Travel Trends: Luther went everywhere … what about you? Travel Trends: Luther went everywhere … what about you?
In Halle (Saale), Martin Luther’s Reformation is tangible at a clustered multi-tude of authentic sites located close to the city centre. The buildings commis-sioned... Travel Trends: Luther went everywhere … what about you?

In Halle (Saale), Martin Luther’s Reformation is tangible at a clustered multi-tude of authentic sites located close to the city centre. The buildings commis-sioned by Martin Luther’s adversary, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg, take visitors on a trip back in time to the 16th century. There are also a great many treasures and artefacts from the Reformation to discover in Halle, including the original death mask of Martin Luther in the market church. But the adventure definitely does not end there: the Pietists took Reformatory ideas from the Francke Foundations out into the world and changed them profoundly.

The Marktkirche and Marienbibliothek

The Market Church was built in the 16th century as a late gothic hall church nestled between the twin steeples of the former Church of St. Gertrude and St. Mary. Justus Jonas the Elder reformed the church in 1541, so Luther preached there on his final journey in 1546. Samual Scheidt, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow and Friedmann Bach all worked as composers and organists in the Market Church. Today you can visit Luther’s death mask there.

Martin Luther’s original death mask is among the treasures and artefacts from the Reformation period that can be found throughout the Market Church. It is possible to visit the reformer’s wax mask in a tower space in the church, along with a plaster cast, taken later, and the pulpit from Luther’s time. The mask was presumably made using a plaster cast prepared by the Halle painter Lukas Fur-tenagel, taken from Luther on his deathbed in Eisleben on 19 February 1546.


Because Luther’s body had to be transported to Wittenberg for the planned fu-neral proceedings, his coffin was kept in the sacristy of the Market Church in Halle overnight from the 20 to 21 February 1546. Justus Jonas, Luther’s friend and the first protestant priest at the Market Church of Our Lady of Halle, ena-bled Luther’s death mask to become the property of the market church parish.

The pulpit from Lutheran times is a magnificent piece of Central German Re-naissance carving. The small pulpit originates from the Market Church. Accord-ing to tradition, Martin Luther preached from this pulpit. The current pulpit in the Market Church was first constructed in 1547. Luther gave three sermons in the Market Church of Halle: on 5th August 1545, 6th January and 26th January 1546.

The Marienbibliothek (Library of Our Lady), which was founded in 1552, be-longs to the Market Church parish and is one of the oldest and most extensive church library collections in Germany. The collection includes 30,000 volumes, as well as 600 incunabula (graphic prints from before 1500) there are works hailing from all academic fields of the 16th and 17th centuries. Stadtmarketing Halle (Saale) GmbH Marktplatz 13 · Marktschlösschen 06108 Halle (Saale).

The Cathedral and the New Residence

The Dominican monastery originally built at this site in 1300 was extended by Cardinal Albert after 1520 to become a collegiate church for his residence. Along with its striking round arch, the pulpit and the 17 oversized effigies are among the once rich Renaissance furnishings bearing witness to the exception-al sculptural work of this period. Following the Reformation the cathedral served subsequent regional rulers as a court and palace church and as a result early Baroque elements were added.

After 1688 the cathedral was used for church services by the parish, whose population was growing as religious refugees poured in from the Palatinate region. Located next to the cathedral is the New Residence, constructed in the Renaissance style from 1531 – 1539 and original-ly conceived by Cardinal Albert as a Catholic university.


Moritzburg Foundation

The Moritzburg’s cornerstone was laid in 1484 by Archbishop Ernst von Sach-sen (Archbishop from 1476 – 1513). He moved into the New Residence with his court in May 1503. At this time the construction was almost finished except for the palace chapel.

Under Archbishop Ernst’s successor Cardinal Albert of Bran-denburg (1490-1545), Martin Luther’s powerful opponent, Moritzburg was sump-tuously furnished with rich wooden panelling, magnificent carpets, murals and exquisite paintings by the great masters of the time, including Cranach, Grüne-wald and Dürer. Moritzburg suffered critical damage during the Thirty Years’ War, in 1900 it was extended to house a museum.

A spectacular extension pro-ject was completed in 2008. The modern exhibition galleries feature works of classic modernism including the Hermann Gerlinger collection of art from the “Brücke” group as well as paintings from Lyonel Feininger’s Halle cycle. The Gothic vaults of Moritzburg house a superb collection of medieval carvings and handicraft from central Germany.


Cardinal Albrecht arranged for the construction of the Stadtgottesacker in the mid of the 16th century. The master builder Nickel Hofmann planned this ceme-tery, which is unique north of the Alps, in Renaissance style according to an Italian “Camposanto”.

The cemetery is framed by 94 richly ornamented arches in which famous inhabitants of the city have been laid to rest, including August Hermann Francke. Visitors to this site will find a place whose overall conception and atmosphere radiate harmony and peace.


The Francke Foundations

4 Thalers and 16 Groschen (German coins) in the donation bucket motivated theologian Hermann Francke to found an educational foundation in 1698, whose epochal reforms would put Luther’s ideas into practice and see them carried throughout Europe and as far as India and North America. During its heyday as many as 3,000 people worked and lived in the educational foundation, which at the time represented a “New Jerusalem” for contemporary witnesses.

And to this day the Francke Foundations remain a living cosmos of museums, schools and institutions. The impressive group of buildings including the historical or-phanage, the longest half-timbered house in Europe, the oldest public museum and the early modernist library Kulissenbibliothek (where the bookshelves are arranged like theatre scenery), has been suggested by UNESCO for the World Heritage List.

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