Martin Luther used to preach at St. Peter & Paul Church
Martin Luther used to preach at St. Peter & Paul Church (c)  weimar GmbH

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Luther and the Reformation in Weimar

500 years of reformation

Martin Luther is more closely connected to Weimar than is commonly thought. Luther visited the city frequently between 1518 and 1540. Among other places, the Franciscan Monastery “am Palais” offered him lodging, as a plaque on the building reminds us today. During his visits, Luther preached several times at the City Church of St. Peter and Paul. The altar triptych there, painted by Lucas Cranach, is one of the most significant portrayals of Luther’s teachings and remains a reminder of the Reformation. 

The approaching 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, as symbolised by Martin Luther posting his theses in 1517, will be celebrated in the year 2017 and is the focus of long-term joint preparations by the City of Weimar and the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Weimar. In order to draw attention to the continuing reformation effect in Weimar from the 16th until the 21st century, there will be events taking place around the 25th of October every year leading up to the anniversary in 2017. This date refers directly to the four sermons that Luther delivered between October 24th and 26th 1522 at the Weimar Palace and the City Church of St. Peter and Paul. They were the source of the article “On Secular Authority” that has largely shaped the Protestant understanding of the relationship between politics and religion, known as the “Doctrine of the two Kingdoms” up to the present day.

Weimar has a multitude of high-quality evidence of the Reformation movement. The Thuringian Central State Archive (Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv) holds important correspondence by Luther and his colleagues, while the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek and the Art Collections of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar keep thousands of graphics and prints from the 16th century in their respective stocks.

Kirchentag auf dem Weg

Thursday 25 - Sunday, 28 May 2017

„Nun sag, wie hast Du’s mit der Religion?“ (“Now tell me, what do you think of religion?”). The famous question posed by Margarete in Goethe’s Faust is the motto of the “Kirchentag auf dem Weg” (“Church Congress Underway”) that will take place from 25-28 May 2017 in Jena and Weimar. The Church Congress will commence with an ecumenical church service on Ascension Day and an Evening of Welcome in Weimar.

A weekend to celebrate and experience cultural highlights.

Presentation of the Luther Bible from 1534

Thursday, 25 - Sunday, 28 May 2017

Renaissance hall of the Historical Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek

Lutherian Symphonics - Luther chorals in modern style

Thursday 25 May 2017, 8.00pm weimarhalle

concert of Staatskapelle Weimar and Chamber choir of the University of music FRANZ LISZT

St. John's Passion by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Friday, 26 May 2017, 7.30pm 

semi-concertante performance with soloists and choir of the 

Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar March 2017

group tour "Places of Reformation in Weimar"

Many details about Martin Luther and the history of the Reformation are connected with Weimar. During this guided tour visitors have the chance to see the Town church St. Peter and Paul with the impressive Altair painting by Lucas Cranach, the cemetery of St. Jakob with the burial place of Lucas Cranach (The Older), the former Franciscan monastery with the Luther courtyard, the Residential Palace with the Bastille.

Duration: 2 hours
Price: € 95 per group up to 25 people (+ church tickets)