One of the places we visited on our 2014 trip to Germany with LutherTours was the city of Dresden. There are many remarkable things to see, especially considering that most of Dresden was heavily damaged during World War II by incindiary bombs. The Katholische Hofkirche, or the Dresden Catholic Cathedral, was very impressive. I marveled at the statues perched atop the balustrades–Biblical and historical figures, 78 in all, measuring 10 feet tall. To the left of the cathedral is the Residenzschloss. One of the oldest buildings in Dresden, Saxon rulers lived in the castle from the early 16th century. It houses several museums, including a coin museum, armory, and the Green vault (home to the largest collection of European treasures).
This was the detail on the archway of a building in the old city of Leipzig, Germany. Leipzig was founded in medieval times; it became an important trade city during the Holy Roman Empire because it was at the intersection of the Via Imperii and Via Regia, two important trades routes. This city was damaged by bombing during WWII, but not as heavily as nearby Dresden.
Leipzig was one of the cities that we visited on our 2014 LutherTour.
These sweet little angels are located around the high altar at St. Anna-Kirche in Augsburg, Germany. St. Anne’s was originally a Carmelite monastery founded in the 14th century. Martin Luther stayed here in 1518 when he was called by the Roman Catholic church to meet with Cardinal Cajetan at the Diet of Augsburg. The church became a Lutheran church in 1545. Today, one end of the church is Lutheran and the other end Roman Catholic–definitely an interesting way to get along ecclesiactically! We visited this church during our 2014 LutherTour.
“The Ten Commandments” is a wonderful piece of artwork by Reformation artist Lucas Cranach the Elder. Completed in 1516, this painting on wooden panels originally hung in the Wittenberg Rathaus (or Townhall) where all of the townspeople could see them. Now the painting hangs in the refectory hall of Luther’s residence in Wittenberg, Germany. Cranach the Elder had a large studio in Wittenberg and many of his paintings are still on display all over the city.
This was one of my favorite paintings I saw on my 2014 LutherTour trip to Germany. Unfortunately, the lighting in the room was low so I couldn’t get a good picture. However, I found this one in public domain at Wikiart.org. One of my favorite things about this painting was the depiction of demons gleefully prodding the sinners.
I had heard of Venetian glass before, but I wasn’t prepared for its beauty–the intense colors coupled with delicate structure. These pieces are part of the collection at the Veste Coburg, the grand fortress overlooking Coburg, Germany. Besides the art glass collection, the castle also has collections of sleighs and carriages, armoury and weapons, as well as traditional paintings, sculptures and more glass.
Glassblowing is a very old and skilled art. There are a few glass Italian glass companies, still in production, that have been in business since the 13th century. The colors come from different compounds added to the glass. The red color in these pieces comes from added gold, while the aquamarine color is achieved by adding cobalt and copper.
The LutherTour of the summer of 2014 included a tour of this amazing castle. Plan to spend an entire day here to enjoy the history and the art.
One of the most elegant Lutheran churches in Berlin, perhaps the world, is the Berliner Dom. It is located on Spree Island, nestled among several museums and a park. Originally a Dominican church started in 1465, it became a Lutheran church in 1539. It was heavily damaged in WWII. Although the Sermon church finally re-opened in 1993, the final touches to the dome were not complete until 2002.
I briefly visited the front of the church in 2014 with our Luthertour group. If you have several days in Berlin, the cathedral and museums would be a fantastic way to see some beautiful art and architecture.