User:Bmrbarre/All Saints' Church, Wittenberg

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Saxonian prince-elector inside the Schlosskirche
The church from inside

All Saints' Church was designed by Conrad Pflüger [1] and built between 1490 and 1511 at the order of Frederick III, Elector of Saxony[2] in the Late Gothic style.[3][4] It is a part of the Electoral Residenzschloss, also called Schloss Wittenberg.[2] [5]

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.

Tilman Riemenschneider, Jacopo de' Barbari, and Albrecht Dürer, contributed to the construction of the castle and then the church.

The church was rebuilt again ten years later, however, the invasions of Wittenberg (1814) during the "Liberation wars" (Freheitskriege) ravaged by flames. After the annexion of Wittenberg to Prussia in 1815, the fort became a barrack, and the last remaining relics and artworks were finally removed, and the castle became again a simple citadel. Frederick William IV of Prussia makes a bronze gate to the church in honor of the 375. years that passed after the death of Martin Luther, which is November 10, 1858, the new gate was celebrated ceromonially. The current look of the church is thanks to the renovation of the church from 1883-1892,[8][9][10] which included the renewal of the core of the church according to old documents, the castle tower was also renewed.[11] On October 31, 1892, the church was re-inaugurated.[12] On the doors the 95 Theses appear in their original Latin form.[8] The doors themselves weigh 2,200 pounds.[11] On the 500. anniversary of the The Ninety-Five Theses of Martin Luther in 1983 (and under the East German government of Wittenberg) twelve glass-windows with portraits of the thirteen most important reformation students of Martin Luther. To realize this, the Lutheran World Federation gets the artist Renate Brömme to create these windows in a "timeless" design.

95 Theses[edit]

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.

Seven Years War[edit]

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,[6] the wooden doors on which Martin Luther had posted the Theses were also destroyed.[1] All Saints' was soon rebuilt.[5] Many of the priceless works of art which had been located in the church were destroyed forever, though.

Commemorative doors[edit]

The "Theses Doors", which bear the 95 Theses in their original Latin form.

In 1858, at the order of Frederick William IV of Prussia, commemorative bronze doors were mounted where the original wooden ones had been located.[7] On the doors the 95 Theses appear in their original Latin form.[5] The doors themselves weigh 2,200 pounds.[6]

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,.[6]

These doors are among the most photographed in Europe.[6]


Between 1883 and 1892, All Saints' was renovated and restored under the supervision of J. H. F. Adler.[5][1][8]

On October 31, 1892, 375 years after Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the doors of the church, All Saints' was re-inaugurated.

New Windows[edit]

In 1983, 500 years after the birth of Luther, 12 new windows were installed in All Saints'. These honored the most important Reformation students of Luther, and were created by Renate Brömme in a "timeless" style at the order of the Lutheran World Federation.

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  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Reformation Tours was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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