500 years have passed since Martin Luther nailed his '95 Theses' to the door of Wittenberg Castle church in 1517. This act heralded the start of the Reformation, which – although not what Luther had intended – ultimately led to a split in the Catholic Church. But it was not just the Church and theology that were revolutionised, the Reformation also affected other areas of life, such as music and art, the economy and social aspects, language, as well as law and politics.
The Luther Decade, commemorating a different theme connected to the nailing of the Theses each year since 2008, will culminate in 2017. As well as the festivities planned in Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, areas intrinsically linked to the Reformation, Lower Saxony will also be commemorating the dawn of the modern age initiated by Luther. Concerts, plays, exhibitions, talks and many more events will take place in almost 60 locations extending all the way from the coast to the Harz mountains.
Here are some of the highlights:
In Braunschweig, a special exhibition entitled "Im Aufbruch – Reformation 1517-1617" (A New Departure - Reformation 1517-1617) will commemorate Luther's work. Running from 7 May until 19 November, it will illustrate why and how people were so receptive to the ideas behind the Reformation at the time and how these concepts rocked the medieval church and society. http://www.braunschweig.de/english/index.html (ENGLISH ONLY)
Four exhibitions on the theme of "Zeichen setzen - 500 Jahre Reformation" (Leading the Way - 500 Years of Reformation) will be presented in three venues in the town of Celle (site of a former royal residence) (link) from 14 May until 13 November. The history of the Reformation, from its origins through to present-day evangelical life, will be illustrated in the Bomann-Museum, the Residenzmuseum and the Stadtkirche St. Marien (St Mary's town church). More information is available at: http://www.celle.travel (ENGLISH ONLY)
Emden has been honoured with the title of "European City of the Reformation".The Emden Reformation Route (link to the English-language flyer:
traces out important stages of the Reformation in the city and can be followed all year round. In the Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum, the "Reformation und Flucht" (Reformation and Flight) exhibition will recount the fate of the 16th century religious refugees. More information is available at: http://www.emden-touristik.de (GERMAN ONLY)