[GERMANY.THUERINGEN 30310] The room in which Luther translated the First Testament into German is located in the Bailiff's lodge (Vogtei) of the Wartburg near Eisenach. On the wall hangs a portrait of Luther made by his friend Lucas Cranach the Elder.
After Luther had been excommunicated in 1521, following his 95 theses against the catholic church, he was abducted. It was a clever move by Friedrich der Weise (Frederick the Wise) - Luther's protector - to have him kidnapped and then hidden in his own castle, disguised as Junker Jörg. Now everyone thought him to be dead. Luther's stay in the Wartburg has been of great significance for Germany. On Friedrich's advice (who remained catholic himself) Luther set himself to translating the First Testament into ordinary German. It helped keep away depression during the months he was isolated in his little room in the castle. The result wasn't just beneficial to the Reformation, but to the German language as well. Luther had listened to the man in the street to make sure that God's word would be understood. And in doing so he laid the foundation for the modern German language. Hundreds of tourists a day are being led around the Wartburg and get to see Luther's little room. As the story goes Luther once saw the devil, and in his fear threw the ink pot to its head. Unfortunately the resulting ink spot has disappeared, as too many fingers have touched it. In the course of the centuries Luther's desk disappeared as well, taken home by pilgrims, splinter by splinter, as a souvenir. The desk you see here was taken from the furniture at his parents' home. Photo Mick Palarczyk.
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