KAT-TUN Worldwide Travel Wittenberg and Wartburg, Germany: Luther Sights – Rick Steves Travel Bite

Wittenberg and Wartburg, Germany: Luther Sights – Rick Steves Travel Bite

Nearby is Wittenberg Around 1500, the local ruler, Frederick the Wise, was establishing the town as his capital

He invited young Martin Luther to join the faculty of his university The main square is dominated by its town hall and a statue remembering the "Great Reformer" Wittenberg's top sight is the Lutherhaus, where Luther lived Today it's an excellent museum displaying original artifacts — the pulpit from which Luther preached, portraits of Luther and the other reformers, and the Bible Luther boldly translated from Latin into the people's language 500 years ago, the selling of forgiveness and church corruption stoked public discontent with the Roman Church, which led to the Reformation

This is a letter of indulgence, one of countless fund-raising coupons the Church issued These were sold to the faithful for religious favors such as reducing time for dead loved ones in purgatory Their money would fill boxes like this and eventually ended up in Rome to fund the pope's lavish world Corruption like this inspired Luther to confront the Church And it was the invention of the printing press with movable type by Gutenberg in the same generation that enabled reformers like Luther to spread their ideas

Luther wrote in the people's language and sold more than a quarter million booklets like these Like social media empowers popular movements today, Luther's pamphlets went viral He was the bestselling German writer of the 16th century The Wartburg Castle is a popular stop on the Luther trail When Luther spoke out against Church corruption, he was declared an outlaw and needed to run for his life

A sympathetic German prince gave him refuge Disguised and under a fake name, Luther hid out here in this castle The actions of this solitary monk brought far-reaching changes Believing that everyone should be able to read the word of God, Luther began the daunting and dangerous task of translating the New Testament from the original Ancient Greek into German He used simplified language, as he said, "like a mother talking to her children

" Just as the King James version of the Bible did for English, Luther's translation helped to establish a standard German language that's used to this day Luther's translation brought the Bible to the masses As Germans actually read the Bible, they saw, as Luther had, that there was no mention of indulgences, purgatory, or even a pope Just as the Church had feared, this further fanned the fires of reform This part of Germany was ground zero for the century of religious wars Luther's reforms unwittingly unleashed

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