- All Saints' Church, Wittenberg
All Saints' Church, commonly referred to as Schlosskirche, meaning "Castle Church" — to distinguish it from the "town church", the "Stadtkirche" of St. Mary — and sometimes known as the Reformation Memorial Church, is a Lutheran church in
Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany. It has been called "the most famous building in Wittenberg", [ [http://encarta.msn.com/media_121619608/Castle_Church_Wittenberg.html Encarta.msn.com] ] as the site where The Ninety-Five Theseswere posted by Martin Lutheron October 31 1517, [ [http://www.castlechurch.org/ CastleChurch.org] ] [ [http://www.alard-von-rohr.com/switzerland/Reformation_Tour.pdf Alard-von-Rohr.com] ] the act that has been called the start of the Protestant Reformation. [http://www.reformationtours.com/site/490868/page/193157 ReformationTours.com] ] [ [http://www.uni-duisburg.de/Institute/CollCart/es/sem/s6/page03a.htm Uni-Duisburg.de] ]
All Saints' Church was designed by
Conrad Pflüger[http://www.planetware.com/wittenberg/all-saints-castle-church-d-sa-witsck.htm PlanetWare.com] ] and built between 1490 and 1511 at the order of Frederick III, Elector of Saxony[http://www.lutheranwomantoday.org/featuredArticles/1107article4.html LutheranWomanToday.org] ] in the Late Gothic style. It is a part of the Electoral "Residenzschloss", also called "Schloss Wittenberg". [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/germany/wittenberg-schlosskirche.htm Sacred-Destinations.com] ]
After the foundation of the University of Wittenberg in
1502, the All Saints' was annexed to serve as a chapelto the University, and it quickly evolved into an important academic and worship center. Students were awarded their doctorates there, and Philipp Melanchthonmade his famous inaugural speech at the church. A tradition of burying academic dignitaries of the university at the church developed. Tilman Riemenschneider, Jacopo de' Barbariand Albrecht Dürercontributed to the construction of the castle and then the church.
October 31 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the doors of All Saints' Church, which is commonly viewed to be the beginning, or at least the spark which led to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation (contested by some).
even Years War
In 1760, during the
Seven Years War, more specifically the Pomeranian War, the church was all but destroyed by a fire resulting from bombardment. During this fire, which all but ruined the church and left only half of the foundation standing, [http://unterkunft.wittenberg.de/e/seiten/virtuell/vir_sf01.html Unterkunft.Wittenberg.de] ] the wooden doors on which Martin Luther had posted the Theses were also destroyed. All Saints' was soon rebuilt. Many of the priceless works of art which had been located in the church were destroyed forever.
In 1858, at the order of
Frederick William IV of Prussia, commemorative bronze doors were mounted where the original wooden ones had been located. [http://www.anhalt-wittenberg.de/Architektur/e3.htm Anhalt-Wittenberg.de] ] On the doors the 95 Theses appear in their original Latin form. The doors themselves weigh convert|2200|lb|kg|-1.
November 10 1858, exactly 375 years after the day of birth of Martin Luther, the new doors were commemorated at a formal ceremony.
Above the doors is a painting which portrays Luther on the right with a German
Bible, and Philipp Melanchthon on the left, with the Augsburg Confession, the main confession of faithin the Lutheran Church which was formed by Luther and Melanchthon,.
October 31 1892, 375 years after Luther posted his 95 Theses on the doors of the church, All Saints' was re-inaugurated.
In 1983, 500 years after the birth of Luther, 12 new windows were installed in All Saints'. These honored the most important Reformation students of Luther, and were created by Renate Brömme in a "timeless" style at the order of the
Lutheran World Federation.
All Saints' today
All Saints' is also known for its convert|88|m|ft|0|sing=on-tall steeple, from which one can obtain a good view of the city of Wittenberg and the surrounding countryside. A quote, "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (English: "A mighty fortress is our God"), from one of Luther's
hymns, encircles the tower. [ [http://www.chapel.duke.edu/worship/sunday/viewsermon.aspx?id=52 Chapel.Duke.edu] ] [ [http://www.tac-bsa.org/worship_services.pdf TAC-BSA.org] ]
Tombs and artwork
tombs of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon are located in All Saints' Church. [ [http://helios.augustana.edu/~ew/slide-collection.html Helios.Augustana.edu] ] [ [http://christianity.about.com/od/lutherandenomination/a/martinlutherbio_2.htm Christianity.About.com] ] [ [http://www.ourredeemerlcms.org/beggars.htm OurRedeermLCMS.org] ] [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=CBqyFy46I-EC&pg=PA32&lpg=PA32&dq=burial+of+martin+luther+astle+church&source=web&ots=c17q8F4DFp&sig=WEaHEdvD199_1Ww-wJu4nyDJEwM#PPA32,M1 Books.Google.com] ] [ [http://www.signaturetoursinternational.com/gp-3.php SignatureToursInternational.com] ] On Luther's tomb, located beneath the pulpit, is enscribed "Here is buried the body of the Doctor of Sacred Theology, Martin Luther, who died in the year of Christ 1546, on February 18th, in his hometown Eisleben, after having lived for 63 years, 2 months, and 10 days." [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=cdM3qHlNeb4C&pg=PA205&lpg=PA205&dq=burial+of+martin+luther+castle+church&source=web&ots=8Kjdp8WNbv&sig=EYgqgqcSgLOezBC0wlY-Kjq9RwE Books.Google.com] ] Melanchthon preached at Luther's burial. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=rvz4JAI9fmUC&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=burial+of+martin+luther+astle+church&source=web&ots=WPPiyWQNo4&sig=Gvp5nU_wsLAHKTswQzFl7_KXa9o Books.Google.com] ]
Also, there are life-sized
statues made from alabasterof Frederick III and another prince-electorof Saxony, John, Elector of Saxony. There are also several bronze sculptures, also of Frederick III and John, Elector of Saxony, which are done by Peter Vischer the Younger and Hans Vischer. In addition, the church has many paintings done by both Lucas Cranach the Youngerand Lucas Cranach the Elder.
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