Martin Luther

Life here in Thuringia has been full and joyous these past two weeks and I apologize for not posting with greater frequency. Having this gift of time and being in this area rich in Reformation history,  it was important to me to add to my Bachquest visits the areas where Martin Luther lived and worked. This great man transformed beliefs which paved the way for the religious freedom we enjoy today.  

Wittenberg Castle Church, in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is the site where Luther nailed 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church. Scholars posted talking points, or Theses on doors frequently to spur debat. Soon after posting them, Luther’s ideas were mass-produced on a printing press and spread throughout Germany. This sparked a grassroots movement called the Reformation, which divided the Western church in two, leading to the founding of Protestantism and transforming the way generations of people thought about their relationship to God.  

While Luther and town folk rarely set foot in the Castle Church because it was reserved only for Royals, it is believed he nailed the 95 Theses on the door on October 31, 1517 (now observed as Reformation Day). The next day, All Saint’s Day, November 1, was that one day of the year when common people were permitted in this church thus insuring that many people would view the 95 Theses!

Pictures below include: 1. Statue of Martin Luther in Marktplatz  2. A bronze replica (19th century) of the 95 Theses — most of the Castle Church was destroyed in the Seven Years’ War.  3. Tower from below. 4. Courtyard view of the Castle Church   5. Cloister  6. Interior of Castle Church.   7. Stained glass emblem of a symbol used to represent Lutheranism many years later  8. Organ in Castle Church 9. View from the tower of the Castle Church (Climbed 7 church towers thus far :) ) looking toward St. Mary’s Church—the town church   10. St. Mary’s church, the people’s church  11. Tower of St. Mary’s church  12. Interior of St. Mary’s Church where Luther attended and preached  13. Cranach Alter  14. Baptismal Fount at St. Mary’s where Luther baptized his five children   15.  St. Mary’s Church pulpit where Martin Luther preached.  16. The humble grave and of Martin Luther near the altar of the Castle Church 

Adding to the Luther journey, we ventured back to Eisenach, birthplace of Bach, first so everyone in my family could experience the Bachhause and secondly to see Wartburg Castle, focus of pictures below.  While much of the opulence you will see is part of the 19th century renovated Castle, you will also notice the older sections with amazing doorways, a moat and views from high above Eisenach.  Most importantly, this castle provided a safe haven for Luther while his life was in jeopardy after he made enemies of the pope and emperor. It is believed while here, he dressed as a knight, grew a beard and longer hair to be in disguise—even caring a sword.  It is in this little room, pictured with a desk — still preserved — he transcribed the New Testament from Greek to German so common people could read and interpret for themselves. 



In the last post, I gave you a challenge to test your “Sound of Music” memory.  Here are some answers: 

1. Steps where Maria and the children sang “Doe a dear” 

2. Area in front of the steps from No. 1

3. Fountain where the children were filmed singing

4.  Gate behind which Rolf stood when Liesl visited 

5.  When Maria left the Von Trapp family and the children missed her, they came to this gate to see if they could talk with her

6. Same gate, different perspective, Nuns saying to Mother Superior, “forgive us for we have sinned”  when they took parts out of Nazi military cars

7. Door behind the gate

8.  Gazebo where “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” is sung (larger one used for the dancing part of the song) and also where the Captain and Maria sing their song

9.  Used as the backdrop where Georg and the Baroness talk about their future life, also where Max talks to the Captain about his children performing in the big festival

10. Steps for the festival singing house — children and soldiers used these steps

11. “glared’’ picture of the theater where Nazi soldiers waited to take the family away after they performed in the festival

12.  Entrance area where Rolf delivered his telegram and also where Georg and Maria return after their honeymoon — interesting that both the yellow and white mansions were used interchangeably in the movie and we don’t notice??  At least, I never did before.

13. “I Have Confidence” sung by Maria before meeting the children.  Yes, Emily and I both tried to jump like Maria and get a picture, but the camera operation was not fast enough to capture the jumps. :) 

14 and 15. These are parts of real graveyards which were copied so respect was shown to the dead.

16.  From the left:  Tom Bashore, Nathan Riehl, Jeff Riehl, me, John Bowen, Emily Riehl Bowen, Cathy Bashore and Susie Bashore — what fun!!! 

I thank you for your prayers, and I continue to pray for each of you!

Peace, joy, blessings and love,


Suzanne Riehl