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Where Luther Walked, #12 – Oppenheim

September 16, 2017

Martin Luther and his companion Kaspar Sturm (the Imperial herald) stopped in Oppenheim, a small winemaking town in Rheinhessen, on their way to and from the Diet of Worms in 1521.

 

On his journey from Frankfurt to Worms, Luther crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim in April 1521 to stay at the Zur Kanne inn, which stood on what is now Mainzer Strasse but burned down in 1621. Here he met with the Emperor's envoys. They wanted to persuade him to attend a meeting at Ebernburg Castle to keep him away from the Imperial Diet, but Luther declined.

 

Legend has it that Luther wrote the hymn 'A Mighty Fortress Is Our God' in Oppenheim at that time. Luther could certainly have drawn inspiration for this song from the views of St. Katharine's Church and Landskron Castle. The silhouette of this small town is dominated by the mighty Gothic Church of St. Katharine, which is considered the most important work of Gothic architecture between Cologne Cathedral and Strasbourg Cathedral.

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