Portrait: The Reformer Martin Luther

25 October 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  36 minutes

Martin Luther (1529) by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Martin Luther (1529) by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546), O.S.A., was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the Catholic view on indulgences as he understood it to be, that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.   read more…

Town and Parish Church of St. Mary’s of Lutherstadt Wittenberg

1 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Stadtkirche Wittenberg © M_H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0

Stadtkirche Wittenberg © M_H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien zu Wittenberg (Town and Parish Church of St. Mary’s) is the civic church of the German town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. The reformers Martin Luther and Johannes Bugenhagen preached there and the building also saw the first celebration of the mass in German rather than Latin and the first ever distribution of the bread and wine to the congregation – it is thus considered the mother-church of the Protestant Reformation. Since 1996 it has been a World Heritage Site – it, the Castle Church of All Saints (Schlosskirche), the Lutherhaus, the Melanchthonhaus and the surrounding Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm form the world’s densest concentration of World Heritage Sites in one area.   read more…

The university city of Heidelberg

5 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Heidelberg © flickr.com - whobee

Heidelberg © flickr.com – whobee

Heidelberg is a city in south-west Germany. The fifth-largest city in the State of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Mannheim, Karlsruhe and Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg is part of the densely-populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. In 2009, over 145,000 people lived in the city. Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald.   read more…

Theme Week Vienna – A city with a high quality of life

28 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Donau UNOcity © Omnidoom 999

Donau UNOcity © Omnidoom 999

Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria’s primary city, with a population of about 1.7 million (2.3 million within the metropolitan area, more than 25% of Austria’s population), and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 10th largest city by population in the European Union. Vienna is host to many major international organizations such as the United Nations and OPEC.   read more…

Bernburg on river Saale

24 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

Bernburg Castle © Franzfoto

Bernburg Castle © Franzfoto

Bernburg is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, capital of the district of Salzlandkreis. It is situated on the river Saale, approx. 30 km downstream from Halle. The town is dominated by its huge Renaissance castle featuring a museum as well as a popular, recently updated bear pit in its moat.   read more…

The Volkswagen city of Wolfsburg

31 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Wolfsburg Skyline © Cubanito

Wolfsburg Skyline © Cubanito

Wolfsburg is located on the River Aller northeast of Braunschweig (Brunswick), and is mainly notable as the headquarters of Volkswagen AG. Wolfsburg is bordered by the districts of Gifhorn and Helmstedt. Wolfsburg was founded on 1 July 1938 as the Nazis’ Stadt des KdF-Wagens bei Fallersleben (English: City of the KdF Car at Fallersleben), a planned town around the village of Fallersleben in order to house the workers of the newly opened Volkswagen factories, which were built to assemble the Volkswagen Beetle “people’s car” and remain there today, although Beetle production finished there in 1978, when it was transferred to Mexico for the final 25 years.   read more…

Sopron in Hungary

13 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Main square © Michael Kargl/cc-by-sa-3.0

Main square © Michael Kargl/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sopron is a city in Hungary on the Austrian border, near the Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő. Today, Sopron’s economy immensely benefits from the European Union. Having been a city close to nowhere, that is, to the Iron Curtain, Sopron now has re-established full trade relations to nearby Austria. Furthermore, after being suppressed during the Cold War, Sopron’s German-speaking culture and heritage are now recognized again. As a consequence, many of the city’s street-and traffic-signs are written in both Hungarian and German making it an officially bilingual city due to its proximity to the Austrian frontier.   read more…

Wroclaw in Poland

28 May 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Wroclaw Panorma © Lukaszprzy

Wroclaw Panorma © Lukaszprzy

Wrocław is the chief city in south-western Poland, situated on the River Oder (Polish: Odra). Wrocław is the former capital of Silesia and today, capital of Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Over the centuries, the city has been either part of Poland, Bohemia, Austria, Prussia or Germany. According to official population figures for June 2009, its population is 632,000, making it the fourth largest city in Poland. Wrocław, along with San Sebastián, Spain, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2016.   read more…

Europe’s capital Strasbourg

22 May 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Palais Universitaire © Jonathan M

Palais Universitaire © Jonathan M

As a European capital at the crossroads of Latin and Germanic world and seventh largest city in France, Strasbourg has a unique architectural heritage. Located on the banks of the Rhine, the city, whose center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, look back on 2000 years of history. Strasbourg combine tradition and modernity, and can be explored by foot, by one of the many excursion boats, by tram or by bike. The food, wines and beers are also among the highlights of the Alsatian capital. Strasbourg is an art metropolis, whose past, carved in stone, is still present for the most parts. Every quarter, every building has made a harmonious witness to a remarkable city history, which celebrated its 2000 year anniversary in 1988.   read more…

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