Wittenberg

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Market square
The Lutherhaus, home of Martin Luther

Wittenberg, not to be confused with Wittenberge, is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The official name is Lutherstadt Wittenberg for its close connection of the town with Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation. It was here that in 1517, according to the legend, Martin Luther posted his famous 95 Theses onto the portal of the Schlosskirche. While historians doubt this particular part of the tale, it is certain that Luther disseminated his Theses from Wittenberg. In 2017 the town will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the event. Luther Memorials in Wittenberg are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Further historical persons with a close connection to Wittenberg are Luther's fellow reformer, Philipp Melanchthon, and the painter Lucas Cranach der Ältere.

Get in[edit]

No matter which transport you use, the two closest hubs are Berlin and Leipzig/Halle. If you aren't in the vicinity yet, you will likely pass through one of them.

By car[edit]

The A9/E51 motorway passes west of Wittenberg. Use one of the exits Klein Marzehns, Köselitz or Coswig (Anhalt). The town lies at the crossing of the main roads B2 and B187.

By train[edit]

Hourly ICE trains on the Leipzig-Berlin line stop in Wittenberg in both directions. The ride takes 40 minutes from Leipzig Hbf or 45 from Berlin Hbf. As a slower but cheaper option you can also use RE trains, which also run about hourly. The ride takes 1h15m from Berlin, 1h05m from Leipzig, or one hour from Halle.

By plane[edit]

Berlin Tegel (IATA: TXL), Berlin Schönefeld (IATA: SXF) and Leipzig/Halle (IATA: LEJ) are the closest airports. Of these three, Berlin Tegel currently offers the widest range of international options.

Get around[edit]

Vetter Bus [1] operates five bus lines in Wittenberg.
Most of the Altstadt (Old City) is pedestrian only. All the major historical sites are within easy walking distance.

See[edit]

  • Luther's Home at the Black CloisterCollegienstraße 54 +49-3491-4203-0. Open daily 9.00-18.00 (Apr 1 to Oct 31); Tues to Sun 10.00-17.00 (Nov 1 to March 31). The largest museum of the Protestant Reformation worldwide. Where else would you expect to find it? Admission: €5 (reduced ticket €3).
The Luther Home
  • Melanchthon HouseCollegienstraße 60. Currently closed for reconstruction work (until 2012). Renaissance building where Phillip Melanchton lived and worked.
  • Cranach Houses and CourtyardsMarkt 4 and Schlossstraße 1. The painter Lucas Cranach the elder lived here, and ran a print shop.
  • Corpus Christi Chapel (next to the town Church). Tiny chapel built in 1368, rebuild in 1456
Wittenberg town hall at market square
  • Museum für StadtgeschichteSchlossplatz 1d +49-3491-43349-20. Tu–Su: 9AM–5PM. Historical museum of the town.
  • Haus der GeschichteSchlossstraße 6. M–F 10AM–6PM; weekends and holidays 11AM-6PM. This museum documents the life as it was during the socialist years after WW II until the 1980s.
  • Piesteritzer WerkssiedlungKarl-Liebknecht-Platz 20. A working class housing project of 1916, restored to its original state in 2000. The biggest car-free neighbourhood in Germany.
  • RathausMarkt. Tue-Sun 10AM - 5PM. City hall built in 1535, rebuilt almost completely in 1926-28. Changing exhibitions. Memorials with statues of Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon in the town square.
Castle Church
View from Schlosskirche tower
  • Schlosskirche (Castle Church), Schlossplatz. Where Luther allegedly posted his 95 Theses. Martin Luther and his fellow reformer, Philipp Melanchthon are buried inside. Admission free, 3€ for a guided tour, 2€ for the tower.
  • University LeucoreaCollegienstraße 62. Historic university, opened in 1502, closed in 1817. Today used as a congress center for scientists.
  • Stadtkirche St. Marien (Town Church), Jüdenstraße 36. The oldest building in the town, with an altar painted by Lucas Cranach.
Stadtkirche (Citychurch)
  • HundertwasserschuleSchillerstraße 22 a. An old school building converted to Hundertwasser's colourful style in 1999.
  • Archeological ExhibitionAlte Canzley, Schlossplatz 3. Tue – Sun: 8AM – 6PM.

Do[edit]

  • Organ-at-ThreeSchlosskirche. Tuesdays at 3PM, May - October. Organ music played on the historic Ladegast Organ of the Schlosskirche. Admission free; donations welcome.
  • Guided toursSchlossplatz 2 (starting point: tourist information opposite of Schlosskirche). daily, 2PM (duration 2 hours). May be cancelled if less than 10 participants show up. adults: 8 €, children: 5 €.

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Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Berlin and Potsdam, about 100km northeast
  • Dessau, 35km west
  • Dessau-Wörlitzer Gartenreich (Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz), an English park landscape
  • Halle, about 90 km southwest
  • Leipzig, about 70km south
  • Magdeburg, about 90km west
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