- Wittenberg, a city in saxony-Anhalt in east central Germany, is the site where the Reformation began. Its new university hired Martin Luther for its faculty, and he nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the doors of the still standing Castle Church on October 31, 1517. Luther remained in Wittenberg to direct the Reformation for the rest of his life. Wittenberg printer Hans Lufft (1528-84) issued the first edition of Luther's German Bible in 1534.Many of the city's historical sites survived the wars that have ravaged the region. Visitors may see Luther's home (a museum); the graves of Luther and fellow reformer Philip Melanchthon in the Castle Church; the 14th-century parish church where Luther preached; and the spot where Luther burned a papal bull condemning his doctrines.The city has periodically become a focus of ceremonial activities. In 1922, it was the site where the German state churches agreed to establish the present Evangelical Church in Germany. Located in the officially atheist Communist East Germany for more than four decades, it has gained a new importance since the unification of Germany as a pilgrimage site for Lutherans and other Christians. The 2002 meeting of the council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) opened with a worship service in Wittenberg's Castle Church.Further reading:■ Home page of Lutherstadt-Wittenberg. Available online. URL: http://www.witten HYPERLINK "http://berg.de "berg.de■ James M. Kittelson, Luther the Reformer: The Story of the Man and His Career (Minneapolis, Minn.: Augsburg, 1986)■ Steven Ozment, ed., Reformation Europe: A Guide to Research (St. Louis: Center for Reformation Research, 1982).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.