17 Facts About Wittenberg


Wittenberg, is the fourth largest town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

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Wittenberg is famous for its close connection with Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, for which it received the honourific Lutherstadt.

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Wittenberg was 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.

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Today, Wittenberg is an industrial centre and popular tourist destination, best known for its intact historic center and various memorial sites dedicated to Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon.

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Wittenberg developed into an important trade centre during the following several centuries, because of its central location.

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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.

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Capitulation of Wittenberg 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.

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In 1815 Wittenberg became part of Prussia, administered within the Province of Saxony.

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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.

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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.

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In 1945, Wittenberg issued 19 of its own postage stamps, each depicting Hitler but with a large black round overprint covering his face.

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Wittenberg is currently characterized by renovation and new construction work, an economic recovery and tourism development as a "place of pilgrimage for the Reformation".

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In 2014 Lutherstadt Wittenberg was awarded the honorary title European City of the Reformation by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe.

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Wittenberg is home to numerous historical sites, as well as portraits and other paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger.

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Wittenberg Castle is the former residence of the Saxon Electors.

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Wittenberg is the headquarters of the eco-friendly web search engine Ecosia.

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

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