Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cycling through eastern Germany - Wittenberg

Wittenberg is a town of some 48,000 people, but its main street is much longer and more prestigious than Freiburg's Kaiser Josef Street - though Freiburg has 220,000 inhabitants.

The town's two main churches probably have lots of stories to tell. The City Church (top photo) was obviously hidden behind the ritzy homes of burghers at some point - one wonders how that could happen, but their priorities seem clear. The other church (bottom) is the Castle Church, the one where Martin Luther nailed his complaints to the church door, an act generally considered to be the start of the Reformation. Luther's "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" now surrounds the tower in golden letters.

Wittenberg did not seem that empty, and it turns out that the town has "only" lost some 8% of its population since 1989. Neighboring cities have lost as much as 30%.

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