The geographical proximity of the three exhibition venues is perfect for a combined visit to all the museums. We can suggest possible itineraries and individual sites worth seeing so that you can pick and choose whatever interests you along the way. The travel routes can be combined with visits to other Luther cities in central Germany, expanding the range of things to see, do, and experience.
Our journey begins in Eisenach, Martin Luther’s “dear city”: it is here that Luther attended the Latin school from 1498-1501, lived in the house of the patrician family Cotta (now known as “Luther House”), and sang as a choirboy in St. George’s Church, where he would later preach as a reformer. In 1521/22, an outlawed and excommunicated Luther spent ten months in hiding at Wartburg Castle, where he lived under the alias “Junker Jörg” and translated the New Testament from ancient Greek into German in a matter of weeks. The authentic Luther Room is an absolute must-see! Heading in the direction of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, we will make a stopover in Lutherstadt Eisleben – the place where Luther was born and died (b. 1483, d. 1546). The two museums, both protected as UNESCO historic monuments, impressively convey the one-time living conditions there, while the “death rooms” – the bedroom and room where Luther died – feature startling historicist elements, including the pall that covered Luther’s coffin in 1546. The death rooms are a definite highlight of the tour.
Arriving at Lutherstadt Wittenberg, visitors will live and breathe the spirit of the Reformation with visits to the original sites Castle Church, the Town and Parish Church of St. Mary’s, and Luther House – all UNESCO World Heritage sites. For 35 years, Wittenberg was the center of Luther’s life and work – first as a monk, and later as a husband to his wife Katharina von Bora and father of their children, and as a professor of theology. The city was also home to other great personalities besides Martin Luther, including Philipp Melanchthon, Johannes Bugenhagen, and the painter Lucas Cranach. Their former residences and monuments line the historic mile along Schloss- und Collegienstraße. Our tour ends in the multicultural, vibrant metropolis Berlin – site of the National Special Exhibition “The Luther Effect” and a place where Luther himself never set foot.
Total distance: approx. 390 km
Recommended duration: 6 days, 5 nights
Points of interest
Our discovery tour begins in the nation’s lively capital Berlin, a city like few others, where a vast array of nationalities and religions live peacefully side by side. Besides the classic Berlin tour – the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Museum Island, the Berlin Cathedral, the Wall Memorial, the Gendarmenmarkt, and the Charlottenburg Palace – don’t miss our guided city tours on “Religions in Berlin.” The highlight is a visit to the National Special Exhibition “The Luther Effect”. Our next stop takes us to the Luther city of Wittenberg – to the heart of the Reformation. The most famous few square meters in Wittenberg are certainly those in front of the doors to the Castle Church. It is here that Martin Luther is said to have nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on October 31, 1517. The tranquil city on the Elbe was the main place where Martin Luther lived and worked, and its historic Reformation heritage can still be seen today. The cityscape is strongly influenced by impressive Renaissance-era buildings constructed during Wittenberg’s heyday in the 16th century. In 1996, an ensemble of Reformation-era buildings, including the CastleChurch), the Town and Parish Church of St. Mary’s, Luther House, and Melanchthonhaus, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Martin Luther, the man himself takes center stage in the National Special Exhibition “Luther! 95 Treasures – 95 People”. The exhibition takes you on a journey into Luther’s everyday life. After that, it’s off to the town of Torgau, residential seat of the Electors of Saxony in the 16th and early 17th centuries. The Reformation owed its effectiveness in particular to Protestant princes who ascribed to the teachings of Martin Luther. With its Hartenfels Castle, Torgau on the Elbe was the political center of the Reformation. It is here that Martin Luther preached and consecrated the castle chapel as the first Protestant church. With some 500 historical monuments in the Renaissance and late Gothic style, Torgau boasts an urban ensemble of international standing. Finally we travel to Leipzig: city of music and trade fairs, otherwise known as “Little Paris” or “Venice of the North.” It was in Leipzig in 1519 that Luther engaged in a heated showdown with Catholic theologian Johann Eck, at an incident known as the Leipzig Debate. This incident showed the differences between the Catholic and Reformed doctrine more clearly than ever before, putting an end to “undecided” once and for all. It also led to Luther’s excommunication by Rome. Luther would not preach in Leipzig again until many years later, with a 1539 sermon in the famous St. Thomas Church.
Total distance: approx. 220 km
Recommended duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Points of interest:
This journey begins in Lutherstadt Wittenberg where we will stroll the historical mile along Schloss- and Collegienstraße, marveling at the homes and monuments once occupied by the great scholars Philipp Melanchthon and Johannes Bugenhagen, along with the painter Lucas Cranach. Our tour of the city concludes with a visit to the National Special Exhibition “Luther! 95 Treasures – 95 People” at the Augusteum. In 1996, an ensemble of Reformation-era buildings, including the Castle Church, the Town and Parish Church of St. Mary’s, Luther House, and Melanchthonhaus, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More unique exhibitions can be seen in the house in Eisleben where Luther was born and died. The room where Luther died features a faithful reproduction of his original pall. At Martin Luther’s newly renovated and expanded childhood home in Mansfeld, visitors can immerse themselves in the reformer’s complete biography, gaining deep insights into Luther’s home town. “The University of Erfurt is my mother, to whom I owe everything,” Martin Luther said of Erfurt, his spiritual home and the next destination on our journey. Erfurt marked the start of one of the most important periods in Luther’s life when, as a young student, he entered the monastary of the Augustinian Hermits on July 17, 1505. Luther studied theology and was ordained as priest in 1507 at the Erfurt Cathedral. Finally, we move on to Eisenach and Wartburg Castle (UNESCO) – the crowning end of our journey. Both places are closely associated with Luther and well known around the world: In May 1521, Luther had been declared an outlaw and was taken into secret protective custody at the castle, where he lived under the alias Junker Jörg. The reformer spent ten months at Wartburg Castle, and it is here that he finished the first complete translation of New Testament from ancient Greek into German in a matter of weeks. The National Special Exhibition “Luther and the Germans” sheds light on the interplay between intellectual, cultural, and political history.
Total distance: approx. 290 km
Recommended duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Points of interest