Wittenberg (/ˈwɪtənbɜːrɡ/; German: [ˈvɪtn̩ˌbɛɐ̯k]), officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Wittenberg is situated on the River Elbe, 60 kilometers (37 mi) north of Leipzig and 90 kilometers (56 mi) south-west of Berlin, and has a population of 48,501 (2008).

Wittenberg is famous for its close connection with Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, for which it received the honorific Lutherstadt. Several of Wittenberg's buildings associated with the events, including a preserved part of the Augustinian monastery in which Luther lived, first as a monk and later as owner with his wife Katharina von Bora and family, considered to be the world's premier museum dedicated to Luther. Wittenberg was also the seat of the Elector of Saxony, a dignity held by the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg, making it one of the most powerful cities in the Holy Roman Empire.

Today, Wittenberg is an industrial center and popular tourist destination, best known for its intact historic center and various memorial sites dedicated to Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1996.

Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Altstadt Lutherstadt Wittenberg-Panorama
Schlossstraße Wittenberg 6336
Wittenberg Market square
Wittenberg - Schlosskirche innen 1
Lutherstadt Wittenberg,Collegienstraße 54,Universität
From top: Skyline of Wittenberg,
Wittenberg old town with view to the Castle church (undergoing repairs), Market square with town hall and Stadtkirche Wittenberg, inside Wittenberg castle church and Leucorea university
Coat of arms of Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Coat of arms
Location of Lutherstadt Wittenberg within Wittenberg district
AnnaburgAxienBad SchmiedebergBethauBrandhorstCoswigDietrichsdorfElsterGadegastGohrauGräfenhainichenGriesenGroß NaundorfHorstdorfJessenKakauKembergKlödenLabrunLebienLeetzaListerfehrdaMöhlauMühlangerOranienbaumPlossigPrettinRehsenRiesigkSchkönaSchützbergThießenTornauVockerodeWittenbergWörlitzZahnaZemnickZörnigallZschornewitzSaxony-AnhaltSaxonyBrandenburgDessauAnhalt-BitterfeldAnhalt-BitterfeldWittenberg in WB.svg
Lutherstadt Wittenberg is located in Germany
Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Lutherstadt Wittenberg is located in Saxony-Anhalt
Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Coordinates: 51°52′02″N 12°38′54″E / 51.8671°N 12.6484°ECoordinates: 51°52′02″N 12°38′54″E / 51.8671°N 12.6484°E
 • MayorEckhard Naumann (SPD)
 • Total240.32 km2 (92.79 sq mi)
67 m (220 ft)
 • Total46,272
 • Density190/km2 (500/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes03491
Vehicle registrationWB


Wittenberg, 1536
University of Wittenberg in 1644
Schloss Wittenberg
Schloss Wittenberg

Historical documents first mention the settlement in 1180 as a small village founded by Flemish colonists under the rule of the House of Ascania. In 1260 this village became the residence of the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg, and in 1293 the settlement was granted its town charter as a free-standing town.

Wittenberg developed into an important trade centre during the following several centuries, because of its central location. When the local branch of the Ascanians died out in 1422, control of Saxe-Wittenberg passed to the House of Wettin. This town became an important regional political and cultural centre at the end of the 15th Century, when Frederick III "the Wise", the Elector of Saxony from 1486 to 1525, made his residence in Wittenberg. Several parts of boundaries of the town were extended soon afterward. The second bridge over the Elbe River was built from 1486 through 1490 and the castle church (the Schlosskirche in German) was erected from 1496 through 1506. The Elector's palace was rebuilt at the same time.

In 1502 Elector Frederick founded the University of Wittenberg, which attracted some important thinkers, such as Martin Luther—a professor of theology beginning in 1508—and Philipp Melanchthon—a professor of Greek starting in 1518.

On 31 October 1517, according to legend, Luther nailed his 95 theses against the selling of indulgences at the door of the All Saints', the Castle Church – an event taken as marking the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptist movement had one of its earliest homes in Wittenberg, when the Zwickau prophets moved there in late 1521, only to be suppressed by Luther when he returned from the Wartburg in spring 1522. The Capitulation of Wittenberg (1547) is the name given to the treaty by which John Frederick the Magnanimous was compelled to resign the electoral dignity and most of his territory to the Albertine branch of the House of Wettin.

In 1760, during the Seven Years' War, the Austrians bombarded the Prussian-occupied town. The French took control in 1806, and Napoleon commanded the refortification of the town in 1813. In 1814 the Prussian Army under Tauentzien stormed Wittenberg; he received the title of "von Wittenberg" as a reward. In 1815 Wittenberg became part of Prussia, administered within the Province of Saxony. Wittenberg continued to be a fortress of the third class until the reorganisation of German defences after the foundation of the new German Empire led to its dismantling in 1873.

It contained a prisoner of war camp from 1914 to 1918.

Unlike many other historic German cities during World War II, Wittenberg's town centre was spared destruction during the conflict. The Allies agreed not to bomb Wittenberg, though fighting took place in the town, with bullet pock-marks visible on the statues of Luther and Melanchthon at the market square – or so the popular version of the town's history goes. In actuality, the Luther statue was not even present in the town square during much of the war, but in storage at Luther Brunnen, a roadhouse a few kilometres north of the town.

Wittenberg's reputation as a town protected from Allied bombing is also not entirely historically accurate. On the outskirts of Wittenberg stood the Arado Flugzeugwerke (the Arado Aircraft Factory), which produced components of airplanes for the Luftwaffe. This factory was staffed by Jews, Russians, Poles, political prisoners and even a few Americans—all prisoners engaging in forced labour. Despite the prisoner status of its workers, American and British planes bombed the factory near the end of the war, killing one thousand prisoner workers. The 1995 publication of "...und morgen war Krieg!" by Renate Gruber-Lieblich[2] attempts to document this tragic bombing of Wittenberg.

At the end of the war, Soviet forces occupied Wittenberg; it became part of East Germany in 1949. During the East German period, it formed part of Halle District. By means of the peaceful revolution in 1989, the communist régime dissolved and the town has been governed democratically since 1990.

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Market square with Stadtkirche Wittenberg
Part ofLuther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg
IncludesLutherhaus, Melanchthonhaus, Stadtkirche Wittenberg and All Saints' Church, Wittenberg
CriteriaCultural: iv, vi
Inscription1996 (20th Session)

Historical population

The figures are given for the metropolitan district at the point in time. Up to 1791 the figures are generally estimated, later figures are from census or local authorities.

Wittenberg Einwohner
Historical Population 1800 to 2015
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1500 2,000—    
1532 4,500+2.57%
1791 4,860+0.03%
1792 4,703−3.23%
1793 4,662−0.87%
1794 4,617−0.97%
1814 4,727+0.12%
1826 6,725+2.98%
1834 8,107+2.36%
1846 10,283+2.00%
1875 12,479+0.67%
1880 13,448+1.51%
1885 13,836+0.57%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1890 14,443+0.86%
1895 16,479+2.67%
1900 18,345+2.17%
1905 20,331+2.08%
1910 22,419+1.97%
1925 24,160+0.50%
1939 35,130+2.71%
1946 41,304+2.34%
1950 49,852+4.81%
1964 46,828−0.45%
1971 47,323+0.15%
1981 53,874+1.30%
1989 51,754−0.50%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 49,682−4.00%
1992 55,096+5.31%
1995 53,207−1.16%
2000 49,643−1.38%
2005 47,805−0.75%
2006 46,776−2.15%
2007 45,615−2.48%
2008 47,695+4.56%
2009 50,113+5.07%
2010 49,496−1.23%
2011 49,076−0.85%
2012 46,930−4.37%
2013 46,729−0.43%

from 2012 census.

Places added to Wittenberg

Lutherhaus, Wittenberg
Lutherhaus, Wittenberg

Main sights

Font by Hermann Vischer the Elder, St Mary's Church, Wittenberg
Font by Hermann Vischer the Elder, St Mary's Church, Wittenberg

Wittenberg is home to numerous historical sites, as well as portraits and other paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger. On the doors of All Saints' Church, the Schlosskirche ("castle church", built in 1496–1506) Martin Luther is said to have nailed his 95 theses in 1517. It was seriously damaged by fire in 1760 during a bombardment by the French during the Seven Years' War, was practically rebuilt, and was later (1885–1892) restored. The wooden doors, burnt in 1760, were replaced in 1858 by bronze doors, bearing the Latin text of the theses. Inside the church are the tombs of Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, Johannes Bugenhagen, Paul Eber and of the electors Frederick the Wise (by Peter Vischer the Younger, 1527) and John the Constant (by Hans Vischer), and portraits of the reformers by Lucas Cranach the Younger, who is also buried in the church.

St. Mary's Church, the parish church in which Luther often preached, was built in the 14th century, but has been much altered since Luther's time. It contains a painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder, representing the Last Supper (with the faces of Luther and other reformers), Baptism and Confession, also a font by Hermann Vischer the Elder (1457). In addition, there are numerous historic paintings in the church.

The ancient electoral palace is another of the buildings that suffered severely in 1760; it now contains archives.

Martin Luther's home, the Lutherhaus, where he studied and lived both before and after the Reformation, is now a museum containing many artifacts from his life. Melanchthon's house and the house of Lucas Cranach the Elder, mayor of Wittenberg, can also be found here. Statues of Luther (by Schadow), Melanchthon and Bugenhagen embellish the town. The spot outside the Elster Gate where Luther publicly burned the papal bull in 1520 is marked by an oak tree.

The original Wittenberg University quadrangle also lies in the city centre.

Image gallery


Wittenberg old town


Castle Church inside

912u Luther's 95 Theses, Schlosskirche, Wittenberg, GER,

Replica of the Ninety-Five Theses in the Schlosskirche, Wittenberg

Rathaus Wittenberg

Town Hall and Luther Memorial on the market place


Hundertwasserschule, School by Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Wittenberg Piesteritz

Werksiedlung Wittenberg

Arsenal Shoppingcenter Wittenberg

The Arsenal shopping centre, opened 2012

Marktbrunnen Wittenberg

Fountain in the market square

Statue Marktplatz (Wittenberg) Philipp Melanchthon

Philipp Melanchthon in the market square

Wittenberg,Luthers Hochzeit

Market square, with ancient town hall, statue of Martin Luther and Stadtkirche

Altstadt Wittenberg

View over Wittenberg old town

Coat of arms

Wittenberg's oldest coat of arms

Wittenberg's civic coat of arms conveys with its various heraldic elements something of the town's history. On 27 June 1293, Wittenberg was granted town rights by Duke Albert II. There then arose a mediaeval town whose highest governing body was its council. This council, known to have existed as early as 1317, was given the job of administering the town in its care through law and legislation, and of handling the town's revenue. For documentation, the administration used its own seal. One version of what is believed to be the town's oldest town seal, which the council used, and which dated from the first half of the 14th century, set the pattern with its elements for various civic coats of arms down to the present day.

The coat of arms symbolizes, with its crenelated wall and the towers within and each side, a town that was already strongly fortified by 1409. The two shields in the centre form the coat of arms of the Electorate of Saxony with the Saxon arms on the right, whose gold and black stripes recall the Ascanian rulers' house colours with the Rautenkranz (literally "lozenge wreath", although it is no such thing, as can be seen at the Saxony article) across them symbolizing the town's founder Duke Albrecht II since 1262, when it appeared in his arms. The shield on the left is the Wittenberg district's arms. In 1356, Emperor Charles IV bestowed upon the Duke of Saxony-Wittenberg the honour of Elector. Wittenberg became an Electoral residence. The shield with its crossed swords stands for the office of "Arch-Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire" inextricably joined by the Electorate, brought to Wittenberg by Rudolf I. Both coats of arms continued to be used by the Wettins after the Ascanians died out. The flowing water at the foot of the shield symbolizes Wittenberg's location on the River Elbe. The fish is a salmon, which were once abundant in the Elbe. The fishermen, like all professions in town, got their own order in 1422, and the fish found its way onto their coat of arms.

Economy and infrastructure

The town is an important centre of chemical industry with the SKW Stickstoffwerke Piesteritz GmbH. The whole area of the industrial park covers more than 220 hectares with more than 1,500 workers. Wittenberg is also the headquarters of the eco-friendly web search engine Ecosia. Tourism plays a major role. Wittenberg is one of the top destinations in Saxony-Anhalt.

Lutherstadt Wittenberg station is the main railway station. It connects Wittenberg hourly with Berlin to the north and Leipzig and Halle (Saale) to the south. The station was rebuilt to be more environmentally friendly and re-opened in December 2016.

Elbbrücke Wittenberg

The Elbe bridge is part of the Bundesstraße 2 federal highway

Piesteritz SKW

The 'SKW Piesteritz' industrial area

Elbe in Wittenberg

The Elbe connects Wittenberg with Hamburg and Magdeburg

Theatre, culture and education

Campus Leucorea

Wittenberg has a long tradition of cultural events. The Central German State Theatre (Mitteldeutsches Landestheater) reached a great importance in GDR times. Since 1996, the town has staged open-air theatre shows based on the Lutheran history still alive in many historical places of the ancient town. As highlights, in 2001 and 2005, Fernando Scarpa became the artistic director of the "Bühne Wittenberg" (Stage Wittenberg), a project for theatre, art and culture in the whole of Germany which attracts many visitors to the town and whose success is known European-wide. On 2002 and 2003 Stefano Vagnini, Italian composer and organist created the music for Thesys and Luther Stories. Prince Hamlet is said to have studied in Wittenberg and it was the supposed home of Dr. Faustus.

Wittenberg is seat of the Leucorea which is part of the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, the largest university in Saxony-Anhalt.

The 20th century Expressionist artist Else Hertzer was born ad raised in Wittenberg.[3]

International relations

Wittenberg is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden – Stand: 31. Dezember 2017" (PDF). Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (in German).
  2. ^ Gruber-Lieblich, Renate (1995). "... und morgen war Krieg!": Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH Wittenberg 1936 - 1945 ; ein KZ-Lager entsteht (in German). R. Gruber-Lieblich. ISBN 9783866343122. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  3. ^ Mathias Tietke: Wittenberg. The 99 Special Pages of the City, p. 59

Further reading

External links

All Saints' Church, Wittenberg

All Saints' Church, commonly referred to as Schlosskirche (Castle Church) to distinguish it from the Stadtkirche (Town Church) of St. Mary's – and sometimes known as the Reformation Memorial Church – is a Lutheran church in Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is the site where, according to Philip Melanchthon, the Ninety-five Theses were posted by Martin Luther in 1517, the act that has been called the start of the Protestant Reformation. From 1883 onwards, the church was restored as a memorial site and re-inaugurated on 31 October 1892, 375 years after Luther's posting.

Bill Edwards (American football coach)

William Miller Edwards (June 21, 1905 – June 12, 1987) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Western Reserve University, Vanderbilt University and Wittenberg University in a career lasting more than 30 years, compiling a win-loss-tie record of 168–45–8. Edwards also coached the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL) from 1941 to 1942, tallying a 4–9–1 record, and served as an assistant coach for the NFL's Cleveland Browns in the late 1940s.

Raised near Massillon, Ohio, Edwards was the son of an immigrant from Wales who worked in the area's coal mines. He played football at Massillon Washington High School and enrolled at Ohio State University, where he stayed for a year before transferring to Wittenberg University. After college, Edwards began his coaching career at high schools in Ohio. He got his first job as a college head coach in 1935 at Western Reserve, now known as Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio and guided the team to a 49–6–2 record over six seasons. Edwards was then hired to coach the Lions, but his brief stay there was unsuccessful, and he was fired at the beginning of the 1942 season. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy later that year and served in the military during World War II until his discharge in 1946.

Edwards spent a year selling sporting goods in Cleveland, returning to football in 1947 with the Browns as an assistant to head coach Paul Brown, a close friend and former Massillon schoolmate. After two years as the team's tackle coach, he was hired by Vanderbilt in 1949. He stayed there for four years and amassed a 21–19–2 record, but resigned in 1953 under pressure from alumni. After two years as an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina, Edwards was hired by Wittenberg, his alma mater, as head football coach and athletic director. He spent the rest of his career there, serving as head coach until 1968 and remaining as athletic director until 1973. While at Wittenberg, he was named the country's college football coach of the year twice, and his teams posted an overall record of 98–20–4. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986. Edwards, described as a tough but compassionate coach, had an influence on many men he worked with, including Steve Belichick, the father of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Steve Belichick played for Edwards at Western Reserve and with the Lions, and coached with him at Vanderbilt. Edwards was the godfather of Bill.

Cornell Mountain

Cornell Mountain is a mountain located in Ulster County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Burroughs Range of the Catskill Mountains.

Cornell Mountain is flanked to the northeast by Wittenberg Mountain, to the southwest by Friday Mountain, and to the west by 4,180-foot (1,270 m) Slide Mountain — the highest peak in the Catskills.

The northwest side of Cornell Mountain drains into Woodland Creek, thence into Esopus Creek, the Hudson River, and into New York Bay.

The east and southeast sides of Cornell Mtn. drain into the Wittenberg Brook, thence into Maltby Hollow Brook, Bush Kill, and Esopus Creek.

The southwest side of Cornell Mtn. drains into the headwaters of the east branch of the Neversink River, thence into the Delaware River, and into Delaware Bay.

Cornell Mountain is within the Slide Mountain Wilderness of New York's Catskill State Park.

The Long Path, a 350-mile (560 km) long-distance hiking trail from New York City to Albany, is contiguous with the section of the Burroughs Range Trail crossing the summits of Slide, Cornell, and Wittenberg. Cornell Mountain is one of the 35 peaks in the Catskills greater than 3,500 feet elevation, and is a required ascent for membership in the Catskill Mountain 3500 Club.

Dave Wittenberg

David Richard Paul "Dave" Wittenberg (born September 1, 1971) is a South African-born American voice actor from the Los Angeles area who provides voice-overs in English dubs of Japanese anime shows, as well as animations and video games.

Electorate of Saxony

The Electorate of Saxony (German: Kurfürstentum Sachsen, also Kursachsen) was a state of the Holy Roman Empire established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356. Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was feoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the ducal residence up the river Elbe to Dresden. After the Empire's dissolution in 1806, the Wettin Electors raised Saxony to a territorially reduced kingdom.

Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn

Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn ("A spiritual song booklet"), sometimes called First Wittenberg Hymnal and Chorgesangbuch (Choir hymnal), was the first German hymnal for choir, published in Wittenberg in 1524 by Johann Walter who collaborated with Martin Luther. It contains 32 sacred songs, including 24 by Luther, in settings by Walter for three to five parts with the melody in the tenor. Luther wrote a preface for the part books. The collection has been called the root of all Protestant song music.

Johannes Bugenhagen

Johannes Bugenhagen (24 June 1485 – 20 April 1558), also called Doctor Pomeranus by Martin Luther, introduced the Protestant Reformation in the Duchy of Pomerania and Denmark in the 16th century. Among his major accomplishments was organization of Lutheran churches in Northern Germany and Scandinavia. He has also been called the second Apostle of the North.

Johannes Bugenhagen was pastor to Martin Luther at St. Mary's church in Wittenberg. He is also commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod as a pastor on 20 April.


A Judensau (German for "Jews' sow"), is a folk art image of Jews in obscene contact with a large sow (female pig), which in Judaism is an unclean animal, that appeared during the 13th century in Germany and some other European countries; its popularity lasted for over 600 years. In Nazi Germany, classes of German schoolchildren were sent to see the Judensau on German churches and the term remains extant as a neo-Nazi insult.

Justus Jonas

Justus Jonas, the Elder (5 June 1493 – 9 October 1555), or simply Justus Jonas, was a German Lutheran theologian and reformer. He was a Jurist, Professor and Hymn writer. He is best known for his translations of the writings of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon. He accompanied Martin Luther in his final moments.

Martin Luther

Martin Luther, (; German: [ˈmaɐ̯tiːn ˈlʊtɐ]; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; in particular, he disputed the view on indulgences. 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 Holy Roman Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the Pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge, and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical (German: evangelisch) as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.

His translation of the Bible into the German vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to marry.In two of his later works, Luther expressed antagonistic views towards Jews. His rhetoric was not directed at Jews alone, but also towards Roman Catholics, Anabaptists, and nontrinitarian Christians. Luther died in 1546, with his decree of excommunication by Pope Leo X still effective.

Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg

The Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (German: Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg), also referred to as MLU, is a public, research-oriented university in the cities of Halle and Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. MLU offers German and international (English) courses leading to academic degrees such as BA, BSc, MA, MSc, doctoral degrees and Habilitation.

The university was created in 1817 through the merger of the University of Wittenberg (founded in 1502) and the University of Halle (founded in 1691). The university is named after the Protestant reformer Martin Luther, who was a professor in Wittenberg. Today, the university itself is located in Halle, while the Leucorea Foundation in Wittenberg serves as MLU's convention centre (and hotel) for seminars as well as for academic and political conferences. Both Halle and Wittenberg are about one hour from Berlin via the Berlin–Halle railway, which offers Intercity-Express (ICE) trains.

Mount Wittenberg Orca

Mount Wittenberg Orca is an EP by American indie rock band Dirty Projectors and Icelandic singer and songwriter Björk, released on June 30, 2010 in digital-only format and on CD and vinyl by Domino Records on 24 October, 2011. News of the album was announced on Björk's official website on 26 June 2010, four days before its release.

The vocals are dominant on all the tracks, which form an experimental and pop continuum.

Ninety-five Theses

The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences is a list of propositions for an academic disputation written in 1517 by Martin Luther, professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg, Germany. They advanced Luther's positions against what he saw as the abuse of the practice of clergy selling plenary indulgences, which were certificates believed to reduce the temporal punishment in purgatory for sins committed by the purchasers or their loved ones. In the Theses, Luther claimed that the repentance required by Christ in order for sins to be forgiven involves inner spiritual repentance rather than merely external sacramental confession. He argued that indulgences led Christians to avoid true repentance and sorrow for sin, believing that they could forgo it by purchasing an indulgence. They also, according to Luther, discouraged Christians from giving to the poor and performing other acts of mercy, believing that indulgence certificates were more spiritually valuable. Though Luther claimed that his positions on indulgences accorded with those of the Pope, the Theses challenge a 14th-century papal bull stating that the pope could use the treasury of merit and the good deeds of past saints to forgive temporal punishment for sins. The Theses are framed as propositions to be argued in debate rather than necessarily representing Luther's opinions, but Luther later clarified his views in the Explanations of the Disputation Concerning the Value of Indulgences.

Luther sent the Theses enclosed with a letter to Albert of Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mainz, on 31 October 1517, a date now considered the start of the Reformation and commemorated annually as Reformation Day. Luther may have also posted the Theses on the door of All Saints' Church and other churches in Wittenberg, in accordance with University custom, on 31 October or in mid-November. The Theses were quickly reprinted, translated, and distributed throughout Germany and Europe. They initiated a pamphlet war with the indulgence preacher Johann Tetzel, which spread Luther's fame even further. Luther's ecclesiastical superiors had him tried for heresy, which culminated in his excommunication in 1521. Though the Theses were the start of the Reformation, Luther did not consider indulgences to be as important as other theological matters which would divide the church, such as justification by faith alone and the bondage of the will. His breakthrough on these issues would come later, and he did not see the writing of the Theses as the point at which his beliefs diverged from those of the Roman Catholic Church.

Wilhelm Eduard Weber

Wilhelm Eduard Weber (; German: [ˈveːbɐ]; 24 October 1804 – 23 June 1891) was a German physicist and, together with Carl Friedrich Gauss, inventor of the first electromagnetic telegraph.

Wittenberg, Wisconsin

Wittenberg is a village in Shawano County, Wisconsin, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,081 at the 2010 census. The village is located within the Town of Wittenberg.

Wittenberg (district)

Wittenberg is a district (German: Kreis) in the east of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Neighboring districts are (from west clockwise) Anhalt-Bitterfeld, the district-free city of Dessau-Roßlau, the districts of Potsdam-Mittelmark, Teltow-Fläming and Elbe-Elster in Brandenburg, and the district of Nordsachsen in the Free State of Saxony.

Wittenberg Mountain

Wittenberg Mountain, locally "the Wittenberg," is a mountain located in Ulster County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Burroughs Range of the Catskill Mountains.

Wittenberg is flanked to the southwest by Cornell Mountain and to the northeast by Terrace Mountain.

Wittenberg Mountain stands within the watershed of Esopus Creek, which drains into the Hudson River, and into New York Bay.

The northwest and northeast slopes of Wittenberg Mtn. drain into Woodland Creek, thence into Esopus Creek.

The southeast side of Wittenberg drains into Wittenberg Brook, thence into Maltby Hollow Brook, Bush Kill, and Esopus Creek at Ashokan Reservoir.

Wittenberg Mountain is within the Slide Mountain Wilderness of New York's Catskill State Park.

The Long Path, a 350-mile (560 km) long-distance hiking trail from New York City to Albany, is contiguous with the section of the Burroughs Range Trail crossing the summits of Slide, Cornell, and Wittenberg. Wittenberg Mountain is one of the 35 peaks in the Catskills greater than 3,500 feet elevation, and is a required ascent for membership in the Catskill Mountain 3500 Club.

Wittenberg Tigers football

The Wittenberg Tigers football team represents Wittenberg University in college football. The first recorded year in Wittenberg football history was 1892. The Tigers compete in at the NCAA Division III level and the program is affiliated with the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). The Tigers play their home games at Edwards–Maurer Field in Springfield, Ohio.

Wittenberg University

Wittenberg University is a private liberal arts college in Springfield, Ohio. It has approximately 2,000 full-time students representing 37 states and 30 foreign countries.

Towns and municipalities in the district of Wittenberg

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