Auerbachs Keller

Luther spent time at Auerbachs Keller

The inn belonged to a friend of the reformer (Photo: Auerbachs Keller)

The Reformation finds its way to Leipzig

St. Thomas Church (Photo: LTM/Andreas Schmidt)
In the 15th and 16th century, Leipzig was of crucial importance to spiritual and economic life in the Electorate of Saxony. The Reformation brought an unexpected boom to the city – in trade and commerce, science and the arts, and even politics. But after the Leipzig Disputation of 1519 it was another twenty years before the Reformation properly took hold in Leipzig. Duke George of Saxony was so incensed by the views that Luther expounded during the debate in Pleissenburg Castle that he became a hardened opponent of Luther. A political turnaround was only possible after his death, when his brother Henry ascended to the throne.

Henry the Pious introduced the Protestant faith as the state religion in the Duchy of Saxony at Pentecost 1539. The official ceremony in Leipzig was also attended by Luther. He preached in the chapel of Pleissenburg Castle and gave a ceremonial speech in St. Thomas Church, accompanied by a performance of the St. Thomas Boys Choir. The Reformer’s last visit to Leipzig was in August 1545, when he attended the Evangelical consecration of the University Church. He died in Eisleben on 18 February 1546.