• Day284

    Day 285: Lutherstadt-Wittenberg

    November 26, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

    Much clearer day today - no rain, though it was quite cold! Below zero overnight, and plenty of frost outside in the morning. Today we were heading for Wittenberg, aka Lutherstadt, the home of Protestantism. We were out before 9am - very early for a Sunday, and walked across the bridge to the station. Two trains and 90 minutes later and we were in Wittenberg.

    German cities are very quiet on Sundays as a rule, and this was no exception. There was almost nobody around as we walked the 10 minutes from the station into the main centre of town, where of course most shops and restaurants were closed.

    First stop for us was the castle church, home to the famous doors where Luther nailed his "95 Theses" document. Of course, the actual doors are long gone, having been lost in a fire in the 1760s, but the replacements are made of bronze and have the theses moulded in. Did some filming, though we couldn't go inside the church since it was a Sunday morning and in use for services.

    Luther's main argument with the church was over the idea of purchasing indulgences - the concept that one could pay an "indulgence", or essentially a bribe, to the Pope, and that that would absolve one of sin. It mean that the rich could almost literally get away with murder, and also implied (in Luther's eyes, incorrectly), that the Pope - not God - could absolve one of sin.

    We wandered around the town for a while, and also checked out the town church, known as the spiritual heart of Protestantism. It's here that the first Protestant services were conducted, with Protestant ministers, and it's here that Luther was married as well (despite being a Catholic monk, he married not long after his excommunication).

    Again, it was closed for services so we just looked at the outside. Wandered around the town a bit more, looking at the monastery where Luther lived for much of his life, both before and after his excommunication. Finally the churches were starting to open up after services, so we went inside a couple of them to check things out. The man at the town church was very nice and allowed us to carry Schnitzel around inside, rather than taking turns while the other shivers outside.

    By midday we were finished and had to decide whether to hurry back to the station for the next train, or to have a good lunch and get a later train. There was a nice looking brewery and traditional restaurant that looked quite nice, so we opted for that - it's been a while since we've had a big sit down lunch! We both had a large beer and a pork schnitzel with mushroom sauce and roast potatoes. Nice.

    The bill took ages to arrive so we had to hurry back to the station in the end, but just made it. Back home where we stayed for the rest of the day.
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    Trish Forrester

    Beautiful clear day for photos!

    Joel Baldwin

    A rarity!