Luther Landmarks in Leipzig
In many places in Leipzig you can find some piece of Reformation history - ranging from the historical venue of the Leipzig Disputation, former residences and working places of Luther's supporters to St. Thomas Church and St. Nicholas Church.
Pleißenburg (today: New City Hall)
Pleissenburg Castle was the scene of the famous Leipzig Disputation in the summer of 1519, where the differences between Luther and the Catholic Church emerged into the open. Luther preached in Pleissenburg Castle on that occasion, and again on 24 May 1539 to mark the introduction of the Reformation by the Saxon Duke Henry the Pious. The castle buildings were destroyed in 1547, and the imposing New City Hall was built on its foundations in 1905.
address: Martin-Luther-Ring 4-6
St. Thomas Church
The late Gothic church dates back to the 12th century. A memorial plaque on a column in the church nave reminds one of the beginning of the Reformation. One of the large stained glass windows in the church depicts Martin Luther with the Bible.
The Leipzig Disputation in 1519 began with a mass in St. Thomas Church. In 1539 it was the site of Luther's sermon introducing the Protestant faith as the state religion. Furthermore this church is inseparably linked with Johann Sebastian Bach - convinced Lutheran and composer of countless works of protestant church music. For 27 years the position of cantor and choirmaster at St. Thomas Church was held by him. His grave can be seen today in the choir of the church.
address: Thomaskirchhof 18
In Luther's time, Heinrich Stromer von Auerbach was the owner of of the wine bar. He was a friend and supporter of the reformer. Later Goethe was one of Auerbachs Keller's guests and found inspiration for a famous scene in his tragedy "Faust".
address: Grimmaische Straße 2-4 (Mädler Passage)
Old City Hall
Today this magnificent example of Renaissance architecture built in 1556 is housing the Leipzig Museum of City History. The Museum shows paintings of Lucas Cranach the Elder, writings of Martin Luther, the Luther Chalice, the wedding ring of Luther's wife and much more.
address: Markt 1
University Church of St. Paul (today: "Paulinum" at the University of Leipzig)
This monastery church of the Dominican Order had been consecrated in 1240. With the service and final sermon given by Luther in Leipzig on 12 August 1545 the monastery church became the Protestant University Church of St. Paul. Although it was only slightly damaged during the Second World War, the GDR authorities had the church demolished in 1968. Today, the Paulinum on the new university campus traces the outlines of the original Church of St. Paul.
address: Augustusplatz 10
It is claimed that Luther was a regular guest in this tavern, which was run by his friend Dr Heinrich Schmiedeberg. Schmiedeberg also left Luther a bequest of 100 guilders. Wide-ranging renovations in the 1930s introduced a “Lutherhalle” on the ground floor, which opened in 1933.
address: Burgstraße 19
Hôtel de Pologne
The house that used to stand here in Luther's time was the home of Melchior Lotter. He was a key figure in the dissemination of Luther’s ideas. Between 1518 and 1520 alone, more than 40 of Luther’s writings were printed in his workshop. During the Leipzig Disputation, Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and Andreas Bodenstein (known as Karlstadt) stayed in Lotter’s house.
address: Hainstraße 16-18
On of the entryways to Barthels Hof is located at the Market square, corner of Hainstrasse. Luther is believed to have preached to the people from the bay window here in 1539. However, this is not attested. In 1870/71, the building was redesigned, and the bay window was moved from the market to the courtyard.
address: Hainstraße 1 (Market square, corner of Hainstrasse)
The Gothic entryway leads to a small inner courtyard with a sandstone portrait from 1535 depicting the Emperor, the Pope and a monk. The interpretation of the portrait is not entirely clear, but it is said that the picture depicts the Pope and Kaiser in close harmony standing over the body of Luther prostrate on the ground. The title "The Mocking of Luther" is contested.
address: Katharinenstraße 11
The Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts
The museum has a large collection of graphic works and 18 paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Lucas Cranach the Younger, of which eleven are on display. The most famous is the "Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg" (1521) by Luther's friend Cranach the Elder.
Luther was bound in a close friendship with Lucas Cranach the Elder, who was operating in Wittenberg. Cranach is regarded as a significant painter of the German Reformation, who, in addition to the production of many Luther portraits and paintings of leading personalities, also illustrated reformation writings with his graphics. In his workshop, he had several of these writings and the translation of the New Testament printed. Portraits and pictures with explicitly Protestant themes also dominated even Cranach the Younger.
address: Katharinenstraße 10
St. Nicholas Church
The church, completed in 1165, has a gothic pulpit from the time of Luther, which for this reason is also called the "Luther Pulpit". In 1539 the city's first Lutheran service took place here, and the church became the seat of the first Superintendent and therefore Leipzig's principal church.
In the autumn of 1989, the St Nicholas Church played a decisive role in the Peaceful Revolution as the location for the Monday demonstrations.
address: Nikolaikirchhof 3