Where to Stay

Hotel Alte Canzley: Wake up in front of the Castle Church, where Luther nailed his 95 theses at this lovely four-star hotel housed in a 14th-century building. The eight rooms are named after famous guests and come with a kitchenette. Rates start at around $158 (alte-canzley.com/en).

Ringhotel Schwarzer Baer: It doesn't get more central than this family-run inn next to the Cranach courtyard. There are singles, doubles and even "Luther Rooms" where you can sleep with the Reformer's pudgy face above your bed. Rates start at around $125 (schwarzer-baer-wittenberg.de).

Where to Eat

Brauhaus Wittenberg: This three-story brewery sits in a stunning 16th-century courtyard just off the main drag and serves hearty German fare as well as "Luther rolls" with beef, onions, gravy and dumplings. Entrees run from about $11 to $17 (brauhaus-wittenberg.de).

Wittenberger Kartoffelhaus Zum Schwarzen Baer: Luther is rumored to have frequently imbibed (and often to have run out on the tab) at this restaurant and bar below the Ringhotel Schwarzer Baer. Today, waitresses in maidens' outfits from the 16th century serve more than 60 types of potato dishes, including gamy deer-meat stew with spaetzle potato noodles. Entrees run from $10 to $18 (wittenberger-kartoffelhaus.de).

What to Do

Castle Church: The famous church is where Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door. The original wood door was destroyed by a fire in 1760 and has been replaced by bronze doors with his theses inscribed in Latin.

City Church of St. Mary: Often called the "Mother Church of the Reformation," this is the oldest building in town and is where Luther gave more than 2,000 sermons. Don't miss Lucas Cranach's four-paneled altarpiece depicting Luther, Melanchthon and the painter himself in biblical contexts.

Lutherhaus: Housed in a former Augustinian monastery and reopened in March after a six-month renovation, Luther's former home is now the world's largest Reformation museum and a must-see site for visitors. See where Luther wrote sermons and prepared his theses.

Asisi Panoram: Built inside a towering rotunda last year, Yadegar Asisi's striking 50-by-250-foot panoramic illustration of life in 16th-century Wittenberg is a 360-degree, cinematic experience and a great primer for anyone wishing to learn about the events that led to the Reformation.


These websites are packed with historical information, itineraries and helpful tidbits to help you plan your trip to Wittenberg and the other towns in Germany celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation: visit-luther.com, r2017.org and germany.travel/en/specials/luther/luther.html.

Eliot Stein