Motherland of the Reformation

Motherland of the Reformation


Motherland of the Reformation

Martin Luther King was named Michael after his father, Michael Sr. His father changed his name after a trip to Germany in 1934 in honor of the Martin Luther, and Michael Jr. followed his lead. Martin Luther wanted to “reform” the existing (today: Catholic) church and “protested” against its doctrines and structures. This led to the “Reformation” and the founding of the “Protestant” church. The place where this world event happened was - Saxony.

When Martin Luther was born on 10 November 1483, Saxony was at the height of its power. Since 1464, Elector Ernst and his brother Albert had together been ruling the most powerful country in the center of the Holy German Empire. But just two years after Luther’s birth, Ernest and Albert made the biggest mistake in Saxony’s history: they split up the land. The ruling Wettin dynasty was divided into two lines, the Ernestine and Albertine. Now there were two countries with the name Saxony, the Electorate and the Duchy, and it was the sons of Ernst and Albert who played the most important, albeit different, roles in the life of Martin Luther and for the course of the Reformation.

When Martin Luther sent his 95 Theses to Albert of Mainz, the most powerful cleric in the Holy German Empire, the world was changed. Luther only wanted church to change its ways, but after the Leipzig Disputation of 1519 at the latest, a split was inevitable. The Reformation, however, was not just an event that started in Saxony and affected the whole world, but also a long process that found its culmination only after many decades of wrangling.

After many changes, historical Saxony is now divided into the federal states of Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. Brandenburg, Bavaria and even the Czech Republic and Poland have also inherited parts of it. It pays to follow in the footsteps of the Reformer, his supporters and his opponents – and these are more than abundant. At the end of the 16th century Saxony had already been given the honorary title “Mother of the Reformation”, a legacy to which also the current federal state declares itself. Learn more about this rich heritage!
 
Saxony in 1517 and today

Saxony in 1517 and today (click to enlarge)

Saxony in Europe

Saxony in Europe (click to enlarge)