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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Martin Luther's Travel Guide by Cornelia Dömer

Martin Luther's Travel Guide (WildmooBooks.com)

Martin Luther's Travel Guide is a helpful guide for planning a pilgrimage to Germany and a nice introduction to Luther's life and times. It covers the major locations, people, and conflicts in Luther's life and work, and offers websites, hotel recommendations, maps, and sites to see in each city/town as well as travel suggestions by car or rail.

I like that the address, phone number, and website of monuments, museums, hotels, and other sites are individually listed. For being only 176 pages, this book packs in a ton of information. Its small size (5x8 inches) makes it an easy resource to carry around in a day-pack or purse and it is sturdily constructed to withstand actual travel usage.

The book includes s a list of some of the larger events and exhibits throughout Germany that celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing his 95th Theses to the Wittenburg church castle door on October 31, 1517.

I've been making the rounds, visiting the recommended websites, and a good please to start is, visit-luther.com.

The book also lists three Luther related exhibits currently on in the US:
  • Los Angeles: www.lacma.org (now through March 26, 2017)
  • Minneapolis: new.artsmia.org/luther (now through January 15, 2017)
  • New York: themorgan.org (now through January 22, 2017)

Colorful photographs of sites and key players in Luther's life grace just about every page.

Martin Luther's Travel Guide (WildmooBooks.com)
Scan of pages 76-77

The place in this book that I'm most familiar with is Dresden, my mother's home town. My first visit to this beautiful city was shortly after the Wall came down and the Frauenkirche was still in ruins. Over subsequent visits it was amazing to see the church being rebuilt and then to attend services when the restoration was complete.

The author ends her section on the Frauenkirche by saying the organ, "has not been rebuilt." I think this statement was intended to mean the original organ was not reproduced. However, there IS an amazing organ in the church that was designed specifically for the space. If you're ever in Dresden, be sure to add the Frauenkirche to your list of places to visit, and attend a service or concert if your schedule permits.

Frauenkirche - Martin Luther's Travel Guide (WildmooBooks.com)
Luther statue at the Frauenkirche, Dresden (source).
The Frauenkirche was built long after Luther's death, but he did visit Dresden twice, first in 1516 and again in 1518. Also known as The Church of Our Lady, The Frauenkirche was built from 1726 - 1743 in the Baroque style. It was destroyed by Allied bombing on February 13 & 14, 1945, left in ruins during Soviet occupation, and was fully restored in 2005.

This travel guide will be put to good use for my next visit to Germany (in 2017), during which I hope to incorporate a Luther site or two. It will no doubt be a popular book for those planning a trip and/or those wanting to learn more about the geographic particulars of Luther's life.

I was raised Lutheran and it would've been neat to have such a book when I was going through Confirmation classes.

Title: Martin Luther's Travel Guide: 500 Years of the 95 Theses: On the Trail of the Reformation in Germany
Author: Cornelia Dömer
Translator: Cindy Opitz
Publisher: Berlinica Publishing, November 2016
Source: Purchased it
Bottom line: An excellent resource for those interested in Martin Luther and travelers interested in history and historic tourism.

About the author: Cornelia Dömer, PhD, serves as a representative for the State of Rheinland-Pfalz at the federal German level and with the European Union. From 2000 to 2007, she managed the Luther-Zentrum Wittenberg. Previously, she was responsible for culture and marketing Luther at the Sachsen Anhalt GmbH, and e.V. She studied English and Romance language and literature, geography, and received postdoctoral certification at Cologne in 1992.

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