Language variant : Wittenberg Castle Church
Architect : Pflüger, Conrad
Locality : Wittenberg
Country : Germany
Building style : Gothic
Project on the map (green arrow)
All Saints’ Church, commonly referred to as Schlosskirche (Castle church), was designed by Conrad Pflüger and built between 1490 and 1511 at the order of Frederick III, Elector of Saxony in the Late Gothic style. It is a part of the Electoral Residenzschloss, also called Schloss Wittenberg.
After the foundation of the University of Wittenberg in 1502, the All Saints’ was annexed to serve as a chapel to the University, and it quickly evolved into an important academic and worship center. Students were awarded their doctorates there, and Philipp Melanchthon made his famous inaugural speech at the church. A tradition of burying academic dignitaries of the university at the church developed.
On 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.
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, 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. On the doors the 95 Theses appear in their original Latin form. The doors themselves weigh 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg).
On 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 faith in the Lutheran Church which was formed by Luther and Melanchthon.
All Saints’ is also known for its 88-metre (289 ft)-tall steeple, from which one can obtain a good view of the city of Wittenberg and the surrounding countryside.
The tombs of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon are located in All Saints’ Church.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints'_Church,_Wittenberg (June 21, 2011).
Ed. Heikki Nikkinen