service participations.

 

 

Schlosskirche

Schlosskirche

Located in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, this sixteenth-century church boasts an extensive history from its Catholic roots to its current Protestant affiliation. It is the site where the Ninety-Five Theses were posted by Martin Luther himself on October 31, 1517, the act that has been called the start of the Protestant Reformation. After the foundation of the University of Wittenberg in 1502, the church, also known as the All Saints’ Church, was annexed to serve as a chapel to the University, and it quickly evolved into an important academic and worship center. The church features a spacious, resonant interior suitable for most choral ensembles.