Friday, 22 July 2016

Lutherstadt Wittenberg: My most avowed intent, to be a pilgrim

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Some background
I have had a long-held desire to visit Lutherstadt Wittenberg, in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, in the east of Germany. Germany has many historic towns, but in my many visits to Germany since 1995, I did not know that Wittenberg was in this part of Germany.
The discovery was by accident, in June 2010 as my whizzed past that Wittenberg station towards Bitterfeld on my way to a wedding in Raguhn, I caught a short glimpse from my train window and nursed a desire to visit since then. I could not get to Raguhn station because that week happened to be one in which the Deutsche Bahn, the German train company was conducting repairs on that line.
The interest
Whilst not overly religious, I have made pilgrimages to religious places, shrines and cities, interested in the history, the people and how the personalities involved changed the course of events. The Vatican, Fatima in Portugal and now Lutherstadt Wittenberg had made my growing list of pilgrimage journeys.
Wittenberg became the city from which the Protestant Reformation started after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in 1517. There is much to write about this, since of all the histories I could have studied in school, this one featured prominently in our curriculum.
Strangely, the English Reformation, the other schism that occurred soon after that this, when the Church of England renounced papal authority due to Henry VIII’s need to sire an heir, did not make the curriculum. I am a member of the Anglican Church.
The Lutheran Church is planning a quincentennial celebration of the Protestant Reformation in 2017, many activities will be centred around Lutherstadt Wittenberg.


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