Christianity and the Church have been fundamental factors in the development of society in Leipzig. As early as the 15th and 16th centuries Leipzig was already of paramount importance for intellectual and economic life in the Electorate of Saxony. It is well documented that Martin Luther stayed in the town on 17 different occasions.
His most significant stay is considered to be the occasion of his participation in the Leipzig Disputation, which took place in the summer of 1519 in the Pleißenburg (the New City Hall of today stands on the site of this castle).
The disputation (or debate) was occasioned by Christians openly purchasing letters of indulgence from the Leipzig Dominican Johann Tetzel - who was blatantly offering them for sale - instead of turning to God with repentant hearts. Luther observed this and then used his 95 theses to
issue an invitation to a scholarly disputation on the subject of indulgences.
Leipzig was of particular importance for the progress and consolidation of the Reformation, because it was this renowned centre of books and publishing that made possible the mass circulation of Luther's writings and numerous evangelical songbooks.
In 1521 a late-Gothic pulpit was created for St. Nicholas Church, which was named the “Luther pulpit”, even though the reformer himself never stood in it.
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Leipzig - on the path to the Reformation celebrations
Download Reformation leaflet (pdf 1.9 MB)
Luther sites around Leipzig (pdf 3.5 MB)